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  #1  
Old 01-16-2013, 06:08 PM
jen12 jen12 is offline
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District Differences

Do those of you who sub in multiple districts notice extreme differences?

I sub in four districts, two of which have wildly different atmospheres despite being of similar socioeconomic and ethnic make-up. Today I was in my "emergency only" district. I dislike going there for many, many reasons...distance, parking issues, overfilled classes and the behavior of the students. The only thing this district has going for it is no recess duty - they have aides on the playground for recess and for lunch, so I'm pretty much guaranteed a break.

Today the students refused to stop talking. No response to the regular bells and code words they use every day. No response to my personal standards....nothing. There were two students who clearly had impulse control problems, one of whom was seated outside of table groups and right next to the teacher's desk. The classroom was right up the stairs from where the kids line up after recess. They tromped upstairs and could not manage to get themselves in line and quiet at the classroom door. Two minutes of standing there waiting and instead of letting them go into the room, I made them go back downstairs and line up in their spot again. They came up the stairs...same thing again. I made them go back down again. And then a third time. Finally, they got quiet outside the door to the room, so I let them go in...which they did while arguing and fighting and blaming each other for the noise...so, we went outside again.

This is pretty standard for whatever school I go to in this district. One time I was in a room where they kids had a sub the day before and she sent a couple of kids to the office. The way they behaved for me, I could see exactly why she'd done that, but the teacher was angry about it. She said that that was just the way the kids are, and it shouldn't have been a problem.

I'd like to be a fly on the wall to hear what the kids tell the teacher about me when she returns. Hopefully I'm the "mean" sub. I know you all want lists of who is good and who is bad, but in a large classroom where you don't know names and when there is zero response to any and all requests for quiet, it can be impossible to recognize who is behaving. I feel bad. I tried to reward two girls who stood out, but I'm sure there were a few more kids who did try to behave. They were just drowned out by the troublesome personalities of their classmates.

I get differences from school to schools, but I'm always amazed at what a difficult day I have whenever I'm at this one district...
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2013, 06:39 PM
Loomistrout Loomistrout is offline
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Rocklin, CA
Quote:
Originally Posted by jen12 View Post
Do those of you who sub in multiple districts notice extreme differences? ...
I subbed for 2.5 years in nine districts. I noticed the largest difference was not districts rather schools within a district. I remember subbing at a junior high in a low socioeconomic community. It was like a zoo. Week later I subbed at another junior high (same district) about two miles from the first but drawing from the same community. It was tops, like teaching at a college prep school. I began to notice certain "attributes" common to the well-run schools and conditions which seemed the norm in schools with lots of problems.

BTW - Kudos to you for practicing over and over and making discipline come before instruction. Practicing was one of the attributes all the well-run schools seemed to have in common.
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:23 AM
John Lee John Lee is offline
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Originally Posted by Loomistrout View Post
discipline come before instruction.
Great quote.
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:37 PM
StellatheSub StellatheSub is offline
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Substitute Teacher
I sub for Urban districts mostly. I have noticed an extreme difference between the districts. The largest district where I live, is known for it's high drop out rate, school violence, and extreme discipline problems. It has the same socio-economic and racial makeup of the other schools I sub at and yet the differences in behavior are quite noticeable. The rough to sub at district has beautiful buildings and state of the art technology and yet the students keep getting passed on when they are many grade levels behind. That district pays 10.00 a day more for their subs, and you really work hard for that extra 10 bucks. It's almost not worth it. Sometimes you get lucky and find a decently behaved class, but many times that is not the case. I'm on a mental health day today due to that district. So, am I really earning more money? Not really.

Last edited by StellatheSub; 01-17-2013 at 05:52 PM. Reason: error
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2013, 08:48 PM
MrsPoppy MrsPoppy is offline
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Michigan
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I agree that most differences I see are from school to school within a district, rather than from district to district. I have my favorite schools in each district, and those I only go to as a last resort. My preferences have very little to do with Socioeconomic status. Some of the differences I see are how friendly or catty teachers are in the teacher's lounge, too. I avoid the lounge in my least-favorite schools. I don't need to hear a bunch of negative things about various students or staff, or be bribed to write someone's college paper (that has ACTUALLY happened... I was seriously tempted to call her professor). I'll read my book and eat peacefully in the classroom if that is my best option to keep positive.
In my favorite schools, students and teachers alike, always greet people as they enter a room. The expectation is that you are respectful, even teacher toward student. That doesn't mean you can't joke at all, but there is never the comment of "are you bothering to write this down?" Instead it would be phrased, "I'll give you a moment to get out a pencil in case you need to write this down." That language is reflected back in the way students address each other as well.
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2013, 04:06 PM
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MissPapa MissPapa is offline
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New York
Kindergarten Teacher
I've subbed for three districts, mainly two. Definitely a huge difference! It's all about the culture and surroundings of these neighborhoods.
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