Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Little Bit of Background...

Hi!  I just wanted to give a little bit of background info about myself, and my goals for this blog.

Who I Am:
As my bio states, I am a substitute teacher about to begin my third year in the classroom.  I am also working on my teacher certification.  Like many, I’ve been applying to different school districts for the last couple of years but, unfortunately, I’ve yet to get hired as a full-time teacher.

I haven’t given up hope, though!  I am genuinely excited to be in the classroom teaching everyday, so I know this is the career path for me.  I’m learning and growing each time I step into the classroom, and I’m convinced that it will pay off soon.

I suppose I should note that I intend to work in the elementary/middle school age in Reading and English Language Arts, and that tends to be my area of focus when I’m looking for teaching ideas.  I will, however, strive to be more inclusive on this blog.

Why I Started This Blog:
I chose to start a teaching blog because I wanted something with a lot of resources on it for people like me.  I love finding lesson plan ideas, stories about teaching, advice for teachers and education news.  I thought, “Why not blog about it?”

Inspired by Kauai Mark's relatable stories, I knew that substitutes everywhere have some of the most interesting work experiences of any career.  Every day is an adventure! 

You may be thinking, “Wait a minute.  Who does she think she is?  How can she give teacher advice when she’s just a sub with two years of experience?”

You’re right!  I’m no expert.  Not to sound incompetent, but I often make mistakes.  But I also approach substituting as a learning experience.  I reflect, take notes, and work actively to improve.  I receive tips from others and research effective teaching methods (such as  Kids Can't Read: What Teachers Can Do: A Guide for Teachers 6-12 ).  I can see that I’m ten times better in the classroom now than I was on my first day.

The best thing about subbing, in my opinion, is that I get the chance to visit tons of classrooms and see what works and what doesn’t.  I can glean so much about how a teacher runs a classroom just by spending the day with the students.  By doing this every day, at least a couple of hundred times now, I learn how classrooms operate effectively and what problems hinder learning.  I get to grab ideas from many classrooms instead of just a few.  It’s made me a better substitute and, eventually, I think it will make me a great full-time teacher.

This blog is called “Substitutes, FTW!” because I try to substitute “for the win” each day.  Perhaps I can help other substitutes do that, too.  This site, however, is not just for subs.  It’s for any teachers and educators looking for tips, stories and ideas.

This isn’t a one-sided thing, either.  I’m here to learn, too!  Comment and tell me what you think, what you’ve experienced and any ideas you have.

I’m new at this, but I’ve tentatively decided on 5 different sections for this blog:

·      Top 5 Teaching Tips of the Week
This is a quick list compiled of different teaching resources.  This will include websites, ideas, helpful forum and blog posts, etc.
·      Ain’t Misbehavin’:  Classroom Management
This section is for what I find that’s a good example of what to do, or what NOT to do, in order to manage the classroom and behavior.
·      Made of Awesome:  Lesson Plan Ideas and Classroom Activities
Cool lesson plan ideas and classroom activities are my favorite things about teaching.  I think they make education so much more rewarding for both students and teachers, so I take my quest to find good ideas very seriously.  Whether it’s an emergency lesson plan, a quick learning-review game, a book that can be used for a lesson, or whatever… I’m on the hunt, and I’m going to share it with you all.  Please note, this section will NOT provide actual lesson plans.  I am not going to type up objectives and all the aspects included in a lesson plan.  It takes a lot of time, and I also think the specificity lesson plans require would inhibit flexibility.  These are lesson plan ideas, not entire lesson plans.  I will provide the basic idea and resources, and you can create your own complete lesson plan around it however you think would be the most beneficial for you and your students’ particular needs.
·      Education in the Media
This section will include mostly education news, but don’t be surprised if you also find a mention of films or TV shows dealing with this topic.
·      My Workday
This is where I detail my own day-to-day triumphs and defeats as a substitute.

In an effort to preserve anonymity, I use a pseudonym for this blog and I change some key details about my work experiences.  Nevertheless, 99% of what I will describe about my workdays is true.

I plan to update regularly.

The new school year is here!  I hope everyone is prepared and excited.

2010-2011, FTW!


Coming soon:
·      Thinking About Subbing?  Here’s What You Should Know
·      How To Make Emergency Lesson Plans
·      Lifesavers for When You Don’t Have Lesson Plans!


  1. Sounds like this will be interesting! I completed a substitute teaching program but never actually substituted. I merely succeeded in wasting my time, but such is life. I pray that you become a full-fledged teacher soon, you are clearly well on your way though.

  2. Thanks for the compliment. I'll check in on ya from time to time to see how you're doing!

    Good Luck with the job...and the blog.


  3. Thanks for the compliments, singswell!

    KauaiMark, I'll be looking forward to reading your future blog posts as well. The legend of Mr. Homework continues...