Are Substitute teachers allowed to read books on their phones or tablets?

Discussion in 'High School' started by James Williamson, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. James Williamson

    James Williamson Rookie

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    Using the phone at work seems to be taboo at some places but I thought after a sub takes attendance the rest of the class time is pretty much downtime, so are subs allowed to read books or books on their e-book app on phones or tablets?
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I wouldn't read during class time or when you are directly supervising students, but during a free period or at lunch it shouldn't be a problem.
     
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  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Instead of asking on this forum, why not ask at the districts you are subbing at? However, you might want to leave out the part where "after the sub takes attendance the rest of the class time is pretty much downtime." Some schools may very well resent that. What you do about using your cell phone when you are not in charge of students is totally up to you, unless asked to do some other kind of job while in the school.

    And no, I don't think you should be reading on Kindle or your cell phone when you are supposed to be teaching. Additionally, if students are denied the use of phones, I would recommend bring an actual book if you want to read, assuming that the district green lights this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
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  5. Hokiegrad1993

    Hokiegrad1993 Comrade

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    Where I sub we are encouraged to teach lessons in the elementary level. I know high schools and some middle schools we have assignments to give to the students but there is not much "Downtime" in order to relax and read but It could be different in different districts.
     
  6. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Um...no, don't use your cell phone when you are to be supervising students. Ever. Also, I don't know why you consider everything "down time" after attendance. You wouldn't make it as a sub using the phone or any other e-reader at my school where you are expected to teach lessons that were prepared by the teacher for you to teach.
     
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  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I personally never use devices during my subbing jobs unless they're called for in the lesson plan (as a timer, for quick research to answer a question, etc.). As a substitute "teacher" I should be teaching. Now, some teachers leave plans that essentially mean that students have "downtime" after taking attendance (when they just have to watch a movie for instance), but you are still required to constantly monitor. For example, I did a job today where I was just told to show them an hour long youtube video, but if I took my eyes off of them for a minute, things would be sure to be flying around the room or someone would leave their seat to go bother someone else. I don't think any district imagines that they're paying subs to sit on their phone or tablet to read books in the same room as a student.

    Get up, talk to students about what they're learning in their tasks. Check for understanding. Learn about their lives. Sitting and reading a book while they should be working is just as bad as playing games on your phone or watching youtube videos while you should be subbing imo.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Not if you want to be invited back.
     
  9. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    As a sub, I didn't use my phone in class unless it was urgent or if I needed it for something school related. You can usually do whatever you want to on your planning period and I used my phone. In elementary school, you are expected to teach so you won't have time to read or anything. In middle school, the day got very boring often and if it was a good class, I sometimes read a book while they worked which was acceptable in my district.
     
  10. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    No.
     
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I have independent reading time for my kids. I have a couple classes that are really small (5 and under). I know my subs sometimes read with them because it's very easy to keep an eye on them. However, we're a pretty unique environment in a lot of ways.
     
  12. James Williamson

    James Williamson Rookie

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    Dec 14, 2017

    What about hard copy books instead of books on your cell phone or tablet?
    I read that for high school subbing, there's not much to do except take attendance and give them assignments or show them a movie.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    As a sub, you should be prepared and plan to teach a class. Yes, many secondary teachers will leave activities that students can do on their own, but it may not always happen. Even when it does, your responsibility is to actively monitor students, circulate the room, and ensure that they're on task. You can't do those things while you're reading a book, even if it's a hard copy book.

    I've had small, excellent groups of students who could be trusted to work on task even with a sub. In those situations, I personally wouldn't be upset about a sub reading during class, as long as he kept a close ear on students. Most classes, however, require a lot more supervision, even during something like an educational video, and I would expect a sub to be actively supervising.

    During unassigned time like free periods or duty-free lunch, I should think that it's perfectly acceptable for a sub to read or play on his phone.
     
  14. James Williamson

    James Williamson Rookie

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    Was that for high school students? Did you stare at them while they were watching the video?
     
  15. James Williamson

    James Williamson Rookie

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    If you read on the condition that you circulate the room every 5 to 10 minutes, would you be okay with the sub reading when not circulating the room?
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    No.
     
  17. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I actually expect the subs to work. If you were not taking care of my kids, you’d be placed on the do not call under any circumstances list.

    You can read on the teacher’s prep period and lunch.
     
  18. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    No. You are the teacher for the day, you should be circulating and teaching. Get to know the students and build a rapport - it will help with managing behaviours.
     
  19. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Yes. Because what they're waiting for is your eyes to be off of them for two seconds so they'll have the chance to throw erasers at each other.
     
