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New sub


New Member
Hi everyone. I am a new sub just out of college with a degree in music education.

My first job starts tomorrow. It is a 2 day gig at a medium/low SES suburban middle school. I'm a little bit nervous after substitute orientation, what with all the discussion on things to do when plans aren't left and such as that. I will be in a middle school chorus/vocal classroom and even though I studied it at school for four years I still feel nervous as to what I would be expected to do in the absense of detailed plans.

Does anyone have real-world advice for a young and new substitute as to what to expect, things to bring, etc. for this age group and classroom? Looking forward to reading more in this community.

South Fla.



Go figure, I am also a young male sub in South Florida. I've done it since August 2005, and it has gone very well 80% of the time. There are some truly great teachers/students out there. However, making sure the day is productive is your priority, especially in middle school. Don't let them disrespect you, b/c if they do it once, they'll do it again. But if you are able to survive the bad days without wanting to go crazy or quit, than you will be fine. Make the students know that you are boss and that all behavior will be both rewarded and punished accordingly.
For middle school, you are not really expected to "teach" the subject. I am sure that the teacher will probably leave you vague lesson plans, thus assuming you know nothing about music. Frankly, I doubt that you are going to have a real lesson assigned to you, especially for music. More likely than not, your day will be handing out a worksheet and just trying to control behavior. On the bright side, most students who are in band enjoy the subject so behavior shouldn't be a major issue, unlike in the core subject classes.
Good luck with subbing. Good days definitely outnumber the bad days.


Junior Member
Good luck

I remember being very nervous on my first subbing job. Especially subbing in the older graders. I heard all the bad stories about students messing around. The other person was right in saying the first day, let them know that you are in charge and that you will not allow misbehavior. I made the mistake my first day of letting students get away with a few things and they just loved that. Now I am subbing at a different school and right away I let them know I was in charge and there would be consequenses.

I have also had where the teacher doesn't leave good notes, or no notes at all. You just have to do your best. Most the time other teachers can be very helpful and students can be to if you know that you can trust them. Most teachers who have planned absences will leave great notes and a lot of teachers in case they happen to be gone have lesson plans made up.

The first day that you are finished you feel a lot better and more confident. Maybe even if you sub for that teacher more she will know that you have a degree in music and leave you more lesson plans that will have you teaching. Good luck and you will do great.


Full Member
Good Luck!

I'm sure you'll be fine. Nerves always make the first day much scarier then it has to be.

Let us know how it goes,