Substitute Classroom Management10 December 2015
Today I periscoped about the difficulties we all have while trying to manage a class when we are sick, at home or taking a personal day. We are all human and we will at some point have substitutes in our classroom. Last year was my first year in this district and I was being pulled out of my classroom multiple times during the month for district trainings. I missed being with my kiddos but I was blessed for the amazing men and women who are substitutes in our district. They do a wonderful job covering for us, but of course there are those times you return from having a sub and your classroom is a disaster, your sub plans weren't followed and maybe you even received a bad report from the sub.
I've learned through my ten years of teaching that not any day is perfect while you are present in the classroom. So why do we expect those days when we have substitutes to be perfect too? No one will ever do your job as great as you! Stop stressing and relax. Face it, you are an outstanding teacher and you can't be replaced. If the sub doesn't follow your plans or maybe the kids are awful, take a deep breath and smile. At least they made it through the day!
One thing you can however improve for your classroom is the behavior while your sub is covering for you. Being very detailed in your substitute plans and making sure you have plenty of things for your kids to do all hours of the day will ensure they will stay engaged and on task. While being on task you will see less behavior issues while you are gone.
A great idea that I've been using the last few years are what we call Substitute Teacher Tickets. When I know I will be out of the classroom, I pass out one of the Substitute Teacher Tickets out and place them in the corner of their desks. The kids are to do their best while with the sub to keep the ticket. If they are respectful, responsible, and hard workers the ticket will be turned in at the end of the day for a treat. I use Dum Dums or Jolly Ranchers. My 2nd graders love these tickets and enjoy even having a little note from their teacher who is absent that. You can print the tickets using this link to download. Give it a try and help your substitute manage that class. But please remember your "amazingness" will never be replaced. No one is as good as you!