CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 20. . . .February 3, 2017
Substitute Teaching? Everything You Need to Get Students on Your Side and Teach Them Too! Ready-To-Use Tools, Tips, and Lesson Ideas for Every Grade From K-8.
Markham, ON: Pembroke Publishing, 2016.
160 pp., trade pbk. & pdf, $24.95 (pbk.), $21.95 (pdf).
ISBN 978-1-55138-312-5 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55138-914-1 (pdf).
Education, Elementary-Activity programs.
Early childhood education-Activity programs.
Professional: Kindergarten-grade 8.
Review by Kelsey Sukich.
A lot of Grade 5 kids want to help. It is in their blood to help teachers, smaller children, and animals. If you just let them help you out, you would make their life worth living. The great thing about this is that they are actually helpful. Collating papers, cleaning blackboards, preparing art lessons, washing your car – they will do it all! Of course, it isn’t always done as well as you would have done it but, hey, it’s done – even if sometimes page 7 comes before page 5.
Are you a substitute teacher who has felt like you have been in a class full of Bart Simpson-like students or have felt like you have been on an episode of Mr. D? Have you found thumb tacks on your chair or pulled spit balls out of your hair? Whether or not these happenings relate to your experience in teaching, Amanda Yuill prepares the substitute teacher (and experienced and new teachers) with suggestions on how to make teaching enjoyable, how to deal with typical problems encountered at various grade levels, what to have on hand, as well as what to expect (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and what to do about it.
From kindergarten to grade-eight students, Yuill provides descriptions of what students are like physically, socially, and academically at each grade level. This is extremely helpful when going to teach a grade level that a teacher has not yet taught. For example, when going to teach a grade two class, Yuill suggests to: “Be sure to have lots of tissues. Grade 2 kids have issues with friends – a lot. It’s like a regular soap opera if you allow them to tell you the whole story.” Day plans, along with reproducible pages (including answer keys), and extra activities are provided. Yuill also has an accompanying website and includes numerous websites and books as part of her recommended resources in Substitute Teaching?.
Have you been asked to teach a French, music, physical education, library or other specialized class that you have never taught before? Don’t despair! Yuill has you covered with her tips and lesson plans. However, it is worth noting that there are a couple of spelling errors (e.g., on pages 128 and 129: “Comment t’appelle-tu?” should be “Comment t’appelles-tu?”; there is an extra “l” in “Je m’appellle”; “Oui, ca va, et tu?” should be “Oui, ça va, et toi?”; “crème glacee” should be “crème glacée”).
Throughout Substitute Teaching?, Yuill shares stories from her many years of experience in teaching since 1997. From teaching in Japan, to teaching full-time, to having a career as a substitute teacher, Yuill’s diverse teaching experiences provide a sound basis for the teaching ideas and classroom management techniques presented throughout her book.
While Yuill shares her style of teaching, she encourages the reader to find their own style of teaching (especially if some of the ideas in her bag of tricks, such as telling gross facts and ghost stories, are not something the reader is comfortable doing).
Whether you are a substitute teacher, new teacher, or an experienced teacher, there is something for you in this book. Yuill’s humourous style of writing will keep you entertained and wanting more!
Kelsey Sukich is a grade-two French-immersion teacher (and a former substitute teacher) at École Rivière Rouge in the Seven Oaks School Division in Winnipeg, MB.
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