Monday, March 19, 2012

Revving My Engines

Tomorrow I am heading into a second grade class where in just a couple of weeks, I will begin a long-term subbing job for a teacher going on maternity leave. For every long-term job I have had, I always try to schedule an observation day with the classroom teacher while students are there. No, I don't get paid for the day, and that is a bummer. But I still believe it to be a valuable thing and something that has made my jobs go as smoothly as possible. There are quite a few reasons I do it:

1) It helps me. I get to ask the teacher any questions I may have. The teacher can show me where everything is stored. I can see the classroom management systems in place. And learn the students and the routine.

2) It helps the teacher. The teacher feels more comfortable that they could tell and show me everything they needed to. It gives them peace of mind when they are away from their classroom for so long.

3) It helps the students. The students now know who I am and that I know the way their teacher does everything. They tend to try to push boundaries a little less that way. And little kiddos know that I am teacher-approved, which goes a long way with them.

4) It helps the parents. In a similar vein, it gives the parents peace of mind too. They know that I know what I am doing. In several cases, I have even been able to talk to a few parents to ease their worries.

5) It helps the principal. And finally, the principal also is comforted that I know the system. There are less confrontations, challenges, and issues that would arise when I go through this extra "training."

Now, this is not something that I am required to do by any means, but I continue to volunteer my time to be extra prepared. Because in my experience, preparation is everything!


  1. I try to do the same thing. I have been a long term sub many times and if the teacher knows me and the kids know me, it makes all the difference in the world. When you go in blind, never having seen that particular teacher's style it can be much more difficult.
    I, too, start for a second grade class in a couple weeks. I have been the teacher an average of once every two weeks all year because of committees she is on, as well as baby stuff. When I go it, it is seamless and the kids view me almost as their "other teacher"

    1. Exactly! There have been a couple of times I have unexpectedly started a long-term, and it was much more difficult than the ones I had the chance to observe for.

  2. Such a great idea- I would have never thought of this! THANKS!

    Sparkles , Smiles, and Student Teaching

  3. I just began a 9 week subbing job in middle school and was lucky enough to observe the class several times. I generally sub in the same school, so each planning period I was able to help in her classroom rather than the regular subbing duties such as helping in the media center.

    This was a huge help! I was able to better understand her lesson plans and the sort of "tempo" of the classroom.

  4. I recently finished a long-term subbing assignment for a teacher going on maternity leave and I observed her class for three days before I took over. One of the three observation days was a paid day. I took notes on how she taught, transitions, classroom management and much more. It was a great experience.


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