Post # 1
I am currently finishing my bachelors in elem ed (graduating next month). I just received a position for the remainder of this school year as a fifth grade continuous sub. Does anyone have advice for making the transition smooth from the ways of the previous teacher into my own preferred styles and techniques? I am slightly nervous of going in and taking over =/
Post # 3
Congrats on getting that opportunity! That is a great way to get your foot in the door for a full-time teaching spot. Unfortunately, this late in the school year, I would say you are mostly stuck with her procedures for them. Personally, what I would do is mostly follow her procedures for (esp. for the first few days) and then implement a few of your own things that are very important to you. It can take kids a month to get used to a discipline system and that is almost all you have left, so it will probably work best if you change as little as possible. Make sure you own whatever the discipline system is – be very, very, very consistent so they don’t think that they get to goof off until summer. Also make sure you tell them that some things will be different and that you will ask one of them if you want to know how something used to be – otherwise they will drive you up the wall telling you that you aren’t doing things “right”.
Post # 4
@kayp23: Yep, totally agree!! Be really, really consistent and try to stick to whatever the teacher has in place. The kids will be used to it, and trying to change too much will make them (and you!) frustrated.
This late in the year, all the kids want is summer. No matter how amazing your lesson plans are, they are one foot out the door. So, be really firm from the get go, and be clear in your expectations of them. If you say you’re going to give them a consequence, give it, no matter how much you wish you hadn’t said you would at the time. If kids know you will follow through, they will respect you because they know where the boundaries are.
See if you can shadow the current teacher for a few days, and ask her to be clear with the kids that you’re the new authority figure. 5th graders are in that weird kid vs. adolescent stage, and often like to REALLY test you, so having the previous teacher tell them to respect you and then proving you really mean business will go a LONG way.
Post # 5
I agree with subbywife11 changing things up too much might not go over well with the kids this late in the year. It’s ok to be nervous but once you settle in I am sure everything will be great 🙂
Post # 6
I agree with the PP that you need to say things like, “I know that’s not how Mrs. Whatever did *thing*, but this is how I do it” otherwise they’ll tell you you’re doing it wrong. As a teacher who has come in halfway through the school year before, I really don’t think that making changes is that hard on the kids. They’re young, and they adjust quickly. If you want to make a change, make it confidently. Also, congratulations and good luck!!