I know the smartass answer is "don't get sick." But sometimes it happens. Whenever I know I will be out sick I always give my kids "the talk." And always come back to a list of names of kids who just won't behave for subs. I am sick of dealing with this and writing them up because clearly lunch detention doesn't work. Anyone else have any experience with this?
alicia87 alicia87 22-25, F 9 Answers May 6, 2010

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Here's a couple of tips I learned years ago and it's made all the difference.

1. It never hurts to give "the talk" before you have a sub. My talk always includes a good sermon about how they'd want their parent to be treated if they were a sub, and the threat of how miserable I'll make their lives for the remainder of the week when I get back. Lol

2. Every bit of work I give when I have a sub is graded and goes in the grade book. I've found that many teachers just leave busy work that they don't hold their students accountable for. My kids know that if it's a sub, then the work is important review and it counts.

3. I leave a little game called " The Secret 3" for the sub to play with the class. Before I leave, I prepare a prize pack in a large envelop which also includes an index card with the name of three students in the class. No one knows the names on the card until the end of the day when the sub opens the pack and reads them. Which ever student out of the three that's been the best student (and the sub has to choose just one) gets the prize pack. Always include the name of one of the trouble makers in your class after a couple of times of seeing their name on the card at he end of the day, even he'll be an angel for your sub, thinking that his name is going to always be on it. My prize packages are always pretty great valued anywhere from 5-8$. Yes, it amounts to bribery, but I never have trouble getting a sub and have been told many times that I have the best class ever.

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When I was teaching, I just let my kids know that I would be distributing extra work and sending letters home to parents for any students who did not respect a sub. Period. No exceptions. On the days that the substitute was there, I gave the students quiet and structured work, which was to be submitted pretty much every day at the end of class. I never had too much trouble with subs, except for students who were just normally difficult to deal with. There were of course, some kids that just didn't care. But I was lucky too, to be teaching in a smaller town where the students had some sort of moral compass.

Good luck with this. Discipline in the classroom has gotten very difficult. And for subs, it is can be really tough..

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give the teacher a taser

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You're much too close to the forest on this one and letting the trees obscure your vision. The teacher is the adult. The students are children. The adult is responsible for establishing and maintaining discipline in the classroom. Substitute teachers have no training at all, are poorly paid and, because it's a sporadic line of work under the best of circumstances, tend to be the sort of people who lack the discipline required to get out of bed and go to work five days a week. It's a high turnover line of work and those sorts of jobs don't exactly draw the cream of the crop. I've a friend who has been a substitute teacher for years but he refuses to take classes above the third grade because, he insists, it's just impossible to maintain any sort of discipline with older kids. In his case, he's retired, drawing Social Security, and his income from substitute teaching gives him a little extra income to spend on his hobbies. He's a mild mannered, soft spoken man who acquires a speech impediment whenever he gets excited; in other words, the last person in the world I'd expect to see working as a teacher but he's found a way to make it work for him. I haven't asked but I strongly suspect he too leaves a little 'hit list' of the names of students who behaved badly while he was there.

Kids always test a new authority figure. It's instinctive behavior. Human young will only surrender authority to adults who've proven capable of demonstrating calm, confident, assertive and knowledgeable behavior. It's a very simple equation to a kid: "If you don't know more than I do then I'm not going to listen to you".

Every year, when a new crop of youngsters walk into your classroom, you have to prove yourself to them. By now you may not even be aware you're doing it but it happens with our without your awareness. If the kids mind you, it's because you've proven yourself to be a competent authority figure.

Substitute teachers aren't necessarily teachers. In fact, the odds are against it. So give your kids a break. They're only being kids, doing what kids do. If you can convince them that the way they behave when you aren't there reflects badly on you, there's a chance they'll give the substitute a break out of respect for you but telling them they better by-golly mind the sub has about as much effect as putting the smallest, nerdiest kid in the room in charge while you go to the office.

Nope, I'm not a teacher. I'm a former small, nerdy kid and I know whereof I speak. :)

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The sub takes no crap -- act up, you get sent to the office, no exceptions, and you get sent right away

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Maybe tell them if their name isn't on a list they will get some bubble gum.... If they are really young. The older kids your pretty much stuck. Next best thing I could suggest would be to crack down on them. Tell them that if their name is on a list they will be punished with writing, I will behave when I have a sub like 500X or detentions. And stick to your guns and actually do it, let them see there are consequenses to pay if they don't listen to you.

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make them fall in line then spank them one by

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