• Literacy and the Substitute Teacher

      Gaylor, Lindsay Christine Helen; The College at Brockport (2009-08-01)
      Substitute teachers maintain a significant role in the education of children in the United States. Every day substitute teachers face a variety of challenges in responding to instructional techniques and strategies for a given classroom or instructional period. The responsibility to provide the best possible education, even in the brief time they are present, can be difficult due to poorly prepared lesson plans and unfamiliarity with classroom routines. This remains an ongoing obstacle to quality instruction. In order to provide quality education to children and to help ensure that they meet educational standards, school personnel and administrators cannot dismiss the importance of substitute teachers. The purpose of this study was to closely analyze substitute teaching experiences with regard to literacy instruction and classroom management. The main two questions explored – how do substitute teachers negotiate classroom teacher expectations related to literacy instruction and how do substitute teachers use the classroom environment to support their instruction? This research project was a qualitative self-study; as the researcher was the only participant. The data and observations gathered were based on substitute teaching placements over the course of four months. The five characteristics of self-study methodology were maintained throughout the course of the research. Data was gathered through observation and reflection with specific attention given to documentation of classroom teacher expectations related to literacy instruction. Conclusions encourage diligent documentation and reflection in any future self-study projects as well as the importance of increased partnerships between regular teaching staff, administration, and substitute teaching staff to assure a quality educational experience for all students.