Monday, February 23, 2009

52 Teachers, 52 Lessons #6: Try Subbing First

This week's lesson comes from Miss Cal.Q.L8, a young teacher HS math teacher who is learning the ropes as a substitute. You can read her great insights at her new blog.

The most important advice I can give to teachers is if at all possible - try being a substitute first. I have just finished my student teaching and am now subbing before pursuing a full-time position. Subbing teaches me instantly how to be flexible, how to manage any classroom, and how to deal with the unpredictable. It's an excellent way to become familiar with a building, the administration, the students, and your future co-workers - especially if you aren't sure where you want to work. Since I'm subbing for K-12, I am meeting a lot of family members of the students I may have in the future. Also, I am able to help out with different sports teams, clubs, and projects without being totally responsible. This helps me see what I enjoy doing and what I'm good at for future reference. From being in charge of someone else's classroom, you can easily learn new tips and tricks as well as what not to do. It gives me a clearer focus of how I want to run my classroom, the plans I need to leave for a substitute, and how to be more organized. I like being able to see what works and what doesn't. You also quickly learn what adults you can lean on for help and who are friendly and easy to work with. Coming in with fresh eyes to various classrooms makes it really easy to see who truly cares about their kids and who is just there for the paycheck. I haven't even started teaching yet but I already know that this is an invaluable experience for my future.

Read more about this project here or add the 52 teachers 52 lessons tag to your favorites. Email your entries to teachforeverATgmailDOTcom. Week 6 will be posted next Monday, March 1st.