But it’s not how Sister Stefanie does it! Preparing Preschoolers for a Substitute Teacher

I am attending meetings in Erie, PA at Mount St. Benedict Monastery today and tomorrow to prepare for a gathering of the Benedictine Sisters under 55 (there’s a photo at the end of this post). I love this group of Benedictines and have been looking forward to helping get ready for the gathering. I know my students are not as happy.

Preschoolers are creatures of habit. They like things to stay the same! So my challenge yesterday was to help them prepare for 2 days of different.

First, I let them would be absent, and that another teacher would be with them. I told them who the sub would be, and helped them remember where they may of seen her before.

Then we talked about how everyone does things differently. Jason builds different structures with the blocks than Ellie does. Claire likes to read Franklin the Turtle books and Russell likes to read Thomas the Train.

The lesson? The sub will do things differently than I do and that that is okay. I ask the students to please not tell the sub, It’s not how Sr. Stefanie does it.

Finally, I tell the students why I will be gone, and when I will be back. I tell them I look forward to returning to them.

The children ask, What won’t change while you’re gone? I explain that Teacher Associate Mrs. Sierra will still be there, along with Mrs. Neece, our secretary, and Mrs. Vander Vennet, our principal. I assure them I will miss them and look forward to seeing them when I get back.

Preschool children tend to get anxious when they don’t understand something (don’t we all!). My strategy is to prepare them well. If you have other tips for preparing kids for a sub, please share them!

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