No Substitutes Provided

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MrsCK, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. MrsCK

    MrsCK Companion

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    Oct 22, 2012

    Hey everyone,

    I'm teaching first grade (it's my second year teaching and my first in first grade) and I'm having a very challenging year. I have 22 students, and we don't have parapros in first grade. Among other things, one thing that has really been wearing on me is the fact that whenever another first grade teacher is out, the substitute is cancelled and the students are split among the other teachers. So on these days (I've had 4 this year already) I have 6 extra students with no advance notice. It is very frustrating for me, the students in my class, and the students from the other class because it's a big change to deal with each time. I think either the district is not providing funding for subs to the school, or the school is deciding not to have subs. I was out last week and a sub came in for me. When asked why the other teacher didn't have a sub, we were told, "Well, your team had one last week," as if we're being punished for being out. Whenever we have to be out, we feel terrible because we know that the other teachers are being burdened. Is this normal in your district? I'm just having a very hard time. :( I have to keep praying that God gives me enough energy to make each day positive. Thanks for reading this.
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oct 22, 2012

    That's horrible. Horrible, horrible, horrible.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 22, 2012

    What does your contract say about subs? Are you a union member?
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Oct 22, 2012

    This is not going on in my district. If we cannot get a sub, either a para (from another grade if we don't have one) or the administration acts as a sub or teachers sub during their prep time and get paid extra. We would not move students to another room unless it was an emergency situation.
     
  6. MrsCK

    MrsCK Companion

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    Oct 22, 2012

    No unions, not sure what my contract says. This is what the state code says:

    "§ 20-2-216. Substitute teachers


    As a condition for receiving funds under this article, it shall be the duty of each local unit of administration to employ and to utilize the services of substitutes for teachers who are absent. It shall be the duty of the local unit of administration to employ substitutes, including retired teachers in accordance with Code Section 47-3-127, who possess valid teaching certificates issued by the Professional Standards Commission. If no person holding a valid teaching certificate is available for this purpose, the local unit of administration is authorized to employ the person who most closely meets the requirements for certification as a teacher and who is available to serve as a substitute, provided such person is closely supervised by the school principal or principal's designee. It shall be the duty of the commission to promulgate and adopt rules, regulations, and policies establishing classes or categories of persons, in order of descending priority, who most closely meet requirements for certification within this state. Nothing contained in this Code section shall prevent the local governing board or its executive officer from refusing to employ as a substitute teacher one who, in the discretion of the board, would be detrimental to the education of the students provided for by this article. For purposes of this Code section, certificated substitute teachers shall not be considered part-time personnel pursuant to Code Section 20-2-212. Salaries for substitute teachers shall be set by the local boards of education."

    So I assume since it's the "duty" of the administration to utilize a sub, that it's a requirement.
     
  7. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Oct 22, 2012

    A few years ago, I had a sub cancel a job five minutes before she was supposed to arrive. My vice-principal had to step in and sub until the office found another sub to come in (I believe it took an hour or so).

    The only time we split up students is if a teacher needs to leave 15-20 minutes early and doesn't want to get a sub for an entire afternoon. S/he will usually split up his/her students amongst the rest of the teachers in the grade-level.

    Worst case scenario--if a sub doesn't show up or if no one accepts the position for the day, an administrator takes over the class.

    There is a huge sub pool in my district, though, so there are typically plenty of subs to cover all teachers who are absent.
     
  8. MrsCK

    MrsCK Companion

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    Oct 22, 2012

    I know for sure it's not a sub shortage problem. There are tons of subs looking for jobs. It's all about funding. I didn't experience this at another school in the same district. It's very frustrating!
     
  9. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    Oct 22, 2012

    I know this has happened in a district I work in, but it was towards the end of the school year and not the most desirable district to sub in, so they just didn't have a sub. Also in the same district, I showed up for a job and was switched to another classroom that did not have a sub... the principal was in there holding down the fort until I got there. It certainly does happen, but it's insane that it is the norm in your school.
     
  10. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Oct 22, 2012

    Yes, this happens quite often in my district, mainly because we cannot get enough subs.

    On days when we have "guest" students in my class, we slow down. It is a great time to review all of our rules and procedures, so that the new students can feel at ease. It is also a good time to have those who are low in skills in my class to "help" the new students however they can. It makes them feel quite responsible and mature.

    One thing that I do for myself to ease the stress of this occurrence is to consider this not a "real" day, in terms of accomplishing what I would normally want to accomplish with my class alone.

    We often have students from other grade levels joining us. With this in mind, I am happy making it through the day giving out as many positives as possible. Academics are secondary to just keeping the class together behavior wise.

    I don't consider this a burden, and the other teachers I work with feel the same way. It is something we do for each other. It is the reality of the district in which we work. It is not our fault, and adding a feeling of guilt on top of whatever is causing you to take a day off does not help the situation.
     
  11. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Oct 22, 2012

    This would never happen in my district except in an absolute emergency.
     
  12. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oct 22, 2012

    I think it's horrible, if not disgusting, that this is happening. If they need answers as to why teachers are leaving the profession, they should look at situations like this. I teach the same age group, have 20 kids, and a TA. I cannot imagine this ever, ever happening in my school.
     
  13. msufan

    msufan Comrade

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    Oct 22, 2012

    This is horrible. Your contract looks like it supports you 100%, though, so you should grieve this ASAP.
     
  14. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Oct 22, 2012

    The one time my secretary couldn't find a sub, my principal taught the class.

    This would never happen unless there was a pandemic and everyone in the entire community was sick except for a few kids who made it to school.
     
  15. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Oct 22, 2012

    It happened one time in six years when we could not find a sub and the teacher was out the day before a long weekend or holiday (I can't remember which). Our aide has been pulled to cover classes here and there, but overall it never happens.
     
  16. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Oct 22, 2012

    Wow. Just. Wow.

    The only time we split classes up is if a teacher just needs to leave a little (15-20 minutes) early.
     
  17. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Oct 22, 2012

    At a previous school, this was the norm, in May, sometimes earlier. By that time the sub budget had been used up & there was no money for subs.

    I do remember it happening earlier one year. I was very upset as a particular teacher took a week off, unpaid as she had already used her days. She went on a cruise. She took a cruise every year, almost always unpaid because she would use up her days before the cruise.
     
  18. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Oct 22, 2012

    We had this happen one time in our school... it was during H1N1 time... half of two classes were sick, as well as one of the teachers, so the other teacher just took both classes... not really a big deal, but also an extreme situation. It would never happen outside of these circumstances...
     
  19. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Oct 26, 2012

    I've seen this done in districts before. It really is a burden on the other teachers to have 5 kids suddenly appear and not have materials or desks for them. I'm really sorry this is happening to you. Is there any way that perhaps you could all make some emergency plans as a team? That way there would be extra copies of the activities to be done and you'd all be on the same page together.
     
  20. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    Oct 26, 2012

    we have the sub problem ALL the time at our school lately. but here, they cancel BSI or resource room and those teachers have to cover, or we have no prep. It stinks
     
  21. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Oct 26, 2012

    Yes this happens too often. The worst is that you lose all prep because you have the other teacher's kids while yours are in specials. The good thing is that they are required to pay us the sub pay. We have subs but no help to get them and do the paper work.

    You have no choice but to not allow it to be a burden and have an advanced plan.

    Our first plan is to try to find a sub ourselves! Not sure if that is possible for you, but it has worked for us several times.

    Our second action is a team plan. We each use the Daily5, so we continue with it. Mini lessons become review of the wall charts.
    Science, social studies, and writing is whole group.
    Math is either whole group or when one group is in specials.

    Good luck
     

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