Suggestions for Substitute Teaching at the Elementary School Level

Substitute teaching is usually a job which people take while they are looking for a full time job in their degree field, but it is also a job which people take when they are retired or partially disabled. Regardless of why a person becomes a substitute teacher, it’s important to realize that the schools that you are working for require you to do everything the regular teacher would do if they were there, to the best of your ability. Elementary schools need teachers who can control their classes and keep them busy with school work. Being a substitute teacher isn’t a babysitting job and if you want your day to go smoothly you better act in a professional manner and make the children understand that they have to behave while their teacher is gone and that this is not a class holiday. There is always one troublemaker in each class and if you give more positive attention to that child by having them help with various tasks, then you will have little or no trouble about 90 % of the time. Of course, there’s always that 10 % that just need to go see the principal. You should never hesitate to do that if a child is being extremely disruptive and refuses to behave.

Many teachers don’t expect you to get the student to complete their work and grade papers, but that’s your job. Speaking to parents, sending behavior notes home, making sure that ill children are taken care of while at school, safely releasing students to their parents or designated areas after school, and dealing with behavioral issues in the classroom are just a few duties that a substitute teacher has. The better you do your job the less stress the students, regular teacher, and nearby teachers will have. If the regular teachers have to pipe up to your class when they’re in the hall because you can’t control their talking, then every time you work for that school, they will be stressed and not feel confident with you. You may think that it’s just one day with these particular kids, but each day teaches them and shows them how to deal with the world in general. When I get complements from teachers that I have worked for, they seem so appreciative that it makes me thinks that other substitute teachers are not doing there jobs. They thank me mostly for grading papers, but I just tell them that it’s part of my job to grade papers and there is no thanks needed. Schools must run smoothly or they don’t get the educational grants from the government and you are responsible for some of that. Students need to be kept on task, so their teacher’s absence doesn’t cause her to fall behind on her lesson plans. Teachers do have to follow a general lesson plan for each grade that they teach.