Have you ever had the Substitute Lesson Plan Quandry?
I know I have! As a music teacher, It isn’t always easy for me to plan lessons for another teacher to execute. I’m a pretty creative teacher who is likely to bring some ideas to a lesson and then take a lot of the student responses to these ideas which will help shape the musical creativity in that class. I don’t often have substitute teachers try to pick up where we left off and continue. I find that this leads to behavioral troubles and in general, a negative experience for both students and substitute. Worse, it leaves me with a mess when I return that often involves students writing apology letters to substitutes and dreaded discussions about appropriate behavior for guest teachers.
I came upon a great resource called “Classics for Kids Podcasts” sponsored by Cincinnati Public Radio. I often don’t delve deeply into historical composers, or their music unless it is serving as a model or inspiration for student creativity. This site provides a great option for a guest teacher to facilitate a manageable, engaging learning experience with the students surrounding this area of music history.
A substitute would be able to access a few links left in a lesson plan for different age groups and take them through a podcast listening experience and then use the supplemental materials either on a Smartboard or by printing out the actual papers to expand and reinforce the podcast’s learning.
Here is an example of a Classics for Kids Podcast about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
In conclusion, a podcast like this removes the responsibility of the substitute to provide the musical examples or content while at the same time providing an engaging and enjoyable experience about historically relevant composers for the students. A substitute lesson could take shape very quickly and the possibility of returning to a situation where the substitute felt uncomfortable and the student behavior went of the rails will decrease. Utilizing these kinds of resources keep substitutes feeling successful, the students feeling engaged and interested, and the regular teacher from having a problem upon their return. Everyone wins!