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Hello, new sub ready for plucking...


New Member
I recently received my teaching license and joined the local county sub list. In fact, this was completed today after my license arrived. I am ready to go, officially, but still have my "first timers" apprehension.

Let me fill in some background. I am a graduate of University of Alaska Anchorage with a BFA in painting and sculpture in 1996 and a "near" second degree in Education. Family complications led me to leave Anchorage prior to my completing the student teaching portion of my degree, thus it remains unfulfilled. I am looking into completion at the local universities here in Reno, but have now decided I should probably attempt subbing as it would introduce me into the world teachers face.

I have taught art extensively in the private sector, and for local bureaus of parks and recreation, but for the last 5 years I have worked as an artist for Trader Joe's. Phew...there you have it, my life in two paragraphs!

I feel i am partially prepared to teach, however I know my lack of experience in a public classroom will be blazing unless I strive to keep it at bay. I am aware of classroom management, however have yet to exercise it, as the classes I have taught in the past were art classes that kids chose to take.

I gather that one can be called to sub any class or age group. Here in NV, i signed up K-12 and have private sector teaching experience with all those ages, but only in art.

I just wanted to say hello to you all, and see if anyone had any tips or weblinks that might assist on my journey. I have just joined here and have been reading but i am certain I will have much more studying to do!!

Thanks in advance for your help and support.


Senior Member

This may not be the first message you want to hear but Trader Joe's artwork is outstanding!! You should be able to use your talent in a fun way in the classroom once you get comfortable. I'm going to leave the advice to the other posters; they will give you quite a lot of good information!


Senior Member

If you get an elementary position first, have fun with the kids while trying to teach the lessons and keep the kids on track. Those are the busiest days. Usually easier than high school or jr. high to teach.
6th grade through freshman, it's more crowd control. I try to be firm, but fair. Try not to let the kids out of the room. They had time to go to the rest room between classes. If the teacher had an assignment and they say it's for homework, make the kids finish it in class. They should have plenty of time. I have made the kids work quietly for the first half of the class, then give them a chance to work with a partner, only if they were quiet. If it's a movie, tell them you will be taking up their notes at the end of class. Movies at this age are the worse things to have a sub do. The goal is to keep the kids quiet and for the most part in their seats. Quiet is more whispering or soft voices, not stone cold silence.
Older students are easier to work with. Again, whatever the assignment, I make do at the end of the class period. Both students and teachers appreciate that. I let them work in groups, rarely having to remind them to work, and if they are done with time left over, they can visit. Some will ask to go get more work and usually I let them.
For me, younger kids are more enjoyable, but older kids makes an easier day.
What ever the grade, you might want to take a book or your knitting. Our high school teachers have 2 planning periods a day. (My last school I had my own classroom we got 3 planning periods a week!) When you are the sub, there is nothing to do.


New Member
Thanks for the TJ compliment!

I can't agree more! TJ's hires some very talented people to do their artwork. Tis fun, as it represents one of the few art jobs out there that actually hires for "live" artwork, not computer generated.


New Member
Thanks for the help!

This post was probably a bit premature as I just got on the list and still have orientation to do, but I felt why not get my arsenal o' tips ready to go.

I love your definition of quiet...best we can hope for i imagine!



Senior Member
you will do fine!

i was a naturalist for a year at a local park some years ago...while people came to hear my talks on their own, I had to learn to keep their interest and keep them organized....so your experience will be far handier than you might expect!