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Teacher advice please!

Today I had a very difficult day as a substitute teacher in a middle school English class. Very difficult. I wanted to cry, multiple times. Today I was also told that I am hired for the long term art sub at an elementary school that I mentioned I applied for a few days ago. 

The middle school where I taught is the same district as the elementary schools where I will be teaching. They both have low- school rankings (two elementary schools, on school digger, one is ranked 0, the other 1. The middle school I just taught at was ranked 1), high diversity, low socio-economics. 

Basically, I had a lot of trouble with classroom management/ discipline, and I would LOVE some tips, resources, etc. that you guys have found helpful. 

I want teaching these kids art to go a LOT better than it did today! 

Re: Teacher advice please!

  • 500days500days MA member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    I commented on CC, so I'll just provide good vibes and hugs. Today's over! Definitely relax over the weekend and remember that everyday is a new start. Every teacher goes through a period (or two or three) like this, so you're not crazy or alone!

  • 6th grade was my nemesis subbing lol. It's so much better when they know you're more permanent. Don't be afraid to ask for help and get to know the parents if need be. Parents can be really helpful if you make it seem like you're working with them and not against them
    I guess, to tell you the truth, I've never had much of a desire to grow facial hair. I think I've managed to play quarterback just fine without a mustache. - Peyton
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    One of the issues I've had as a sub has really just been that I'm only there for a day, I don't know any kids' names, and the students are going to rebel against me doing things "my" way.

    So permanent sub is much different!
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
  • lilacck28lilacck28 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited March 2015
    @500days THANK YOU for the good vibes! 

    I have always enjoyed teaching over the summer (arts program) and during the year (saturday extracurricular) as well as the college courses, but this long-term sub positions seemed like it could be a whole new ballgame after yesterday's disaster. Especially knowing I've never had to have a real strategy about respect, discipline, etc. The kids/ college students didn't have very many moments of misbehavior, and when some kids did, they were generally  isolated and didn't cause the rest of the class to devolve into chaos. 

    I'm really hoping that you guys, and my initial thoughts, were correct, in that the long term subbing will be entirely different than my experience subbing... and closer to what I'm used to. But I DEFINITELY need to make a classroom management plan. I ordered a book that my friend recommended, and I hope it will help. ("Teach like a Champion" by Doug Lemov. I've read some critiques of the book, but she used it before and during teaching bio and chemistry to inner city Washington, DC high school students, and says it really worked for her. She showed me some of the things her students wrote to her, and they wer touching! I hope I'm half the teacher she was!)
  • Don't be afraid to take an entire class or two to discuss rules/expectations. Maybe let them help rules for everyone to follow? These are new kids that haven't seen you stress out, for all they know you're as cool as a cucumber.

    Talk to other teachers about what consequences (both good and bad) work for this group.Does the elementary school have recess? That seems to be an easy motivater.

    Be conscious about grouping, especially if you have your own room and your not on a cart. I think it's cute when art teachers have tables (groups) named after famous artists. These groups can also work well as competition especially for fast cleanup. Don't be afraid to change their seats if you have your own classroom. 

    I teach high school and I've definitely had days where I've cried in between classes, the whole ride home etc. When I first started I could have "diagnosed" half of them as bipolar because they can be straight up evil to you one day an sweet as pie the next day. Also remember, it takes a saint to properly handle middle school!

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