Monday, January 10, 2011

Subs need the Procedures!

To quote the book "The First Days of School" rules were meant to be broken, procedures are to be followed.

I know that perhaps some substitutes prefer to run their own ship right away. Personally I only do if I know I'm going to be covering for a longer period of time and even then not in every manner. However it does not matter if the time in a classroom is limited to a full day, half day or even a period, as the covering teacher I usually like to stick to what the students are already familiar with before using methods I prefer or know. Why should I have the students change for me? Even then each teacher has their own comfort levels with noise levels and everything else a classroom of 20-30 students can throw at you. However there have been classrooms I have left wondering. What is the general plan of action that gets these kids to work. Perhaps that's the great thing about only being in class for a day or a half day; my methods didn't work with this group, try it again tomorrow with a different group. Or maybe my methods just need more time.

For example for general reasons I don't like to yell. I hated when my teachers yelled, even if they weren't yelling at me which was rare. Have I yelled though, yep, when I really felt at the end of my rope and I'm not happy with myself for it. I've even been told by a cooperative student that I should yell to get the attention of the students that are "misbehaving". So as I quoted above, rules were meant to be broken. As a supply teacher, I expect the students to be a little bit off. They know they have an adult that is in unfamiliar territory. I don't know personalities, I don't know background issues, I don't know names, I don't know how the classroom operates. Seeing rules posted on the wall is fine but only if they make sense to the student in the first place. "Listen in class" shouldn't be a rule, it should be a procedure. If it is a rule, I as the teacher filling in, need to know the consequence. I might not like the rule, and I don't, but if that is what the students understand, that consequence X will come if they break it, I feel that is what I should stick with it and retain proper control in the class.

Perhaps these rules work for you and if they do , awesome. But provide me, the fill in, with the necessary tools that allow you to operate your classroom with ease in that matter. Let me know what you expect me to do for 'discipline and consequences' and I will follow with your wishes to the best of my ability. Perhaps I'm young and inexperienced, perhaps I'm just naive.

I do know that I want to get through what you have left for me to cover.

I do know that I want your students to care about the work they
need to get done.

I do know that I need your procedures!

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