Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by oldstudent, Feb 15, 2012.
Feb 18, 2012
I have had some issues subbing for a few elementary teachers but rarely any issues with secondary teachers. I have had elementary teachers leave 4 pages of single spaced instructions. I spend the time before the students arrive reviewing all of the material and locating books, worksheets, videos and games. Sometimes I will have to Google terms that I am not familar. I'm a certified secondary teacher but will sub for most types of classes and grades. I have received feedback on Aesop from teachers that amazes me. Teachers have been critical for the slightest deviation from the lesson plans. I have had a teacher criticise me for not completing a math lesson when I first had to review their morning math problems, and then review their HW from the night before, which they did not understand. This was all scheduled for 50 minutes. The teacher commented, "The entire class period was used to go over homework from the night before. The activity was not completed." I had another teacher comment, "They did seem to be a little confused with the Literature Circle assignments."
I have found that some teachers expect you to walk in and be able to mimic what they do. I am sometimes pulled between teaching, or staying on task and schedule. I have found myself behind schedule and assigned the remainder of an activity as HW and I'm criticised for it. The one teacher wrote, "Plans clearly stated that Adjective packet page 76 was to be the only page assigned for homework. Students reported that they were instructed to complete the packet if they were finished with page 76." Honestly, I have no idea what this teacher was referring to. All that I knew was that most of the students did not understand what adjectives are and I spent more time explaining and giving examples than was allotted in her plans. And this was all detailed in four pages of single spaced notes. Obviously these are exceptions to the rule and most teachers attitude is do what you can get done.
Feb 19, 2012
Yesterday after school, I called to set up an appointment, but the secretary and I agreed that there was not a definite time that was yet available.
We agreed it should be a day when I knew in advance that I was going to be working in their district, otherwise I would likely not be able hold the appointment. Next Thursday is possible if " their negotiations are cancelled".
The secretary seemed very friendly, and told me that if this was something really bad, they would have called me into the office.
I found this encouraging.
One of the greatest challenges for subs is trying to present lessons wnen having very little time to review the plans. We are at the mercy of the school secretaries.
I occasionally get plans that seem unrealistic to complete, so I greatly appreciate when the teachers acknowledge this and tell us to just complete what we can.
Otherwise, I never assume that I am not expected to complete everything, so I try my hardest to get everything in.
This definitely sounds like good news. Will they let you schedule the appointment the same day as the appointment?
It could just be a mixup. Anytime an employee has a loss of work, reprimanded, fired, etc. they have to be informed of the reason why by law right? Otherwise, they could be dealing with a discrimination case. If they haven't told you then maybe they are trying to come up with a reason why. Maybe it's nothing you did at all but other motives.
Mar 19, 2012
I am still trying to coordinate my schedule with personnel to arrange a meeting.
I have to be there by 3:30, so it is difficult to make an appointment without the possiblility of having to cancel. I therefore have to be certain about my availability.
I will post the outcome afterwards, I think.
Fortunately, this strike against me has not stifled the jobs available from this district.
Mar 20, 2012
I'm glad that it hasn't taken jobs away from you.
I would never ruin a sub's career based on students telling me he/she was "creepy." Creepy could mean anything to a high school kid. Just today I had a kid tell me he was creeped out by people in wheelchairs. It would have to be something more specific than "creepy" for me to complain.
There's no need to suggest that I "ruined a sub's career". I merely reported to the main office what was reported to me. That's my responsibility as a teacher and I take it very seriously. The office can investigate or not as it sees fit.
Caesar did note that the assessment as "creepy" came from students in every class. Given that, it seems to me best not just to let the matter drop.
Complaints are not at all equal. It depends on the nature and the extent of the complaint.
Ceasar did everything he was supposed to do in reporting what he was told. It would have been negligent for him to ignore such reports. The welfare of the students comes first.
If, however, a teacher commences proceedings with the intention of banning a sub from his school, or even the district, it might be overstepping ones bounds. It depends on the accusation and/or violation.
In my case, on the surface, the punishment does not seem to fit the crime because I was never called in to discuss the matter. I received no correspondence other than an e-mail.
