Guest Teachers Gain Vital Skills for Classroom Success

District 123 guest teachers meet in the OLHMS cafeteria for Guest Teacher Institute Day.

District 123 guest teachers meet in the OLHMS cafeteria for Guest Teacher Institute Day.

Guest teachers are more than just substitutes at District 123, so it’s important that they are equipped with the necessary tools and strategies to make for a successful day of learning when they fill-in for the classroom teacher.

District 123 hosted its second Guest Teacher Institute Day with a professional learning experience on Friday, Oct. 13 to provide guest teachers with tactics for effective classroom management.  

Guest teachers were introduced to ‘affective language’ and approaches to limit power struggles within the classroom. Having the confidence and ability to execute these skills is crucial in creating a positive environment conducive to learning for all students.

“We want the transition between a classroom’s regular teacher and a guest teacher to be as seamless as possible, and to do that effectively, it’s essential to provide our guest teachers with the best language and tools to engage with our students,” said Joseph Macchia, Assistant Superintendent. “It’s also important that we provide feedback opportunities for our guest teachers, so that they continue to feel welcome and know they are an essential part of our children’s learning journey and our overall district’s operations.”

During the presentation in the OLHMS cafeteria, guest teachers participated in a highly engaging presentation with three of the district’s instructional coaches. This interactive presentation and collegial conversation were based on their own experiences within the classroom and provided guest teachers with unique scenarios and effective strategies.

The way a classroom operates establishes a routine for the students, and when there’s someone new taking the reins, it can sometimes lead to disruptions. Effective classroom management coupled with strategies to avoid power struggles within the classroom is important to keep teaching and learning running smoothly.

Guest teachers were provided with strategies to give students choices, pivoting and shifting the conversation, while also reinforcing positive behaviors.

Through the participation in this professional development opportunity, the district’s guest teachers are better prepared for successful days in the classroom. The district will hold its next Guest Teacher Institute Day in February.

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