Tips for substitute teachers and Halloween treats

Dear Heloise: I’m a SUBSTITUTE TEACHER, and I absolutely love it! Here are some hints that have helped me:

* I limit myself to two campuses in the district. The kids need to see a familiar face, and the staff, administrators and other teachers get to know me.

* The substitute coordinator (usually the principal’s secretary) knows what jobs are available; all I do is ask!

* Punctuality is key; following the lesson plan to the letter is critical (although with kids, things happen!). When I go into a new class, I have to be strict at first (then I soften up quickly); and wearing the school’s colors shows my spirit! The dress code is usually business casual.

I pack a “survival kit”: water bottle, adhesive strips, facial tissues, lots of pencils, cash for lunch and, with the school’s permission, a big bag of hard candies (one to a customer!). Passing a background check was necessary, but now my phone rings every day for a substitute job! — S.L. in San Antonio


Dear Readers: Here are some hints for Halloween handouts:

“We stopped giving out candy a long time ago. We get popcorn, fruit snacks, hot cocoa mix and sometimes animal crackers. The kids and teens love the choices. We are now known as the ‘Popcorn House.'” — P.D., via email

“Another suggestion for trick-or-treaters: pencils — colorful, with cartoon characters, etc. — are a big hit with kids.” — J.R., via email

“One of my favorite Halloween treats is to give out mini bags of microwave popcorn. It’s not chocolate or sugar, but the kids still get a treat! I buy them in bulk at the warehouse stores.” — L.B., via email

Great suggestions! Stickers, erasers, bubbles, rubber bracelets, crayons, mini notebooks and fun spider rings are all good choices for kids with allergies or diabetes, or if you just want a less sugary celebration. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: I love lipstick. In fact, I don’t feel complete unless I put some on. These are a few of my best lipstick hints:

* I can “cheat” with lip liner and go a bit outside my natural lip line for a fuller look.

* Blotting with a facial tissue is important; it “forces” the color into my lips.

* I use a lip brush to get out all the lipstick from the tube.

* One color can go on top of another for a new color.

* Mood lipsticks: the green reacts (like perfume) with my body chemistry and creates a custom color.

* Nighttime is for buffing, exfoliating and heavy moisturizing.

— May Belle in New York


Dear Heloise: I gather colorful fall leaves and place them between two sheets of waxed paper. I take a warm iron, without steam, and press until they are completely sealed. I leave them in the waxed paper until they are completely dry (about two weeks).

Then I gently peel the waxed paper off and use the leaves for decoration. — Della T., Pasadena, Texas


Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.


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