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The Five Most Common Tips for Being a Successful Guest Teacher

As a guest teacher you bring enormous value each school district you choose to work in. Students only get 180 school days per year, which is why it’s so important that each student gets every bit of knowledge they can out of every school day. You provide knowledge, encouragement and inspiration all while serving as a role model for a new set of students each day. That’s why it’s so important to stay up to date with the industry’s best practices – to ensure you make every day a success.

We’ve scoured the internet, interviewed teachers, spoken to principals, and most importantly, aggregated feedback received by our most successful employees out in the field. Below are some of the most common things we’ve heard.

Arrive Early: What’s unique about being a guest teacher is that every day is a new class, school, or even a new school district. If you’re in an assignment that you haven’t worked before you’ll want to leave enough time to ensure you’re able to find parking, get to the main office, locate the classroom, and really, just get the lay of the land. This is one of the most critical components to setting yourself up for a successful day!

When You Assume: Well… you’ know the rest. In any profession assuming is generally not a good idea, but especially in teaching, it can lead to a very stressful day. Of course, teachers are encouraged to leave lesson plans and students are encouraged to behave, however as you well know, things don’t always go according to plan. Sometimes teachers have an unexpected absence, or students can get disruptive. Assuming that a teacher will leave clear and concise lesson plans to follow may prove to be an incorrect assumption, and frequently, when it rains it pours. Going into each day fresh without any preconceived notions of what to expect may be just what you need to prepare yourself. Additionally, when you walk into the classroom to realize there are no lesson plans, you’ll be thanking yourself that you showed up a little early and have time to prepare.

Communication is Key: It’s important to remember that you’re not alone! If you’re having difficulty it’s important that you communicate with either your fellow faculty, school administration, or both. It takes a village for a school to operate successfully on a daily basis, so there’s no need to bear the weight of the world on your shoulders. That’d be a surefire way to invite stress into your day. If you come across an issue, whether it be a missing resource, a disruptive student, or anything in between, let someone know, and we’re sure they’ll be happy to help.

Know Your Schedule: Regardless of who you’re substituting for and what type of position you’re working in there will likely be a schedule to follow. One of the most critical elements to success is routine. As a guest teacher it’s important that you, as well as the students, stick to their normal routine. Deviating from this may wind up resulting in frustrated students, and frustrated students lead to frustrated teachers! Additionally, break periods are there for a reason. We get lots of questions that revolve around what you should be doing during your break period. Spending the day with 30 kids can be difficult, trust us, we know! Use those break periods to unwind and clear your mind. Just make sure that you are unwinding in the designated area so that other faculty is aware this is your break period.

Utilize New and Cutting-Edge Strategies: While you’re in the classroom feel free to experiment with some of the leading new strategies and techniques that you’ve recently read up on. Get creative and do your best to ensure that the students you’re working with absorb every bit of knowledge they can for the day. Below are some websites that we’ve found that are great for you to keep an eye on for new styles and techniques that you can incorporate into your daily routine.

The above are the five focal points that we’ve seen, which will frequently lead to successful days both for you, and for the students. Additionally, we offer a free training seminar that is frequently conducted outside of school hours, so feel free to keep an eye here to see when there is one coming to a school near you. If making it to an in-person session is difficult given your schedule we also offer online training that you can take in your pajamas and at your own convenience.Feel free to reach out to us at (856) 406-6015 or email us at and we’ll be able to set you up with the online training.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned as we continue to expand our online presence!