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Tips for Administrators and 'Subs'

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In the most recent issue of Tips for Principals, published by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, principals are asked to re-evaluate their substitute-teacher programs and consider such questions as: "How do you treat your substitute teachers? Do you treat them as last-minute babysitters? How do your students treat substitute teachers? Do your substitutes know anything about the school?"

The association makes the following recommendations for improving substitute programs:

Active recruitment of substitute teachers and interviews to "weed out incompetent teachers and sign up the cream of the crop."

The use of retired persons.

The provision of a packet of information that includes the school's floor plan; the school handbook explaining discipline policies, attendance policies, fire-drill procedures, and liability laws; and class schedules and lunch schedules.

At least 12-hours' notice for3substitutes.

Requiring regular teachers to leave an "easily administered" lesson plan and a seating chart. In case of lengthy absences, teachers also should be required to maintain a number of lesson plans on file in the administrator's office, the publication says.

A thorough evaluation of a substitute by the administrator who oversees the program and the regular teacher.

Importance of Preparation

Substitute teachers also can make their jobs easier by preparing in advance to meet the "challenges" of substituting, according to Geneva Cannon, a member of the Worcester County Board of Education in Snow Hill, Md., and author of "The Survival Guide for Substitute Teachers.''

If the school district does not routinely provide the type of guidance that nassp officials recommend, substitutes should demand such information, Ms. Cannon said.

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