  20. TrademarkTer

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    I don't know. I don't expect the sub to teach high school math for me so the work I leave can be completed independently. Additionally my students are generally quite well-behaved. I don't think it would be an issue if a sub read a book, as long as they weren't completely zoned out to what was going on in the room. I think elementary would be quite different, but I've seen many subs in my building reading books and newspapers.
     
  21. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Dec 16, 2017

    For me, there are two components to this. Are they allowed is only part of it. Is it advisable would be the other component.

    In my high school, I would say that if the classroom is managed and students are being productive, no one would get fired for reading a book while substituting. (I would also say that I virtually never see a supply teacher doing this at my school because they are always working with kids and have productive work to engage in.) So it is "allowed" to the degree that you are a strong multi-tasker and have a strong sense of what is going on in the classroom you probably won't get sent home. (I would say that for most new teachers this is an area of growth - so I would question if most supply teachers can actually manage a classroom, know what is going on/how kids are doing and confirm that students are being productive while reading a book).

    However, my question would be - do you want to get your own classroom at some point? If you are not planning on supplying for life I would strongly discourage it. Reading a book rather than building relationships with kids, circulating, asking them about their work, etc sends a clear message about what you prioritize and in most cases this would not bode well for future applications where I work.
     
  22. James Williamson

    James Williamson Rookie

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    Do they also read on smart phones and tablets?
     
  23. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I don't see a lot of that, but I also don't view it as much different.
     
  24. CherryOak

    CherryOak Companion

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    Dec 17, 2017

    This is a field where optics are very important. No matter how mind numbingly boring it is to supervise students at times, as a fellow sub, I would never read on a device since the content of what I'm reading is not obvious. I also would avoid ever being seen with a video camera in hand and many devices today are also cameras. If you choose to potentially look as though you're not supervising them and read - and I've known a few cases in secondary where I can see that logic - at least protect yourself and go with paper.
     
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  25. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    One of the best answers addressing aspects OP hasn't considered, for sure. Well done.
     
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  26. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I work in a school where we are not ever supposed to have our phones out for the reason of privacy laws and student confidentiality. No taking pictures with a private device. Our students are not allowed to have cell phones or internet access. If students were to get access to a teacher's phone, it could have serious repercussions. Mine is locked up when I arrive, and only unlocked after students leave for the day. Many of our students are paranoid, so if they see you on your phone, they would be quick to accuse you of recording them. NOT worth a text message or two when you consider having to answer to admin why you needed your phone out.
     
  27. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Wow, that sounds like some real paranoia! We are encouraged to use our phones for tasks such as attendance and entering grades. We are also encouraged to have students use phones for research, accessing teacher websites, and participating in class activities such as Kahoot.
     
  28. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Private school, 100% classified. Enough said? Our subs all work at the school full time - they know the rules. Sometimes your students are patients first, students second. It changes every thing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
  29. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    That kind of culture is very foreign to me. I mean I understand it. When I first started teaching my school was kind of like this. It wasn't that the principal didn't WANT pictures of the kids doing cool things. It was that she was afraid that without signed permission, we would get in trouble for posting student pictures anywhere. I helped write and implement a photo release form that all parents signed at registration day so that we ended up being more free to take photos and post them to our website, for Donor's Choose projects, our school Twitter, etc.
     
  30. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    My school has some high profile parents who don't want their kids' pics on anything as it could potentially endanger them. I get it.
    Each school needs to do what is right for their students and families. Privacy means different things to different people. People who are termed millennials tend to think differently about a digital presence than people who would be considered boomers. Not to generalize too much, but that also comes into play in this discussion.
     
  31. James Williamson

    James Williamson Rookie

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    Would laptop be okay since it doesn't have a camera on the back of it?
     
  32. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Why are you so focused on being able to read and use your tablet/laptop? Maybe you should concern yourself more with being a good and effective sub. Srsly.
     
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  33. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    If you really feel the need to read during your sub assignment, I'd take a "real" book--no question then about what you're doing. Although, I would limit reading to your lunch break, a free period, or when students are doing independent reading.
     
  34. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Are you a sub already? Is this hypothetical? As I replied earlier, if in doubt, ask the admin or HR at the school where you work. We are just taking guesses in the dark, based on our individual school policy. If you want the answer, shoot an email, or, better, call the school/s where you are considering working. Don't be surprised if they want to know why this is such an important issue to you.
     
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  35. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Good luck with your decision James. You got very similar recommendations from many people. If you want to be safe, follow the advice. You certainly can't get in trouble from paying attention to the class rather than reading. If you want the job, play the safe bet. You aren't going to get a consensus of people telling you what you want to hear.
     
  36. Waterborne

    Waterborne Rookie

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    If you want to build a reputation and are looking for a full time job as a teacher, no; interact with the students instead because you need to go above and beyond. If you are just subbing for a sub job only, ask first.
     
  37. TrademarkTer

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    James is awesome.
     

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