Archive for Goals

my new adventure: postaweek2011

Hello Friends,

In light of the new year and my encouragement to choose your own [maybe even new] adventure, I’ve decided to try posting every week in 2011!

[[I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog at least once a week for all of 2011 as encouraged by The DailyPost ]]

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way. Share it with friends & pass it along.

your savvy substitute,

miss miller


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“Having a sub is fun!”

I had two stand-out moments today that renewed my love for teaching, yes even substitute teaching. As students were packing up for dismissal, one little boy exclaimed, “Having a sub is fun!” and then he proceeded to melt my heart even  more by saying, “I love you.”

Now as heartwarming as that moment was, it made me stop and think about how much of an impact we can truly make on students — even when we are just a day-to-day sub.

And to affirm that enlightened thought, I ran into one of my students that I had taught last year [during a one-month long-term substitute position]. His smile grew large as he saw me and he began running down the hall, arms open, bracing for a big hug. “MISS MEEEEELER! [He has the cutest way of pronouncing my name.] I MISS YOU!”

Wow, it is true — I am really making an impact on these kids — even as a sub.

So my challenge is this:

we may not be able to change our circumstances,
but we can certainly change our attitude.

Subbing may not be the most rewarding job, but it does come with a wealth to gain and to give. You do not always realize the impact that are making, the life you are changing — even in the smallest smile or encouraging word you give. Make the most of each day by searching for the positive and realizing that as small as it may be, you have the capacity to make a difference in the life of a child!

Happy Monday!

miss miller


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Qualities of a Successful Substitute

This morning I had the privilege of meeting with Ms. Elaine Settelmaier, the director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at a local school district, to discuss substituting for the 2010-2011 school year. We had a wonderful conversation, discussing everything from data driven instruction to the stereotypes of rural, urban, and suburban schools. I left feeling refreshed & rejuvinated for the new school year as well as thankful to be in the company of such an outstanding educator. I’m really looking forward to learning as much as I can from my experiences as a substitute within her district.

Recognizing the importance of gaining from the wisdom of such expert teachers, I asked Ms. Settlemaier what she believed to be important qualities of a successful substitute and this is what she had to share:

Enjoy children, even the challenges they may offer you

Build relationships with students and adult colleagues alike

Make it personal — share about yourself

Let students know why you love to teach

Find ways to show that you are happy to be at school

Be prepared

Know how to handle disciple issues before they occur

Formulate a philosophy of education & emulate it

Wow — there is so much truth to those statements! I had posted earlier about the importance of goal setting and I find these nuggets of advice to be helpful with just that! Whether it is sprucing up your philosophy of education (or substitute teaching for that matter) or simply finding a way to be positive about subbing — this wisdom should be applied to our every day teaching!

miss miller

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Goal Setting 101

For a substitute teacher, there is plenty to ready besides stuffing your bag with the must have items for school. In fact, getting your essentials in order is just a small part of the preparation.

It reminds me of a noteworthy quote that I’m sure you can recall:

“The game [of golf] is 10% physical; 90% mental.”
– Jack Nicklaus

I believe that the same holds true for those who substitute teach. Our job is rigorous and demanding physically, but it takes even more mental stamina to get through the day, positively.

I’m a firm believer in goal setting. In fact, I think that setting goals can build and strengthen that mental stamina, especially for substitute teachers. It is easy to get bogged down in the mundane, day to day, in and out, nomadic life of a sub. However, if you can create a list of things you want to accomplish each day or during your time as a substitute, I believe it can really put a positive spin on each an every day.

  • Start by listing some things that could make your day brighter, go more smoothly, create some fun/adventure while you sub.
  • Add things that you would like to accomplish in your career & things that  can help further you in your path to pursue a job.
  • Ask yourself how can you take advantage of your job as a substitute teacher& what can you learn from this experience.

Once these thoughts are jotted down, begin to formulate a set of goals for the year. Here are some suggestions: get involved in the school community through volunteering, commit to journaling positive experiences & good ideas, work to build strong relationships with building principals, achieve a set number of observations & letter of reccomendations, attend professional development workshops, be better prepared with materials & ideas for down time while teaching.

I hope that by completing a list of goals, you will be able to find fulfillment in your day to day and that you can find a bit of sunshine peaking through the often times cloudy days of subbing.

miss miller

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A Renewed Outlook

As the new school year quickly approaches and summer begins to say it’s farewells, it is hard to avoid the dread that surrounds the first sounds of school bells…

Here we go again, another year of the unpredictability of substitute teaching.”

At least those were my first thoughts as I quickly grasped the reality of my future this fall: another year of substitute teaching.

Now don’t get me wrong, there were many things that I loved about substitute teaching last year: the ability to strengthen my skills as a teacher, the chance to get a taste of the wealth of good teaching ideas, building relationships with exceptional educators, and the flexibility of my schedule.

I believe that those pros are only the tip of the ice berg of the wealth of learning opportunities that substitute teaching offers. And that is why this blog was created:

to equip substitute teachers with the ability to perform their job at a superior level, to inspire substitute teachers to set goals and reach them, and to encourage substitute teachers to value their role in the educational world.

So here is to a brand new school year — May it be one full of renewed hope, strength, and perseverance as you live out your life as a daily substitute!

miss miller

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