Nia M Wardani | A Logbook of Life Discoveries

Replacing Another Teacher in the Middle of Semester

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I enter a new class today, grade 11 boys class. Yes, it is in the middle of the semester, but there is something going on that I need to replace another physics teacher for these few weeks before the final exam.
Replacing another teacher in the middle of the semester is a bit tricky and I feel a bit worried. In these classes, not only I, the teacher, needs to adapt with new students in a short time, but also I need to make sure students can adapt to my practice in a short time.
This is not my first time replacing another teacher, but each class has different character. And the important thing I learned last year when I replace a class:

Skipping introduction is a huge mistake
Last year when I replaced another physics teacher, I skipped introduction because I thought the time is very limited. So I thought not to waste time, skipped the introduction, and directly move into the materials. Later I found it is a very big mistake. A 20 minutes loss for introduction is worth the rest of the semester. When I skipped introduction, I skipped making initial connection with students. The heart-to-heart relationship is not formed. If there is no positive emotional connection between teacher and students, the teacher gets difficulties in passing lesson content to students.
So this time, I don't skip introduction. I give them time to say their name and mention the thing I need to remember about them.Then they will voluntarily give time for me to introduce my self, give information about my expectation of them, and the other important thing:

Reminding students about classroom rules
Students should be sure that the same regularity exist, even with different teacher. I don't change the classroom rules they already made with their previous teacher. Of course I need to check with the previous teacher about the classroom rules, grading policy, etc. before I entered the class. I keep everything the same so it will make adaptation easier for students. I only add one more rules this time because it is the paperless class and I have one simple strict rule for paperless class: "When I enter the classroom, tables must be clean."

Confirming student's progress with previous teacher
Fortunately, the previous teacher already finished one unit so I just need to start from the second unit. Confirming students' progress and habit with previous teacher, however is still important. Some students acts differently to different teacher. So, I need to be very careful with the students (they are usually becomes more sensitive) until they can adapt well with me.

Replacing another teacher in the semester must be done carefully. Students may feel anxiety, distress, or feeling neglected (by previous teacher). And we as the new teacher will feel the impact during our lessons if transition is not done well.

So, have you ever experience replacing another teacher in the middle of a semester? What other important thing you suggest we should do when replacing another teacher? Feel free to comment.

See you in the next post.
Nia M Wardani
Hi! Call me Nia. I discover interesting things in life and I love to share them with all people around the world.

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