How to Be Successful in an Interim Leadership position as a Substitute Teacher
“just because the position may not be permanent doesn’t mean your impact can’t be”
Substitute teachers are good examples of interim leaders. They are given the task of minding the class while the teacher is absent. Sometimes, being in a temporary position can leave you feeling powerless in fear of unbalancing the system. You might feel as though you are just expected to put in a video and keep the students quiet. Although this temporary assignment may make you feel ineffective, you are provided with the same opportunities to make an impact as any other teacher.
Being a substitute teacher certainly comes with its challenges, such as breaking the stigma that you hold no authority or fighting the resistance of those who don’t see you as a leader. These challenges can hinder your strive for impact, but understanding your role and expectations as an interim leader can help you navigate the boundaries placed in front of you. By following a few simple tips, you can become more successful in making an impact for yourself and others.
Tip 1: Understand the situation you are walking in to.
By taking the time to familiarize yourself with your upcoming substitute assignment you can gain a better understanding of how to handle it. For example, by spending some time thinking about the age group that you will be working with you are able to engage the classroom using techniques that are appropriate for that age group. Younger children many times do better with interaction. Read them stories and use props or pictures to engage them. Older students may rather play a game like Jeopardy that ties into the subject area for the day. For even more tips on working with different age groups, check out this blog!
Tip 2: Challenge yourself
When becoming a substitute teacher, you will often have to adapt to your surroundings. Sometimes giving up your assumptions and beliefs of what will be effective will help you become better suited to the situation. Don’t be afraid to challenge the expectations with fun and new ideas within your position. By showing yourself and the ones around you how flexible a person can be in any situation, you are sending a small message that can have great impact.
Tip 3: Organize your strengths and weaknesses
As a substitute, analyzing what your strengths and weaknesses are can benefit you greatly. By utilizing your particular strengths, you can bring new flavor to the classroom mix. New ideas and tips can give the classroom a fresh feel and give students a new perspective.
Tip 4: Clarify, Clarify, Clarify
As a leader in the classroom, you should be informed of any expectations you are to uphold during your time in the classroom. You should also be sure to inform your classroom of what you expect of them, and what they should expect of you. This breaks the stigma that students can misbehave when being watched by a substitute. At the end of the day write a briefing to the teacher on things you completed and how the class behaved. The teacher may even be able to use the briefing as a model of how to handle certain situations that you may have handled well.
Being successful in the classroom means that not only are you making an impact in your career, but you are also making an impact in the classroom. By using these tips to engage yourself with your students, can earn you a spot as a well-respected leader in the classroom, opening more opportunities for impact among the school.
Where there is success, there is also the Virtual Substitute Teacher Training. The most effective program in substitute training. Our program is designed specifically to prepare substitutes for the challenges of being in a classroom. Not only do we efficiently prepare substitutes but we make it convenient and easy with our online program. Contact a sales representative or visit our website to learn more about how we can make an impact!
Check out the article that inspired us!