Bad kids for sub?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by TxMaThTeAcHeR, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. TxMaThTeAcHeR

    TxMaThTeAcHeR Rookie

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    Jan 26, 2010

    Hi all! I just need some advice from you guys... I have been out ill the past couples days with the flu, and found out today from one of my coworkers that one of my classes (my absolute worst class when I am there) was horrible for the sub... the kids were on the ground wrestling, ect... They know that would be totally unacceptable for me. I am planning on going back to work tomorrow, but don't know what to do with this class tomorrow? Any ideas for any punishments? This is my second year teaching, and have yet to deal with this yet... thanks in advance!
     
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  3. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    Jan 26, 2010

    Just a couple of thoughts
    1. I don't believe in mass punishment of the whole class because even if it was a large number, there were probably some who did not behave that way.
    2. I think it is the sub's job to handle behavior. Even the best of classes will act up with a sub if they are allowed to do so.

    I have done this in the past to get a better idea of what happened. I have asked the whole class to get out a sheet of paper and list behaviors they saw... good, bad and ugly. I tell them no one will see the paper but me and their name will never be mentioned. When I read through all the papers I get a very good idea of what went on. I have required certain students to copy a letter from the board and get it signed about their behavior. The letter includes saying something on the order that next time I am out, this student's name had better not be left again as acting up or an office referral may result. It worked for me and I never had to send anyone to the office. Good luck with your dilemna.
     
  4. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Jan 26, 2010

    Well, my sub on Friday left in tears. My kids (6 year olds) were awful. And while some might have been better than others, none were angels. I punished the whole class by canceling their 100 day celebration. I felt totally justified because even those that might not have been very bad, didn't finish their work or turn in quality work. And yes, I blame the substitute and our secretary. My classroom is by itself at the end of a long hallway. The secretary hired a first time sub knowing that the last sub had to bring one to the office. But I left instructions on what to do every minute of the day, and several teachers told the sub to send one of the fab 4 to the office and that would stop all the nonsense. She didn't want to get anyone in trouble.

    My children fought, raced down the hallway (unsupervised), disrupted other classes, were disciplined by 4 (that I know of) teachers and staff members, destroyed supplies, destroyed the library shelf, talked back to adults, didn't complete their work, played with centers that were not allowed, and screamed in the building. And the sub left a note that they were "very hard to control." I would have loved to reward those that were good, but none of the evidence points to any of them being good.

    Since the only missed 100 day activities, we are being allowed to earn them back. Today they made 101 day necklaces out of fruit loops. But yesterday was a rough day for them. Maybe tomorrow they can earn another activity back.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jan 26, 2010

    It depends on the relationship you have with your students, but when this happened with me last year, I stood quietly at the front of the room, looking around and making eye contact with individual students, not saying anything for a couple of minutes. When I did speak, I said, "I'm very disappointed right now. Who knows why?" We then had a quiet discussion about their behaviour and why is was completely unacceptable. I also asked them for their input into solutions to the problem. They came up with some pretty good ideas. The reality is that teachers will be away; we can't promise not to be. Although few of us expect that our classes will behave exactly the same way for a sub as they do for us, we do need to be able to have an expectation of reasonable behaviour.
     
  6. MrsTeacher2Be

    MrsTeacher2Be Companion

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    Jan 26, 2010

    Last semester I had HORRIBLE classes. I was out one day and the classes with inclusion teachers were fine, but the one without was terrible. The first student I saw the next say walked up and said, really nervously, "Morning Mrs. B, I love you Mrs. B, it wasn't me...." Ummm... yeah, apparently they showed out BIG time, more than half of them were removed by a principal, one ended up in alternative school, no work was done by most of them, one said she was going to the bathroom and never came back. And my sub was the BEST sub we have at our school. She's a retired teacher and is feared by most of the students, but not this bunch. In her list she told me who had behaved, all 2 of them. So that class got to write 4 apology letters, 1 to me, 1 to the principal who spent all 4th block dealing with them, 1 to the sub, and 1 to their parents who expect them to act better. I got $5 Subway cards as a reward for the 2 who did what they needed to do.
     
