WELL, heeelloooooo to the good people of education curious enough to read this little, ol’ substitute’s blog! 🤗🤗🤗 I HOPE readers are wondering why I would dedicate blogs, articles and energy to this underappreciated profession. Why explain and share my goals? Fair enough. Allow me to answer.
I am a former Character Education and College Prep teacher. I thoroughly enjoyed my career in education because no two days were ever alike. I didn’t want them to be alike. As a student, repetition was the bane of my classroom existence. It bred boredom which disrupted the students’ attention (me) which resulted in crappy learning. As a teacher, I detested a boring classroom and did what I could to keep the energy up. In my reincarnation as a substitute teacher, I’ve adapted my perspective to fit my responsibilities. I can’t set the settings for activities and an atmosphere that I once loved but I sincerely appreciate opening as a substitute with ice breaking adventures. The MAIN advantage of these ice breaking adventures is that I develop some semblance of a relationship with students. It makes conducting the substitute lesson plan much easier. Regardless of academic level, socio-economic status, racial identification, etc., students push back on their work, quizzes, tests, movies and assigned co-teacher. These ice breakers help to establish boundaries and earn respect.
3 Truths, 1 Lie
This classic game was used in my elementary classrooms. I used it to guide my classroom towards a particular subject by adapting my personal stories to the student audience. Tougher audiences received rougher stories. It is quite normal for students to wish to share as well. I tell four personal stories and allow students to guess which story is a lie.
Mind Puzzles & Brain Teasers
I like to split students into groups for this activity. Actually, I prefer to hold these up while students are working in small groups. I’ll give the class a 3min timer to solve any of the 10 puzzles/teasers. If a group solves one, I help them work out ANY problem that was assigned and allow the entire class to hear/copy. You would be amazed how quietly students work for those answers! After a 3min timer, students have to work 10-15min before I show the puzzles/teasers again. 😉
Brain Based Learning
This is an assortment of learning, drawing and culminates with a 32 question quiz over brain hemispheres. Throughout the lesson, we touch on short vs. long term memory, 3 ways to remember and where emotions are stored. This lesson is a 2-day activity that I can shrink to one day.
My Favorite Analogies
° Printer Paper
° Island and wood chopping
Each of these analogies comes with specific story and students draw along with me as I talk. The printer paper analogy compares self-talk and peer talk to individual self-image. The island analogy is about studying. It compares the ease you hold information by studying to chopping the same path through a forest. The last is the Rhino analogy. It compares students’ mentality to the behavior of a rhino.
Learning Styles Test
Another classic, student centered activity that can be completed within a class period. I keep my test scaled down to visual, auditory and kinesthetic but I leave students with examples of strengths and weaknesses for each.
I have a list of songs, considered student favorites, that offer opportunities for guided discussion. I provide kids with the lyrics first, a class discussion second, questions about the song third and finally we play it twice. Students are answering questions as they listen and discuss beats, lyrics, artists delivery, etc. At the conclusion, we have a final discussion.
O. M. G. I have jeopardy games out the WAZZU! Teams from 2-10. Subject material from school stuff to movies to sports to… Wait for it… Anime! 😂🤣😂🤣
Yoga and Meditation
As a staunch advocate of self-care and vintage remedies, I fully support yoga and meditation for pain, insomnia, exhaustion, and several other MS symptoms. In P.E. classes, I share basic yoga and meditation techniques that have entertained large grouls.
As a your substitute teacher for SUPER TEACHERS & READY STUDENTS, I want educators and administration confident in my abilities to communicate with their students. Adaptability is my strong skill and I am ready to help!
Kendrick Avant, M.Ed