Attendance and the Morning Routine for Substitute Teacher
Routine is very important for younger children. A change in routine immediately increases classroom instability, and instability is not what a sub wants early in the day.
If you decide to modify the morning routine, tell the children that you will try to do things the right way, but sometimes you may change things “just a little.” Ask them if that is okay and solicit their help in teaching you the normal procedure. They may feel a bit uneasy, but your request for help will make them feel like “big shots.” Before long, smiles will begin to appear and the whole class will be on your side! You’re working together as a team.
What’s the Best Way to Take Attendance?
Taking attendance can be a real struggle because you don’t know the students’ names, and it is your very first opportunity to look incompetent. The teacher’s plans should tell you how attendance is accomplished in this classroom, but often you’re given no guidance. If your school uses attendance folders or notebooks, they will likely be on the teacher’s desk or in the teacher’s mailbox, in or near the school office.
The best way to be sure you get it right is to ask a special helper to assist you with this task. Choose a child who seems to be quiet and well-behaved. He or she can actually take attendance for you as the children arrive or just tell you who is absent. I have found this to be the most effective method when you don’t know the names of the children.
If you decide to call out each child’s name, be careful. If you mispronounce a name, it can be potentially disruptive, causing laughter and embarrassment for you and the student. If you have any doubt, ask the student (addressing him or her using the first name and last initial) to clarify the proper pronunciation.
Lunch count is usually part of the morning routine. Be sure to have your special helper do this record keeping as well.
Many school systems have gone to computerized record keeping. Check with office staff or with a grade-level partner in order to be consistent when performing computerized record keeping for attendance.
If you’re subbing in a middle school or high school, attendance is taken in the homeroom before students proceed to their first period classes. In this situation, simply polling the students by name is all that is required. Alternatively, you can ask one responsible student to tell you who is absent that day.
Washington Virtual Academies
Tuition-free online school for Washington students.
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Child Development Theories
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Social Cognitive Theory
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- The Homework Debate
- Problems With Standardized Testing