The only thing worse than missing school is coming back to a bad sub report. Teacher Georgia recently experienced that and wrote in to our community of teachers at the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE! about it:
“This week, I was out for a workshop and later found out that my third grade class sent the substitute into tears. The teacher next door had to speak to them twice, and the assistant principal had to come settle them down. I know my kids, and they definitely know better than to behave this way! Any ideas for consequences?”
Don’t fret, Georgia! We’ll get your kiddos on the right track in no time with this great advice.
1. Write letters of apology.
“My fourth graders were terrible with the latest sub, so when I got back, we had a big talk about respecting our room and class. I taught them how to write an apology letter that says I’m sorry, I was wrong for doing this, this is how I’ll behave next time, and please forgive me. I made them write letters to the substitute. When I had to go back out a few days later, they were great.” —Melana H.
“I have my students write letters of apology to the sub and they put ‘sub apology letters are due’ in their planners so parents could ask them about it.” —McCann V.
2. Don’t wait for an absence to lay out your expectations.
“I address my sub expectations often, whether I’m planning on being out or not. Any time a class near mine has a sub, I remind my students my expectations for when and if I am ever away unexpectedly. I also have a note to my class in my emergency sub plans to be shared with the class, so that they can ‘hear’ my voice even though I’m not there. It may sound like overkill, but it seems to work.” —Sandy W.
3. But don’t feel like you had to give a disclaimer in order to give a consequence.
Didn’t think to state explicit expectations before you were out? You can still keep your students accountable to their behavior. “I teach sixth grade. It’s good if you set your expectations before you go out, but respect should be automatic, and if they respect you, they should respect the sub. So if a name is left when I’m gone, notice or no notice, that student gets a detention. If the vice principal had to come down, I’d make the whole class stay after school one day to show you mean business.” —S.K. O.
4. Get the parents involved.
“I would write a letter to their parents about their behavior and ask for their support, and I’d require a parent signature on the letter.” —Dawn M.
But be aware that you may get a little push back. While one teacher on the HELPLINE! has done this to great success over the years, another wrote in: “I did this and had parents—whose children had been listed more than once on the sub list for bad behavior—called me screaming because how dare I accuse their child of this behavior. Not their angel!” Our advice? Involve parents, but be sure to word the letter in as constructive and positive a way as possible to avoid a misunderstanding.
5. Suss out the main perpetrators with student statements.
Chances are, even if the class as a whole was terrible, some players were worse than others, and maybe a few weren’t bad at all. “I make each of them write ‘statements’ detailing what happened from their perspective. The main instigators always emerge, and the appropriate punishment can be given.” —Kristine K.
6. Names matter!
“I have decided to never use the term SUB. Several years ago, I found out that most students think that a ‘sub’ is not teacher. I refer to them as a ‘guest teacher.’ I explain to my class that the guest teacher has gone to college just as I have done, and they deserve the same respect.” —Belinda M.
7. Focus on the positive.
Instead of telling students hownot to act, focus on positive things they to do to ensure a good experience. “The next time a colleague has a sub, you should coach those students on being helpful and make them do something nice for the colleague’s sub as you watch, and use it as a teachable moment.” —Kelly M.
“Read Miss Nelson is Missing and talk about it. When I get a really good sub report, I will bring in donuts or schedule an extra fun snack or activity. So far this year the positive rewards have been working, thank goodness!” —Shellie S.
Тепло дня здесь сменяется влажной прохладой, а шум улицы приглушается мощными каменными стенами. Никакое количество люстр под сводами не в состоянии осветить бесконечную тьму. Тени повсюду. И только в вышине витражи окон впускают внутрь уродство мира, окрашивая его в красновато-синие тона.