Method & Theory

    Discipline for substitutes

    I have been reading several of the posts on this board and
    have found them to be extremely helpful and thought-
    provoking. I am certified pre-K-8 teacher who will be a
    substitute in an Urban school district. I have actually
    subbed as an uncertified teacher in a more rural district
    and absolutely loved it, however the number of jobs
    openings are limited. So, I am headed for a larger district
    with more opportunities for beginning teachers. I also feel
    that I could make the most difference with the students.

    Anyway, I am going to be with pre-K-8 for the most part,
    but I may do 9-12. Most of my experience has been pre-K-5.
    My biggest concern is classroom discipline, and how to
    handle the attention seekers and ring leaders. I look a bit
    younger than I am. And many see a sub as day off.

    My plan is to exude a firm and respectful persona. I will
    stand at the door and greet students as they enter the
    room. I may also hand them a bell worksheet to begin
    working on, please and thank you. The AGENDA will be
    written on the board with two colors of chalk for every
    other line. Since I was told that some of the classess are
    90 minutes long, a break time will be listed. Also, I was
    thinking of listing at the very end, Homework (they can get
    a head start on their homework) OR maybe "talk pass", a
    ticket they may take when they have completed the
    assignments. They would have to be respectful of neighbors
    who were still working. What do you think about this?
    Would it work for HS students? Would I be opening pandoras
    box? Or if they all completed early, go over homework
    together or play a quiet game? I used the game for
    elementary and it worked well, but haven't used for 6th
    grade and up.

    After they complete the bell work, I explain how I would
    like them to pass it in to me. Then I do my intro and
    spiel. I review the classroom teacher's rules and
    expectations and I tell the classroom my own rules while I
    am their teacher today. They are 1)Be responsible for
    yourself 2)Be kind to others. I also tell them a little
    about myself and my interests. I tell them that I am
    a "real" certified teacher and that I am qualified to teach
    them, so they can relax because they are in good hands, and
    I will make sure that they have a productive learning day.
    I may also inject some humor by mentioning how relieved
    they must be to hear that.

    I realize that I may not have a lot of time to establish a
    rapport with them, but I do think that it is possible. Any
    advice on how to earn the rapport and respect of my
    students in such a short time would be greatly appreciated.

    As for breaking rules, consequences, I was told to follow
    the plan that the regular teacher has in place, but if
    there is none, or I am unable to locate, I would like to
    have a plan B. For repeat offender I really like the idea
    of writing a positive and affirming statement, paragraph.
    This would remove the problem temporarily and give them
    time to regroup. And since it would be positive statement,
    they wouldn't be on defensive? Thoughts? Ages?

    I really don't want to resort to sending to office. I have
    heard of subsitutes being banned for sending to office. but
    of course, if I feel that I am in a situation I cannot
    control, I will absolutely call for help.

    Thank you for any opinions or ideas.