Here are a few tips for working as a substitute. It can be a wild experience, but also so rewarding. I love wearing capris and cardigans when I teach since I never know if a building will be cold or hot, or if I’ll have to take kids to recess. So… layers.
#1 Find out if the teachers are having a jeans day. Very important! Throw a pair in your car just in case.
#2 Be willing to sub 1/2 days (more time to run your errands).
#3 Create a subbing bag. Mine has a list of songs to use as time-fillers, fun books to read/sing aloud, and “props” like a puppet. Sometimes I even bring my guitar.
#4 Become friends with the office staff. Secretaries and counselors and nurses are helpful in a wide variety of situations. And the secretaries may be the folks calling you to sub.
#5 Be firm with the students in the beginning to establish good expectations, but find a way to connect with them. Give rewards if they’ve done well, read a short book, play a quick game. Something that makes them say, we want her to sub again!
#6 Leave good notes for teachers. They really like to read feedback from subs.
#7 Get into the spirit. If they’re wearing their school shirts, or celebrating Go Texan day, or supporting the local professional team, dress accordingly. It’s fun! You can always wear the school colors if you don’t have a school t-shirt. And if it’s also a jeans day, then you hit the jackpot!
When I taught elementary school music, I always wore pants. We sat on the floor, danced, and moved around the room to use the instruments.
I’ve started wearing skirts more recently and have decided that I love wearing skirts!
They’re cooler in summer, and since I now wear skirts when I run, mostly from runningskirts, I’m just a skirty girl.
Looking back on what I wore when I taught full-time, I regret most of it. As a sub, I want to make a good impression on the staff as well as the students every day.
My daughter is my photographer, and we were acting a bit silly while taking these pictures. In fact, I started crying from laughing shortly after she took the last photo.
I’ll be honest: I like a small price tag on new clothes. But I really like clothes! And shoes.
I do one-stop shopping at places where I can buy clothes and groceries. My life is simpler that way. I buy a lot of basics. Solid colors. Classic shapes. And if the clothes become unfashionable later, I donate them.
I also have a personal rule to donate something from my closet every time I bring home a new item. Buy a pair of shoes, donate a pair. Buy a shirt, donate a shirt. It’s easy enough to find something I haven’t worn in a while.
I subbed in a class of 7 little boys one day this week, and one of my favorite moments was when I heard another teacher say to one of the boys, “so you know a lot about Angry Birds,” and he enthusiastically replied, “I know literally EVERYTHING.” He was also the student who immediately greeted me with a handshake and a huge smile when I walked into the room. ALL of the boys were precious. Days like that make my heart feel like a cup of warm, sweet cocoa.
Here it goes. I’m starting a blog. I don’t even know the correct terminology to use, but I’m giving this a try.
I’ve thought about sharing a few ideas for a while now. If something resonates with me, then maybe it would be of interest to someone else… we’ll see.
I’ll probably write about:
*living with curly hair
*working as a substitute teacher (and deciding what to wear!)
*talking to teenaged daughters
*maintaining a loving marriage
*feeling inspired by music
*contracting as a flight attendant on private aircraft
*finding clever ways to spend time at DisneyWorld, and
*running in local races as well as runDisney events.
Hope you enjoy the posts to come!