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What Substitute Teaching Responsibilities Should You Expect?

Deciding to take up the role of a substitute teacher means you are willing to handle the responsibilities that come with it, to the best of your abilities. A substitute teacher is more important than most people may recognize. Within the short period you will spend with students you can make meaningful contributions to their lives, depending on how you handle your responsibilities. But what are the substitute teaching responsibilities you should expect to fulfill? Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Arrive on time and check-in properly.
  • Report directly to the main office and obtain a substitute folder with relevant documents.
  • Get familiar with rules and regulations that apply to students and staff. 
  • Find out about the activities you are expected to participate in as a substitute teacher, including duties related to homeroom, lunchroom, playground, and others.
  • Become familiar with rules and regulations for crisis management and fire and disaster drills.
  • Record and submit student attendance and lunch count according to the directions provided.
  • Follow the lesson plans of the regular teacher (contact the main office immediately if you are unable to find the teacher’s lesson plans). 
  • Teach what is contained in the teacher’s lesson plan and keep students busy with the subject matter for the entire period. 
  • Maintain professionalism in all interactions with students and staff.
  • Follow the set discipline procedures as listed in the relevant folders.
  • Report any accidents. 
  • Encourage students showing symptoms of a disease or illness to report to the nurse’s office.
  • Be responsible for all equipment while on duty and report any damage or loss as soon as possible.
  • Complete the substitute feedback form and place with teacher notes before leaving.
  • Leave the classroom in order, close windows, lock the classroom door, and return keys to the main office.
  • Maintain good communication with the regular teacher and the main office to ensure students’ continuity of learning.

As a substitute teacher, you may not spend a lot of time with students, but you should make the time you spend with them count. The best way to do that is to perform your substitute teaching responsibilities diligently.