APPENDIX A - POWER TRICKS
These power tricks are to be used for classes that are hard to control. These are proven show-stoppers that motivate students to behave themselves.
MEET TROUBLEMAKERS FACE-TO-FACE
If you ignore the troublemakers, they very rarely go away. One effective way to deal with troublemakers is to pick them out of the crowd and "expose" them (that is, let it be known that you will be watching them). This is tricky, as an exposed troublemaker can sometimes be a bigger problem than an invisible troublemaker.
A second, more straightforward method of dealing with a troublemaker is to get them out of your classroom. This can be done with a referral, or alerting the security personnel, depending on how big of a troublemaker the student becomes. Experience will dictate the best method of discipline.
DO STUDENTS' HOMEWORK IN CLASS
Do Students' homework in class? Yes, on the chalkboard !! Try to get students to help you. Even if there is no help from the students, the solved homework assignment is still put on the chalkboard. This will mean that completing the homework assignment is as easy as copying it from the chalkboard. The students who know the material will help solve the problems on the chalkboard: both the students who don't know the material and the troublemakers will copy from the chalkboard. If they copy from the chalkboard, these troublesome students will keep quiet. When doing students' homework in class, everyone will be quiet, some of the students will learn, and your day will be an easy one.
WRITE LOADED REFERRALS
This is an effective method of discipline for a class with more than its share of troublemakers. Referrals are usually kept in the folder given to the Substitute, or the absent Teacher's Desk. After these forms are filled out, a copy often goes to the student's parents. This can be a scary proposition for a student. The proper use of this method is to complete the referral except for the student's name. For "REASON FOR REFERRAL", simply write "Continued disobedience of a Substitute Teacher". Tell the entire class of your behavior expectations at the beginning of class. Tell them that students not meeting these expectations will be given the referral, complete with the disruptive student's name written on it. This usually calms the troublemakers. If it doesn't, use the referral.
PERMIT A PRIVILEGE AND THREATEN TO TAKE IT AWAY
This is a back-handed method of controlling a class. You give the class a privilege that they don't normally get, and instruct them that the privilege will be allowed, as long as the class obeys your classroom rules. Examples of these privileges are: sitting outside in the sun, working together, turning on the radio, etc.
IMPLEMENT SOUND EFFECTS
Everyone enjoys this technique for reading poems, or stories. Take apart a poem and write a "sound script". Have students supply sound for the different moods of the poem. Not only will students enjoy reading poems more, but they will look forward to reading poems in the future. Some students will even script the next poem for you.
HAVE STUDENTS DISCIPLINE EACH OTHER
This is an ingenious trick that works best with young students. Divide the class into groups, and offer a reward for the best behaved group. This diverts any hostility away from you, the Substitute Teacher, and gets the students actively disciplining each other. Rewards for the groups are, for instance: Using the computer first, being able to line up first for lunch, being able to choose their own team's activity for P.E., etc. The first student in the class can tell you the classroom's most desired reward.
LOOK LIKE A COP
This method is one of the most effective means of controlling a classroom. Men who are six foot four inches tall, with a moustache, strong chin, muscular build and sporting a pair of sunglasses have a way of maintaining control of a classroom with little or no effort. Unfortunately, some of these traits are possible only through heredity, and in fact, not obtainable for Substitute Teachers as a whole.
ASSIGN BUSY WORK
"Busy work" is meant for one thing: to keep the students occupied, until the absent teacher returns. Busy work can be a lifesaver. Even if everything else goes wrong, and you are left with a large classroom of students, no lesson plans, no idea of the subject to be taught, and a very large headache, you still have puzzle worksheets to hand out and keep the students quiet. Then you can go home, take two aspirin, regroup, and wait for your next assignment the next day.
OWN THE BOOK OF QUESTIONS
This is a proven Power Trick. THE BOOK OF QUESTIONS, written by Gregory Stock, Ph.D., contains questions about life, morals, ethics, and asks questions that most students have never asked before. While questions should be edited for schools, you will find that students are intrigued by these questions, and are eager to behave so that more questions may be asked.
Learn not only the student classroom material, but devote some time to analyze your teaching strategy. Try different teaching methods, and compare their effectiveness. Learn as a Substitute Teacher. The position does get easier with experience, but only if you learn from your failures and successes.
IF A STUDENT SAYS THAT THEIR REGULAR TEACHER "LETS US", ASSUME THE OPPOSITE
This is a popular phrase used by students looking to take advantage of Substitute Teachers. It is also the first statement that students will deny they ever made if confronted by School Administration. Instead, the accused student will point at the Substitute Teacher and claim, "Well, the Substitute Teacher let me do it!" Even if their absent Teacher does allow the students to do this deed, you are not the absent Teacher. Your rules may be different, but this is your Ship, at least for today. Show the students that you understand the basics of substitute teaching by not allowing students to us this popular phrase against you.
Remember to have fun. There will be days when the class is a pleasure to teach, and you'll remember a funny story you heard in college. You'll tell the students, they'll laugh, and they will return to their work. After the class finishes their work, you trade jokes and stories for the rest of the class period. You will have days like this. Relax and enjoy them!
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