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Substitute Forum: Flexibility in Positions

Our first Substitute Forum went great!  Thank you for all that attended.  As a substitute, whether Teacher of Paraprofessional, a great deal of flexibility is required.  You may be walking into any number of situations, from great lesson plans to no lesson plans, needing to fill extra time, not knowing the student you are working with to working with student needs you’ve never encountered before.  In the forum, we discussed what things we do to help us be flexible in those situations.  What do you do in those situations?  We thought we’d offer some of tips and techniques used by some of the subs who had attended.


What do you do if you have some extra time to fill?

  • With Elementary Students, read aloud to them personally
  • Allow for homework time
  • Mock quiz the student(s)

What do you do if you aren’t familiar with the subject/technology?

  • Take a look at and follow the lesson plans
  • Enlist the help of some of the students in the class, whether to navigate the tech, or tutor other students
  • Let them use their iPads/Chromebooks to google specific terminology

What do you do when behavioral issues come up?

  • Be the calmest person in the room
  • Don’t plead with or beg the students to cooperate
  • Be confident, if not, “fake it” because they don’t know you aren’t
  • Pick your battles, don’t get into power struggles

Again, thank you to those that attended the Forum.  We will be holding another Substitute Forum on Thursday, March 22nd from 4:00pm to 6:00pm in our Bloomington, MN office for those who are able to attend.  We will be discussing strategies to connect with our students, while having a limited amount of time to do so.  You can register at www.teachersoncall.com/events/substitute-forum-0.  Bring along any ideas or questions!  If you want additional information or have questions about the event itself, please email us at training@teachersoncall.com.  You'll want to register quickly, as seating is limited! If you are not in the Minneapolis/St Paul Metro area, be on the look out as we are hoping to bring these incredible opportunities to a district near you!