QA

Today we thought we would take a look through some of the searches that brought people to our blog and do our best to answer a few of these questions…

Nervous About Substitute Teaching:

M- Aren’t we all! Haha I still remember the first day of subbing being this mix of excitement and terror but once I got in there in front of the class everything fell into place. This isn’t to say that everyday is easy but I generally know what I’m doing most days and know what will or will not work when it comes to different age groups and schools. I think the best way to get rid of those nerves is to give yourself positive affirmations or to have a mantra that you can repeat to yourself. Confidence is a big part of being a successful substitute – be confident in your abilities as a teacher, make connections with students, and learn names as fast as you can.

K- I have been nervous about subbing since the day the school district called me and hired me on the sub list (and ever single day I’ve subbed after that…) I wonder if that nervousness ever goes away? One thing I can say for sure is that as you continue you sub in a wide variety of schools and classrooms, you only develop your experience. The sweet thing about subbing is that if you do happen to have a terrible day (and we all have those TERRIBLE subbing days) you can be remind yourself that it’s only one day, and you can do anything for one day!

Summer Camp People Teaching:

M- Yes, I’m a summer camp person… I’ve done 9 years of summer camps! And yes, now I’m a teacher. And yes, it was a good job to have before teaching. When do I use my summer camp skills the most? Substitute teaching without a doubt! I find the little games that I know come in very useful in the classroom and in the gym. I also like to use some camp tricks to get kids attention (put one thumb up on one had and a pointer finger out on the other hand, then switch them). Teaching and camp are not the same thing but there are many similarities that make it useful to have done the summer camp thing before becoming a teacher.

K- I’m a fake summer camp person. I did work in before/after school care and in a structured, recreation based summer camp for one year. It was fun, it was okay, but I’ll likely never do it again. However, I have spent MANY a summer in a gym or church hall leading rhythmic gymnastics based summer camps. You can try and argue that it’s the same thing, but hear me out…it’s not. Prior to teaching I generated about 17 years worth of working with children and most of those years were spent in the gym coaching and training. I highly recommend working with children in one way or another before you decide to go into teaching. In fact, it was in the gym coaching 30 young gymnasts simultaneously where I decided I knew exactly which age group I wanted to teach (I was 16 when I made this discovery and my gymnasts were middle school age…only a few years younger than me at the time!)

Teachers Who Travel on Two Months off:

M- I wish! The furthest I got this summer was camping just out of town. I do love to travel though so hopefully one day that’s what my summers can be for.

K- This would be amazing, and I do have some teacher friends who make this happen on all their breaks! I have been known to stash money away in a savings account and jet set to Europe as soon as my summer vacation began, but that was during my Uni student days. However, my priorities have shifted at the ripe age of 26, now that I am a real person with a husband, a mortgage and a sweet garden to tend too. This isn’t to say that I no longer enjoy traveling (trust me, I think about it almost every day), it’s just that my life has a different focus right now and traveling isn’t part of that focus for the time being. This being said, if you can make traveling work on your summer break, do it do it do it. And bring me with you?

How Do I Stay on Top of Marking Students Work?

M- To be honest? I don’t. I do try to though but I love prepping and planning so much that it usually comes as a last on my to do list. I find it helps to schedule some time when you are specifically going to mark a certain thing. I also find for some reason that taking my marking to a coffee shop helps (home or my desk at school don’t seem to work at all for me). Last year I made it my goal to only assign work that I would want to read/mark and it worked pretty well because I taught English and French. Right now I’m doing math and science which is less marking anyways so it hasn’t been too bad – yet!

K- I am the worst person to answer this question. Allow me to publicly announce that I am a certified procrastinator. I like marking, but only for a small amount of time. This is probably why it takes me forever to sit down and get through 30 assignments in one marking session. One tip I can provide to make marking a bit easier…create and assign work that interests YOU because then you’ll genuinely be interested in getting through that never ending pile of duotangs!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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