I have been a substitute teacher throughout my credentialing program, and continue to after I graduated, so I have have been subbing a fair amount.
I sub at a particular school where they have like a floating helper that goes to different classes to help out in the afternoon. I'm not sure if she's an instructional aide, or really what exactly her position is. She has come to the classrooms I am subbing in and basically rude and interrupting me during my lessons to the class, telling me I'm wrong about something during a lesson and correcting me (when I was not wrong), and just numerous other such things. I do admit the last time I had her in the classroom and she started in on this, I just offered her to continue the lesson since she just kept interrupting and undermining my authority to the students I personally felt. Today I had her in a classroom and she just took over a lesson without my asking, interrupted me several times during the lessons. To clarify, she was not teaching correctly what was to be taught for the lesson. Later when I gave Jolly Ranchers out as an incentive to students to keep on task she loudly blurted out that it wasn't allowed. I feel she could have just done this later or more discreetly. I will definitely ask the school offices from now if candy is allowed in the classrooms. I had been told as a student teacher that candy was always a good incentive, but I do understand the drive for healthy eating, and candy not being the best thing. At any rate, it was her loudly and rudely blurting out that it wasn't allowed that bothered me. Honestly, I think she's totally oblivious to how rude she is actually being, but nonetheless I personally feel this is quite rude what she is doing overall when in the classroom with me, and as a substitute teacher not sure what to do, as I feel I am a guest at these schools and just not my place to say much. I did end up mentioning this problem to a same grade level teacher who had started me out that morning, and coming in at breaks to kind of let me know what needed to happen next (things that weren't included in the lesson plan). I am normally very closed mouthed, and wonder if I should have said anything to the other teacher about the problem I was having with this woman in the classroom with me. What would some of all you do? What is the best way to handle this kind of situtation in some of your all's opinions?
In the future, I think that you should assume that candy is not allowed.
If she wants to teach the class, I think that you should let her. Sometimes aides/paras step up and take over a class even when a sub is there because they know the students, routine, and curriculum better. If she handles something incorrectly, just document it in your note to the teacher. Personally I wouldn't get into it with another qualified adult who wanted to run the classroom. Others might disagree with me on this, but that's how I would handle it.
I'll add that I think her behavior towards and treatment of you is completely off base. She shouldn't be rude or correcting you in front of students during instructional time. My best advice there is to just ignore it and continue being pleasant/polite. You don't want to do anything that will get you blacklisted.
I probably wouldn't say anything, but if she wants to take over the lesson then I would note it and allow her to. You might include your e-mail or phone number and ask the teacher if that's what he/she prefers. I know when I was student teaching (different experience I know), my CT didn't leave any notes for the sub when she was out because I was doing the teaching then.
As to the candy thing, there may have been allergies or problems that she just wanted to make sure was addressed right then and not later. We have a few kids with serious medical issues and I would definitely step in immediately if something was done that could hurt them.
Yes, I agree with you mostly. I have never said anything to her. I do believe she is a bit on the tad side of a little too presumptious about her teaching abilities and taking over. The last few times I've had a live and let live attitude, but today I just felt she overstepped a little bit too much. I have always appreciated people coming in and helping me out, but never had the experience of someone just talking outloud during lessons and trying to take control of a class while I was teaching. She should go through a credentialing program if that is what she wants to do.
So, as a substitute just continue what she does, and just kind of inform the regular teacher in a note? Still not quite sure what I would even say. Wonder if not saying anything at all is really the best way to go.
I have seen so many teachers give out candy as incentives! But definitely will check beforehand now.
Ultimately, I just feel it's an issue of respecting others, and lack of self-awareness in how she goes about "helping me out" in the classroom.
I had a great working relationship with my student teaching mentor teacher, and other teachers I worked with throughout my credentialing program. I have never had an aide be so overbearing and trying to take over. I thought paraprofessionals were there to be a help and a support to teachers, not try to overtake the class from the regular teacher. Maybe from now on, just offer to let her teach and me be the one who helps the students, since she seems to be in a power struggle to do that.
I would try to find out from the office or from a teacher what her position is, and what are her duties in a classroom. She could be a credentialed teacher who floats, but she could also be a behavioral assistant, special ed. assistant, or other instructional aide. The latter ones would not qualify her to be teaching a lesson. so I would find this out first: qualifications / duties, this would tell me if she is overstepping her boundaries or not.
Second, after the first step I would talk to her myself. I'd introduced myself (f haven't done so already) and find a way to let her know that her manners are not welcome / nor professional. You can do that several ways, based on your style (are you diplomatic? straight forward? in between or whatever). It could be something as simple as asking her to please not correct me in front of the kids, etc.
Linguist, that is how I feel, it's unprofessional behavior and again, just someone I would perhaps say lacks in self-awareness/respect towards others.
Yes, that's why I finally asked another teacher what exactly this woman's position is, though if I remember correctly she'd told me was a paraprofessional in the past. I will further clarify and maybe just ask the other teacher what I should I do, how much classroom control I should let the woman have, that doesn't sound bad does it?
I try to adhere to a Golden Rule "Do unto others..." philosophy, and I just don't feel like most people would appreciate someone doing this to them in a classroom?
Although, sigh, as a sub, I just feel like ultimately just deal with it. You're usually so much better off in life when the less said the better
I doubt if you will get blacklisted. I have been subbing for three years now and I've never been blacklisted for clarifying who is going to be doing what. I would tell her that you had been told that you would be leading the lessons and she would be helping. I would tell her that you would appreciate it if she would let you do the teaching, because you enjoy teaching, and that's what you came to work to do.
You said it so well Stella, I enjoy teaching, I enjoy my job when I go into a classroom to teach. As a sub, you go into a classroom, and you have to gain the children's respect and attention, you get a rapport going, and get the classroom management under control. When you have another person coming into the equation in the afternoon portion of the day, undermining your authority and the classroom dynamic that has been established, it creates a bit of frustration for me. I go back again today to this school and classroom as it is a two-day assignment. I am trying to brainstorm ideas how to handle this. She only comes in the afternoons. There was another instructional aide who came in before her, who is great to work with and I have enjoyed having her in there when she's come into a classroom I'm in subbing.
I guess worse case scenario would be to not accept jobs at this school anymore to avoid any potential issues, since she is a regular employee at that school. I feel she is overstepping herself, but she is the regular employee, I am not. She doesn't always come in the rooms I am subbing in, but yesterday was just getting too much.
Additional thoughts to add. It's one thing if the para started out in the classroom for the day, but it's another if they are just in there for an hour in the afternoon. Then for sure, no way, should that person be overtaking instruction. You were contracted to execute the lessons for the day, and not that person. How can you ensure you did your job if this person is overtaking the instructions that were left specifically for the substitute to do? You started out the day there, you read through the manuals, and you figured out what needed to be taught, and found all the materials. Also, subs are skilled at instructing large groups of students on a daily basis, where as parapros are working with individuals or small groups on a daily basis. The only way I would ever let a parapro take over a class that I signed up to teach for the day would be if that had been specified in the lessson plans left by the teacher. If the parapro wasn't specified and continue to overstep the duties of their position I would have no problem contacting the principal of that school.