Friday, August 30, 2013

How to stock your Teaching Toolbox

Just because you may be traveling to a different school or classroom every day that you are assigned a job, doesn’t mean that you can’t be prepared with a few tricks up your sleeve. Of course, it’s much easier when there are lesson plans left in the classroom, but that is not always the case. And as a sub, you still must be able to keep the class focused and on task. No matter what grade level or subject for which you are the guest teacher, it is always good to have a range of teaching activities and fillers for students to do when there are no plans or students finish early. Check out what our good friends over at STEDI have for activities to print out and keep in your teaching toolbox. They are a great place to start looking when you need ideas for classroom activities.

In addition to having activities on hand, should you need them, always keep your toolbox stocked with supplies that you may need. Bring a selection or sharpened pencils (graphite and colored), ball point pens (in blue, black and red), dry erase markers and make sure they all have your name on them so that you are sure to get them back if they are loaned out to students. Tape, scissors and glue are useful to have on hand. However, you may want to avoid loaning these things out as a safety precaution, especially in elementary classrooms. Post-its, rulers and calculators always come in handy, as well.

Some subs find it makes their day and the students’ day much smoother when the students are given name tags. Keeping some blank name tags in your toolbox wouldn’t hurt either.

You should always have blank copies of our ‘Welcome Back’ letter so that you can let the teacher know how the day went and where you left off. These can be found when you log into your Teachers on Reserve profile.

Last but not least, unless you’ve subbed for a physical education class on a full football field with 30 students, you’ll never fully appreciate the benefits of your own whistle.

Oh yeah! And don’t forget your TOR badge! It serves as your hall pass and identifies you to everyone you encounter on campus. So stock up that Toolbox and happy teaching! Follow us on Twitter or ‘like’ us on Facebook to tell us what else YOU like to keep in your Teaching Toolbox!

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Schools are back!

It’s August 27th and about (percentage of client schools) of Teachers On Reserve's client schools are already back in session! We’re gearing up for a productive, brand new school year and we can’t wait to get our top-notch substitutes out in the field! This is the time we all need get our ducks in a row and be ready for anything.

Substitutes need to pack their substitute Teacher Toolbox with activities and everything they'll need from the school supplies list (check back within the week for more tips on filling that toolbox) and print out their TOR ID badge.

Schools need to make sure their sub packets, backup lesson plans and emergency/safety plans for substitutes are ready to hand out.

Substitute assignments during the first few weeks of the school year can be sporadic, but some schools need subs right away. Fall can be unpredictable for schools too, and some may still need to fill permanent teaching positions.

We all need to be ready to make a good impression as we head backto school and prepare for a successful school year!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bon Voyage - The Opening Days of Your Journey

The first day of school is extremely important whether you are a full-time teacher or just stepping in as a guest teacher.  It is when the expectations, routines and procedures take root and form the framework for the year ahead.  Everything that happens in the classroom in the opening weeks should be about providing the atmosphere that leaves each student each day with a feeling of success and accomplishment.  Now is when the student is deciding to “care” or “not care so much”- if this year is going to be a positive or a negative experience.

A successful classroom takes strategic planning to build a community which cares for the social, emotional, and physical as well as academic well-being of each individual.  Students learn best when they feel they are a part of a community where everyone feels accepted collectively and yet supported and respected individually.

Remember back to when you were a student – what mattered to you, what made an impression.  For most of us it was the kind word, the positive attitude, the energetic style, the creative moment. It was the learning opportunity when we felt successful, the academic challenge when we worked hard and triumphed.  If you are in the classroom for a short time or an extended time, do your part to establish a positive tone, a collaborative community, from day one.

In the first week, activities for kids, that serve as “icebreakers” are a simple tool to get to know your students and for them to get to know you.  The internet is full of various icebreaker ideas - just make sure they are age-appropriate. 
What are your thoughts on the opening days of school? What are your tips for being a “pro teacher” during the first few days of school? Tell us here!

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Kick Off for the 2013-2014 School Year!

Welcome to On Reserve's blog spot!  
Visit us throughout this school year for the latest tips on substitute teaching and making the most out of every subbing day.  

Substitute teaching is a vitally important piece of today's educational puzzle.  We like to think of substitute teachers, and the school administrators guiding them, as superheroes who are ready to step in and help save the day at a moment's notice. 

We’ll share Teachers On Reserve hiring updates, classroom management ideas and simple, creative ways to improve every teacher's "bag of tricks".  We'll also post stories of those classroom moments that make it all worthwhile. 

We’re excited to introduce you to other blogs and resources with ideas worth considering and to keep you posted on education in the news

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