Teachers need to have substitutes ('subs') when they are out sick, at a conference, asked to attend to other school business, and the like. Although there are times you might like to have a 'sub cam' to see what went on while you were gone, asking students to reflect on their time with a sub using learning logs is another (and less expensive) option. This article shares some prompts that you can use to access students' perceptions of 'what really went on while you were gone.'
Note: When I use these in classrooms, I specially created sheets (more info below) that I hand out to the students and they write their responses right on the sheets so they can be easily collected. Certainly the prompt can also be written up on the board and the students can respond on their own paper.
- Yes, I do deserve your applause for the way I behaved when the substitute was here. These are the reasons:
- I think I deserve a certificate for my behavior while the substitute was here. Let me tell you why.
- We were really cookin' while the substitute was here. These are some of the things we did and some of what I learned:
- If a tape recorder had been on today and I had been wearing the microphone, this is what you would hear when you listened to the tape.
- We are sorry that you were sick yesterday. Here are some things that you should know about how the day went while you were gone:
- I don't mean to "crow" about my behavior while the substitute was here, but you should know that this is how I think I behaved:
- A video of today's class would show me in the following scenes....
- If you had a video or DVD of class while you were gone, here is what you would see me doing:
- If a movie camera had been running in this classroom while you were gone, here is what it would have shown(featuring me!):
- I am sorry to say that I was a turkey while the substitute was here. Let me tell you about the things that I did that you would not be pleased with and then I will tell you how I will behave differently the next time we have a substitute.
- When the substitute was here, I needed to zip my lip. Next time, we have a substitute, here is my plan for being quieter:
- I think the substitute deserves an apple for the good teaching that s/he did. Here is my assessment of how the day went.
Students are amazingly honest. I have always gotten responses that let me know what was happening while I was gone. You will, too.
And if you would like to access 50 full-color learning logs for subs that you can copy or print out for your students, then just go to Pumpernickel Publishing and you'll see it available there, along with numerous free resources.
You may also want to access the resources to use as you endeavor to build students' vocabulary, including PowerPoints, PDFs, and Word documents, by going to Owning Words For Literacy and you can click on the downloads tab.
(c) 2009 by Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D., "The Ph.D. of Productivity"(tm). Through her company, Emphasis on Excellence, Inc., Meggin McIntosh changes what people know, feel, dream, and do. Sound interesting? It is!