In Sean Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens the first habit is all about being proactive in situations. This habit is also essential for substitute teachers. One of the best ways substitute teachers can be proactive with classroom management is to greet students warmly at the door and then direct them to a starter activity.
Greeting students at the door serves two purposes. First, when substitute teachers stand in the doorway and are welcoming and inviting, it gives an immediate first impression of professionalism; this gesture lets students know in a very non-threatening way that it will not be a wasted day. Second, by greeting students at the door it gives you the chance to direct students to the starter activity. Students who are on task are less likely to behave inappropriately. It’s important as a substitute teacher to get students on task immediately.
When you’re in the classroom, give this strategy a try. Greet students at the door, then direct them to a starter activity. Here’s how one teacher does that: