I hate substitute teaching

Discussion in 'General Education' started by hac711, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. hac711

    hac711 Companion

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    Dec 18, 2010

    I have been absent due to my crazy schedule. In the meantime, I have been working on my Master's and teaching as a substitute. Now, about that...
    My work life is the pits. I sub for a county that is divided between wannabe ghetto and country. In every SINGLE school I have been to, I have been treated as an idiot who is just there to take up space. I am not talked to as a human being. I get no respect from other teachers or administrators, not to mention students. Students, I can forgive (although their lack of manners and respect for adults leaves much to be desired) but as for adults... Here a few things that have happened to me:
    Room teachers who think I answer to them, and not my boss. They will demand I do things that go against what my administrator says I can do (like leaving kids alone in the room or going into a student's restroom with them...don't ask) and when I say that I will not be doing those things they get in my face in front of kids and say I have to listen to them (they quickly learn to get out of my face...)
    I get assigned all over the county, some places 2 hours away...sometimes there are things I cannot plan for, like a deer pile-up or a log truck rollover...the secretaries yell at me when I call and say I will be late...A little appreciation that I just don't turn around and go home. Yes, I understand you need a sub, but ladies, you have people to cover the class, such as three vice-principals and five secretaries...who is going to come and wash deer entrails from my undercarriage??
    Parents who barge in the room, guns blazing and start screaming...They don't even know I am not their child's regular teacher.
    Schools assume I just magically know their schedules and parking and reward systems. Umm, so far this year, I have been to 86 schools, each with there own unique way of doing things
    I get paid 12.49 an hour...enough said...
    I am more educated than most teachers there, but they talk to me like I have an IQ of 40. I have been educated at well-reknown schools, studied abroad and have two Bachelors, one in History and one Biology. I go in, and teachers have words misspelled on the board and in their lesson plans and simple math done incorrectly.
    I have had kids call me 'Slim', Ms. Cock, Fat A$$, spit on me and steal my lunch bag. I have had other teachers hit on me, call me Ms. Fancy when I tell them where I live after they ask or just say 'of course you do' like it is a crime.
    All this makes me hate everything. Why do I want to work with these people for kids who don't give a crap?? I have been teaching for over 10 years and looking at different jobs, but my resume is all education. I don't know if I am burnt out, or if I truly dislike the educational profession now. Sigh.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Dec 19, 2010

    So stop subbing...?

    The situations you've described sound awful. I've never experienced anything even marginally as bad.

    In another thread you said that you don't appreciate other teachers trying to help you. I'm sure that your job in these places must be made more difficult when you refuse to accept assistance.
     
  4. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    I certainly wouldn't be subbing in schools that treat me like this. When I was subbing I blocked a school from contacting me because everyone there was so disrespectful.
     
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  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Life's too short to be doing work that you hate.

    Can you find some other type of job?
     
  6. StellatheSub

    StellatheSub Rookie

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    Dec 19, 2010

    I can kind of relate, except I make around 9.00/hr. Secretary's talk down to me and expect me to sit in the office till right before the bell rings instead of getting me in to the classroom right away to read the lesson plans and be prepared. Sometimes I come in and go in the room and the teacher is writing the lesson plans right there in front of me. When they do that, I don't feel overly obligated to be a perfect substitute since it doesn't seem like they care if the day goes smoothe. If you're not prepared then why should I be? Aides yell at me for stupid things and speak down to me and sometimes they won't even look at me. Students sometimes say demeaning things like oh you're a suuuuuuuuuubbbbbbbbb. It's the way they say it. Well, with all that said, I like being a substitute. I like taking the class that thinks they're going to get away with murder for the day and wake them up big time. I had middle school boys sitting up straight and calling me Mam once. I love it when a challenging unruly class becomes engaged and learns something. Every once in a while I get my revege on the bitchy secretary I meet. Hee hee. I had a secretary who was very dismissive and rude to me a while ago and she said to someone "Oh the parapro is here." I said, "Don't refer to me as a parapro, I'm a certified teacher who is working as a parapro for the day." If she hadn't been so bitchy I wouldn't have said anything. When students are rude to me, I rock their world, and sometimes call their parents, which I know most subs won't do. I get a lot of hugs and students from 3 months ago will remember me and shout out to me on the playground or in the hall. Subbing is so hard, but you develop coping mechanisms. I play classical music when I sub, and it calms me down. I guess since I've never had my own classroom, I can't know if the grass is greener on the other side. I just know it's better than when I had the injection molding job in the factory.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Dec 19, 2010

    Really?

    It is pretty unfair of you to assume that a teacher doesn't care if they come in to write a lesson plan on the morning of an absence. There are many reasons that this could happen, the biggest one being that the teacher didn't anticipate being absent. Illnesses that knock you down from out of nowhere, sick kids, funerals, and getting pulled from the classroom to do a last-minute training are all valid reasons that a teacher might be absent without notice.

    While most teachers do have emergency sub plans that can be used at any point throughout the year, they often prefer that the class continue with whatever subjects they're currently learning. That means making individualized sub plans, sometimes on the spot or on the morning of the absence. I would think that you as a sub would appreciate it when teacher goes out of her way to give you a set of useful, updated plans even when she is sick or planning a road trip for an unexpected funeral.

    If a sub ever presumed to know my intentions as a teacher based on when I wrote my sub plans, I'd be pretty unimpressed. And I very likely wouldn't ask that person to sub for me ever again.
     
  8. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    Dec 19, 2010

    :yeahthat:I agree. I live over 30 minutes away from my job, and I have went all the way to work while sick to get plans ready for a sub that morning.
     
  9. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Dec 19, 2010

    I did the same thing just last week. I mean, which is better, plans made that morning or none at all?
     
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  10. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Dec 19, 2010

    When I subbed (or sometimes I'm pulled from my position to take over on emergencies), I have NEVER had a problem being in the room as the teacher was writing up there plans. In fact, I loved that they were there because it gave me a chance to talk to the teacher. I would ask them where things were at (supplies, books, worksheets) and important information (health, bus kids, procedures). Not once when I subbed did I ever assume the teacher was just too lazy to have written it up beforehand.

    AND, let's say you were subbing for a lazy teacher, why would you stoop to their level of professionalism?

    ETA: And yes, I do agree that subbing is VERY difficult. I don't deny that. But, you have to get a feel for the schools that are great to sub at and you have to sub at different districts. Then, once you realize which schools are worth it, sub only for them.

    ETA: I've had some great days subbing and some horrendous days subbing. I wouldn't say that subbing, as a whole, "sucked", though. It taught me a lot about being a strong, firm, confident educator... AND the ability to think on the spot.
     
  11. magister

    magister Rookie

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    Dec 19, 2010

    No way around it, subbing sucks. You must understand that before starting. I would never sub in a bad district because if the regular teachers are having a hard time, you know they'll show no mercy to an outsider.

    I subbed one day at a low rent school. Kids abused me, so I told the school I wouldn't be back. Then I subbed at a better school and got better treatment.

    Treat yourself with respect. Get out of bad situations. Don't jeopardize your career being in a bad school with bad kids.

    Remember: subbing sucks.
     
  12. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Dec 19, 2010

    I don't deny that it's a very difficult job, but it can be rewarding if you learn how to manage a new class on a day to day basis. My hubby has been subbing for five years. He has his great days and his bad days, but it's all about staying in control, i.e., it's all about classroom management; and feeling and looking confident.
     
  13. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Dec 19, 2010

    So sorry subbing's been so awful for you. I've been a sub for quite a while throughout going to school & I've never had to go through what you go through. I'm never belittled or yelled at by anyone. I'm so glad the people in my district have some level of respect. I know subs are almost considered the lowest people on the district totem pole, but that still doesn't mean people should "spit on you" so to speak.

    I know it's easy for others to just say to quit, but if subbing's all you can do at the current time, then all you can do is make the best of it. Are there other districts you can sub for? Can you raise all this type of bad behavior towards you to your immediate boss? Is there any way you can kind of change your attitude & what I mean by that is walk in w/ a more authoritative air about you & when people start to belittle you, kindly, yet firmly say that just because you're a substitute, that doesn't give them the right to talk to you this way. I'm talking about when aides & others that aren't your boss are negative w/ you. You could even try saying this to a principal if they're disrespectful enough, but try to do it when there are other people in the room.

    In the meantime, is there any other type of non-teaching work you can be doing, such as clerical, etc.?

    One more point I'd like to say. If subs are treated like the dirt on one's shoe at your workplace, do they actually treat regular, permanent teachers any better? Are you sure you want to be a teacher for that employer?...If you're trying to be a teacher that is.

    Good luck!
     
  14. hac711

    hac711 Companion

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    Dec 19, 2010

    I am a very strong personality teacher, so to speak. Classroom management is a huge strong point for me. Like I said, it is usually not the kids, but the adults. And yes, subbing does stink. I have been on both sides of the fence, and it stinks to high heaven. One good thing about it is I get to see all the schools in the county and decide where I want to apply in the summer :). I can't really do anything else right now. The only perm. positions available for for cert. PE teachers, ESOL (I think they call them ELL now) assistants and so on. Other counties are an option but they are 2-3 hour drives, minimum. My pay is not worth the travel. It's sad really. The schools would be in such a pickle without a sub pool but yet, so many treat their subs like pariahs. We have taken the same classes, the same Praxis and so on, but some people don't see it that way. I am looking into museum work, as a researcher right now. But I am unsure whether I want to make a career switch, or stick it out. It is just so stressful. I appreciate the POSITIVE comments and support. Thanks.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I have great respect for my subs in general. What I find disrespectful is a sub acting like they know me or my intentions when they know neither.

    It's fine if you don't want to sub for me. I'm not worried.

    Edit: This post was in response to one that has since been deleted.
     
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  16. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I've been on the other side of the fence too. I was a special ed teacher before & needed subs of course. I treated them respectfully, never presumed anything, & wrote out good, clear, noncomplicated lesson plans.
     
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  17. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    If you hate it that much, find something else. I subbed for a year, and I didn't have any of those experiences. I was treated well by the staff and students. The elementary schools were worse about letting me know things, but they still weren't rude. I think they just though I knew, but I have secondary certification and don't know much about elementary schools. I didn't sub elementary unless they were desperate for subs.

    I've gone in and written plans when I was sick or had an emergency. I figure the sub would prefer I do that than to leave them high and dry with nothing. I sure don't want to leave busy work. I want real work, as close as possible to what I would have done if I were there.
     
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  18. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    Charles County? Something about your description just screams "Waldorf" to me.

    Subbing is hard, no doubt. It's a different kind of hard from teaching a classroom every day, but definitely keeps you on your toes. Can you try to get jobs at different schools in the county, and kind of start with a clean slate?
     
  19. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Dec 19, 2010

    smooth*

    You need to understand that when people get sick they are NOT anticipating for it! I've been sick a few times but tried to tough it out so I didn't call in sick the night before. It then would hit me like a ton of bricks so I had to call in in the morning. And oh yes, I had to drop my child off at daycare so I could concentrate on getting lesson plans done ASAP and yes a sub walked in while I was finalizing my plans. It wasn't because I didn't CARE it was because I DID CARE but had no choice as to when I could come in!

    Before I had my daughter, I came in once at 3:30 IN THE MORNING because I knew if I waited any longer I wouldn't be able to come in at all.

    So, unless you see the SAME teacher doing this every time you sub for them, I would suggest you stop making blanket statements. You just said you have never been on the other side of the fence....please stop making judgments like this. THANKS
     
  20. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Dec 20, 2010

    If you walk into a subbing position every time
    - with a bone to pick about staff
    - a hammer to drop on students
    - a vengeful feeling because you haven't been hired and THESE people have

    you should consider another line of employment.

    I'm very protective of my students, I'm very proud of my school, I'm very good in my classroom ... I hope everyone in my school is there for the good of the students, that includes subs.
     
  21. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Dec 20, 2010

    ANY job sucks if you only focus on the bad aspects and every job has some aspects that are bad.

    Subbing can be very challenging, but it can also be very rewarding. Personally, I loved meeting new groups of students and working in the different schools throughout the district. I also enjoyed being called by the same schools several times because I got to know some of their students very well and it was almost like being a regular teacher there.

    I subbed for two years in my district and worked in several of the schools, including several assignments at our "alternative" school. In that period, I've come across only ONE class that I ever considered refusing to work for again. It was a particular mix of students at the alternative school and was the only time in two years I felt completely DIS-respected by the students in the room.

    There was one other group of kids at a middle school that I found very challenging, but the regular teachers also found that particular group to be very difficult as well. They eventually broke the group up by putting two of the students in different classes and transferring the two worst offenders to the alternative school. Not surprisingly, one of the students from that middle school was also one of the students in the class I almost said "Never again" to.

    Despite those isolated incidents, though, my time as a sub was very exciting AND rewarding. It gave me a chance to develop my classroom personality, teaching style and hone my classroom management techniques. Yes, there were good days and bad days, but you know what, full time teachers with regular classes have good days and bad days too. At least when I was sub, I knew "bad days" were temporary because I might not be working with that particular group again. As a regular teacher, I have to put "bad days" behind me because I still have to deal with the same kids (and now their parents as well) every day until the end of the year.
     

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