Information for Substitutes on Management & Behavior
In my Substitute Teacher Notebook I include a page on management
and behavior. I have found this to be pretty important information
for substitute teachers who are not familiar with teaching in
such an environment. Below is a copy of that page.
Management & Behavior
I have 3 rules that students must abide by.
- Be Responsible
- Be Respectful
- Be Curious
Most if not all student behavior can be categorized under these
In my classroom I teach the following Learner Characteristics
that I strive to have all the students exhibit:
- Thoughtful and Knowledgeable
- Self-Confident (risk-taker)
- Resourceful and Organized
- Industrious and Persistent
- Independent (the capacity to manage one's own affairs, make
one's own judgments, and provide for oneself)
In addition, I have broken the Independent Learner Characteristic
into the following traits:
- Work quietly so that others will not be distracted.
- Take care of materials in the room. Put them away when you
- Know when and where to get help and materials.
- Respond to the signal to stop, look, and listen.
- Work in the proper place.
- Follow directions for the area where you are working.
- Keep your records and portfolios up to date.
- When you finish one activity go directly to your next activity.
- Focus on your work.
- Turn your homework in consistently.
Depending on which time of the year you are substituting for
me, some or all of these Learner Characteristics and Independent
Traits have been taught. I have spent considerable time during
the first weeks of school on the"3 Be's," or rules
listed at the top and you should expect students to act accordingly.
Consequences for Misbehavior
If students choose to misbehave my consequences have been
as follows (depending on the misbehavior):
- Student fills out a Problem-solving form. These are found
near the hallway door.
- The student looses part or all of their recess and spends
the time quietly seated with their head down on the table.
- The student is given a sort of mini time-out in which they
put their head down for a short period of time and are not allowed
to participate in the current activity.
- The student is given an assigned seat for a certain portion
of the day.
- The student is given time-out in another classroom (currently
we use Ms. X's and Mrs. Y's classrooms for this)
The consequence given depends on the infraction and should be
considered appropriate. I usually also give a student a reminder
as a warning if they begin to act inappropriately. Feel free
to modify this system, change it, or use your own system if you
find mine doesn't work for you. Just be sure to spell out the
changes to the students first.
Feel free to write out Cheetah Pride awards for individual
students you see doing an exceptional job during any part of
the day. If you're not sure of the procedure, ask a student,
they'll be more than happy to help. In addition, if you wish
to use some of the time after the last recess for a whole class
reward, feel free to do so. It could be a class game, a special
story you would like to read to them, or something of your own
Stop, Look, & Listen Signal
Hanging from the middle of the whiteboard is a small brass
bell. Ring this when you need to get the whole class's attention.
They should all stop what they are doing, look at you, and listen
to what you are saying quietly. If not, give them one more chance
and if there is still a problem have the few individuals with
the problem, or entire class if necessary, put their heads down
for a few quiet minutes. After that you should have no more problems.
Student Noise Levels
Use the "Noise Meter"
at the front of the class to indicate at what level students
are permitted to talk. A "3", or "Classroom Voice,"
is one in which students can hear each other between tables but
not necessarily across the room. A "2", or "Table
Voice," is one in which students can hear each other at
the same table but not necessarily between tables. A "1,"
or "Buddy Voice," is one in which students may whisper
to one another. A "0," or "No Voice," is
exactly that, no talking. When you have the class at "Zero
Voices" you may want to play some quiet music from the cassette
tape deck, it is at your discretion.
Unless given an assigned seat (as with math), students may
sit at any table or desk (except the teacher's desk or the computer
desks). Of course sometimes students will need to change places
in the room in order for certain work groups to meet.