Contacting teacher ahead of time

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by olyvya, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. olyvya

    olyvya New Member

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    Feb 6, 2017

    Halo.
    So I've been subbing for a month now, loving it really :) Anyhow, I had a question- and I will probably ask this in a teachers board as well, but wanted to get your opinions from this side of the room.

    Later this month I will be subbing for 2 days in a row for a teacher. This will be the first time I'm in a room longer than a day. This is also the first time that I've had 2 weeks notice on a job haha- So often I get into a room and each class has different positive reinforcement techniques (candy, stickers, prize buckets, etc). Also, focus phrases are used in some classes, but not others (123 eyes on me, red light, class class, etc). Would it be weird, in your opinion, to email the teacher asking things like :

    - Do you have any children with nut allergies in your room? (so if I want to offer chocolate as a candy option)
    - Do you have a particular candy that you use (I've seen mini-starburst, sixlets, skittles, and m&m's)
    - Does your class have specific "focus" phrases? (123 eyes on me, class class, red light)
    - Is there anything else you'd like me to know so that I can make my time in your classroom as close to a regular day as possible?

    I just want to go in better prepared than I would for a single day job.
     
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  3. MetalTeacher

    MetalTeacher Rookie

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    Feb 6, 2017

    Asking if they have a particular type of candy they use might be a little odd, but the other three should be fine. Knowing about food allergies (and other medical conditions) is important for safety reasons and a focus phrase that has a history of working is a great piece of knowledge to be armed with when you show up.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 6, 2017

    I'd find it strange to have a sub contact me for just a two day job.
    You shouldn't bring candy incentives. Period. Find other positive ways to manage the class: table points, spell a word, etc. reward could be you teach them a math game or play 7-up or 4 corners at end of day....
    As far as making the day go smoothly and as "close to a regular day", follow the teacher's plans.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
    Caesar753 likes this.
  5. cocobean

    cocobean Rookie

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    Feb 6, 2017

    If you were subbing more long term I could see you contacting the teacher ahead of time, but two days don't require too much additional info from teacher. IMO.
     
    czacza likes this.
  6. olyvya

    olyvya New Member

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    Feb 7, 2017

    No I understand, that's why I was asking. The candy question is only brought up because a lot of teachers around here do use small pieces of candy such as when somebody answers a question correctly or if students are behaving well in the hallway. Also when taking the children to the buses they have a habit of running off to their bus but I've noticed kids generally stay with the teacher if they know they'll get a piece of candy before getting on the bus. I know that Kaylee shouldn't be used as a reward or insensitive, but that seems to be standard for the elementary schools that I've been working in this month.
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 7, 2017

    Are you going to be in that particular school before your two-day assignment? It would be a great idea to stop in sometime when things are calm (perhaps at the end of the school day after the students are gone) to introduce yourself and to ask those questions in person. I did that often when I subbed and the absence was planned. If the subject is one in your wheelhouse, you could also mention this in case the teacher feels comfortable having you cover the lesson rather than simply sit on the students (figuratively speaking, of course).
     
    Secondary Teach likes this.
  8. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Feb 7, 2017

    I would find it a bit odd if a sub contacted me about those things. I have, however, had subs stop by if they are in the building on an earlier day to just ask if there is anything specific they should be aware of when coming to my classroom.
     
  9. olyvya

    olyvya New Member

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    Feb 7, 2017

    OK thanks all for your input.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 7, 2017

    You've gotten a fair range of feedback, olyvya, and you'll probably get more. On A to Z Forums we'd prefer that you not post another thread elsewhere in the forum: forum policy discourages multiple threads on the same topic at the same time by the same member. But the average veteran of A to Z tends to check for new posts not by searching forum by forum but rather by using one of the Recent Posts links at or near the top of the page to bring up a list of all the forums that have seen activity since the last time the member signed in or clicked Recent Posts.
     
  11. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

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    Feb 7, 2017

    I've known teachers to utilize extrinsic incentives too, from my understanding when they're coupled with intrinsic rewards and activities then that's best. If the teachers there use candy as a reward, at that school, then I'd bring in candy or a fun activity such as a board game the behaving students could play. You could also have them play a game or do a fun activity together as a class (intrinsic motivation), if there's not a lesson left behind by the teacher or when they finish working.
    :)
     
  12. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2017 at 10:54 PM

    The only time I contacted a teacher ahead of time was because the class was a very specific, highly specialized education for severe autism. She seemed to really appreciate me contacting her ahead of time so she could give me a "run down" on a few students so I would not be caught off guard. It led to a full time position there... in that District.
     

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