Tips For Substitute Teachers
A Must For All Teachers to Follow!!

These tips for substitute teachers (a.k.a. occasional teachers) are part of the ETFO - Toronto Occasional Teachers publication which is distributed to their list of occasional teachers.

I consider these substitute teaching tips to be essential, must do's for any substitute teacher who wants to be invited back, whether for a future day, LTO (Long Term Occasional) or contract position.

1. First impressions last all day, especially when you're a substitute teacher. When you look, act and sound professional, you will be treated with respect and hopefully regular employment. Consider the day as an interview to return to the school for future jobs.

2. Dress appropriately(i.e. professionally).

3. Arrive prepared and on time.

4. Know your School Board's policies and procedures.

5. In the classroom, look for information on fire routes, lock-down procedures, attendance routines and students with allegies or other medical issues. Be in the hall, ready to receive students with confidence and a smile.

6. Have a discipline plan that doesn't include raising your voice or losing your control. Model the behaviour and respect that you expect.

7. Leave the classroom the same as you found it, or better yet - a little better than when you arrived. Use the last 5 minutes of the day as the time for the students to tidy up for their returning teacher.

8. Last (but very important) of the tips for substitute teachers - leave a note for the absent teacher that includes the following information:

* Record what you covered and what you didn't (and why), as well as the homework assigned.

* Let the teacher know about the students who were challenging and those who were helpful. Try to find somthing positive to report about the students who were challenging.

* Record any major issues - students sent to the office, conversations with parents, student conflicts, etc.

* Correct the work done that day and leave it on the desk and mention in your note that it was marked.

* Thank the teacher for the easy-to-follow day plans or explain if you had to improvise, because you weren't exactly sure what was expected.

* Leave your name, employee #, and a final comment about being happy to return again to the class.

Being a substitute teacher in any classroom can be quite a challenge, but I'm sure that by using these tips for substitute teachers your day(s) of substitute teaching will be productive and enjoyable.

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