As a substitute teacher, knowing how to work with different age groups is very important. The App-Garden has created a Virtual Substitute Training program that instructs potential substitutes on how to work with various age groups. For this specific post, we will be focusing on pre-school and elementary school classrooms.
If you are substituting in a pre-school classroom…
- Typically you will stay in the same classroom and/or playground area the entire day for all activities.
- For the most part preschoolers follow directions. If not, they are often responsive to the method of counting to three.
- Preschoolers understand contrast, such as small and smaller and simple time concepts. They can typically repeat sentences as long as nine words and talk about activities as they participate.
- Preschoolers feel pride in their accomplishments, understand concepts of right and wrong, and can accept responsibility.
- Preschoolers want to please the teacher and respond to simple do’s and don’ts that are imposed by authority.
- As their speech becomes more social and less egocentric they begin to prefer to play and compete with other children.
- They will participate in organized games but may believe that rules can be changed.
If you are substituting in an elementary classroom…
- Elementary school age groups will have a full range of curriculum or content.
- You will most likely be teaching math, reading, science and social studies to this age group.
- Elementary age students are able to understand concrete operations and reversibility in math such as 3+4 = 7 and 7-4 = 3.
- They have an increasing ability to think and learn abstractly.
- They are interested in how things work and how things are put together and have lots of ideas that they like to explain.
- They begin to relate more to the subject matter rather than to the teacher as they actively receive factual information.
- They like logic, organization and memorization. Elementary school students need structure and like expected activities.
- They need guidance as they develop ideas, opinions, and attitudes, and can be sensitive to comments from others.
- Socially, elementary students relate to their peers and can usually move easily from free play to interactions that require teamwork.
- They are better able to sit quietly and listen during classroom instruction.
- The beginning stages of puberty are entered and romantic relationships are mimicked.
- They love to play and use physical activities to develop gross and fine motor skills.
Now that you have learned more about different aspect of the pre-school and elementary school classrooms, check out our blog section for the article on middle school and high school classrooms as well. To learn more, set up a product demonstration for the Virtual Substitute Training program to learn how your substitute teachers can be better prepared for the challenges of working with various age groups.