Yet if one is banned from ever returning to a school, let alone a particular class, common sense tells me that a violation that is serious enough to warrant such a ban would also be serious enough to warrant a mandatory meeting with an administrator.
Time will tell, but in my case, I suspect that being banned from the school was overkill, and could also be unethical if this goes on my permanent record and keeps me from other employment considerations.
Wow, you're still trying to set up a date/time. Yes, keep us posted on what happens.
Apr 2, 2012
I have an afternoon meeting with the Assistant Superintendent on next Monday afternoon April 9.
Apr 3, 2012
Good luck! Hoping for clarity at least, reinstatement in the highest.
Let us know what they say.
Apr 9, 2012
How did it go?
Well, the moment of "truth" arrived today as I finally had the opportunity to speak with the Assistant Superintendent regarding my "not satisfactory" report and subsequent banning from a school.
The result has me both relieved and concerned.
She shared with me the paragraph that was written about me from the teacher who I subbed for back on January 20.
To paraphrase, it said that I did not follow the lesson plan, and that I told the students that they did not have to do some "extra" work that was left.
That's it! It is rather anti-climactic. Nevertheless, the AS, who was rather cordial, did say that three of these reports would result in dismissal.
Unfortunately, I could not really defend myself because I recall no details of this particular day, except that the teacher did not leave me her teachers' addition for the Language Arts program, which I decided to borrowed from another teacher.
I should have mentioned this point.
I actually put an emphasis on following lesson plans as closely and as thorougly as possible, and have recieved no similar complaints in 15 years.
I therefore suspect that the plans were likely very vague, and the teacher expected me to interpret them differently.
But did I deviate so much from her intentions that she felt the need to write me up?
Additionally, if the teacher did not want me to give the students an option for "extra work", once the required work is finished, then why did she say it was "extra"?
Extra work is to be done when students finish their required work early.
I will tell early finishers to do the the "extra" work. However, if they ask to do something else that I deem relevant and productive, I will allow it.
Maybe she was upset because I didnt make them do it.
At any rate, this is a concern because it means that if a teacher leaves vague or confusing plans, and they are not followed as expected, the teacher can write you up and ruin your career.
Since we have no union protection, I think I will write the "National Substitute teachers Alliance" to see if we have any legal recourse in the event that I , or anyone else, is fired because we do not implement plans as expected.
Unfortunately, I once wrote my local rep about a matter regarding pay, and he never responded. I think I should try writing to someone higher up the ladder.
It sounds like her write-up was as vague as her lesson plans. It would obviously help if you could remember details from the day, but I understand that's hard to do after so much time has passed.
Anytime I substitute, I leave the teacher a Feedback Form of my own design. It has blocks for each class and can accommodate up to 7 different class periods, so it doesn't matter if the school uses block classes or a regular schedule - I have enough space to comment on each class individually.
Normally, I just write a short summary of the class behavior. If the class is rowdy to the point of disruption, I will leave specific names, but usually it is just general descriptions.
I also make sure to note any deviations I had to make from the lesson plans, due to lack of time, fire drill, etc. If there is ANY reason I cannot complete all the tasks left for a class, I note this and list the reason why the task was not accomplished. That way, I have documentation of what I did (or did not do) and why.
I've never kept copies of the Feedback Form for myself, but after your situation, it might be a good idea for both of us (and other subs). That way, IF any other question about your performance should ever arise, you would have the Feedback Form at your disposal. Not only would this show documentation of your efforts, it would also help remind you of exactly what you did that day, which might help help you remember more details of the day you chose not to write down. Also, the Feedback Form would let the teacher know up front what you did and why, which might give a good enough explanation of why you didn't give the students the "extra" work.
One thing we all know for certain, you can't have too much documentation.
Sorry this happened to you, but it sounds like an anomaly in an otherwise spotless record, so hopefully it won't happen again. Thanks for keeping us informed throughout this process. We are all pulling for you!
Apr 10, 2012
I'm sorry this has happened to you. I also think it's ridiculous. Even if you deviated from the lesson plans, or whatever the teacher said, I really don't think it would be a big deal, enough for you to have these consequences.
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