First Day Subbing


I think I've been spoiled.

I got the call this morning at 5:30am. The school needed a substitute for the 8th grade Spanish class. I took the job. So why was it spoiling?

This was the school that I did my middle school student teaching. Most of the students already knew who I was and I already had a good relationship with them. I was expecting the worst though but I couldn't have expected it to go as well as it did. The students listened to me, did what I asked and we got through the the material the teacher had provided quite easily. I knew the teacher well, too so I had an idea of what she expected.

I have read accounts of substitute teachers' first days and many of them were nightmares. I decided I did not want a nightmare so I prepared myself ahead of time. The major cause of substitute nightmares are when the substitute goes in without maintaining control. Classroom management is always a struggle but can be more difficult for the sub because they're not the teacher. I wanted to make sure I had control right from the start. I had two methods to accomplish this: I wrote the teacher's agenda on the board, and I used a short list of rules that remained consistent throughout the class. It worked really well.

But is this a real substitute experience? I'm not sure. The students already knew me and I already knew the school. It was actually quite pleasant and not the dreadful experience some other subs have shared. I will continue to learn and add to my 'bag of tricks' as I substitute. I'm signed up for two more districts and I should have a fourth by the end of February. Hopefully this will give me full-time work for the rest of the school year and I'll be able to save for the big move.

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