  7. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    Jan 26, 2010

    Just curious but did you also have a seating chart? I know in the one school I sub for the kids won't listen to anyone who doesn't know their name - they'll stick out their tongue at you and run around the corner if you tell them stop running because they figure "He/she doesn't know me. Nothing will happen." And that definitely extends to subs in the classroom as well. I once had a group of sixth graders refuse to come back to the trailer after an extra recess (given because of a shortage of subs) - only two kids out of 20 did, and I suspect one only came in, one of whom knew he was already getting detention. The other 6th grade class in a trailer had their regular teacher and some of those kids refused to come back inside. Security guards were busy chasing kids who had left the school grounds. That particular class had a reputation for being the one grade that no subs would teach (and most subs wouldn't teach in that school either).

    But I've seen the same thing to far less extremes in other schools, even good ones.
     
  8. TxMaThTeAcHeR

    TxMaThTeAcHeR Rookie

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    Jan 26, 2010

    Thanks for the advice guys.. it's the beginning of the new semester, and I got the h1n1 so I was out unexpectedly and my seating charts were on my clip board in my bag at home... I like the idea of the kids sitting there writing down what happened, and figuring out who was good and rewarding those students, and the ones who were bad writing letters of apology. I don't believe in punishing the entire class either because the good ones don't deserve to be punished.. any one else with input would be great!
     
  9. TxMaThTeAcHeR

    TxMaThTeAcHeR Rookie

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    Jan 26, 2010

    these were 10th grade geometry students by the way...
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 26, 2010

    Do you have a referral system? If these were my students, I'd write up the ones who I suspected of causing trouble or who were expressly identified by the sub or other students. I'd also write a few letters home (or make phone calls, but I don't have a lot of success with getting ahold of anyone at home) and let the parents know how their child behaved.
     
  11. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jan 26, 2010

    Have the students that misbehaved write letters of apology to the substitute by name. This will make them realize the substitute is a person, rather than just a generic substitute, and that their actions affected the feelings and confidence of that person, not of a substitute teacher.

    I am also a licensed bus driver and do sub driving from time to time. Last year, I drove one bus for a week when the regular driver got the flu. During the week, the kids were rowdy, but no more so than normal - or so I thought. However, the regular bus driver obviously allows NO disruptions on the bus at all. When she came back, the other kids told her what had happened. When I subbed for her again, one of the kids that had acted the worst (which, again, was not overly bad IMHO), personally apologized to me for his actions AND gave me a letter of apology the regular driver had made him write. Needless to say, I had no trouble out of him ever again.

    I have to disagree, at least partially, that this behavior was the substitutes fault. I subbed in several classes of different levels last year - including several days at the alternative school. There was one group of 4 boys in one of the middle schools that were a holy terror for EVERY teacher and it was no different for me, but they actually weren't the worst. I had one kid, who just lives down the road from me, stand up in class after PE and start "scratching himself" for everyone to see. When I told him to sit down he shouted out "But I'm ITCHING, Man" and began to scratch himself even more dramatically. I sent him to the office immediately to explain his "condition" to the principal. Still, there is absolutely NOTHING I could have done to prevent him from doing what he did.
     
  12. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Jan 27, 2010

    I was going to post the same thing. Not knowing the kids names is deadly. And, there is no way to report the kids to the teacher. Most of the time in grades 9-12, I don't have a chart. It makes it impossible to get a grip on some classes. And, I never ask the other kids tell on their classmates. It puts them in awkward and sometimes dangerous situations. The only time I'll ask the kids to name another student is if the student is in distress, or in situations that are unusual or mundane.

    Now, I've also found that I can get the "bad" kids names in tricky ways. And, it's kinda funny, those are the kids who I end up knowing the best in the schools where I work regularly. Then, once a relationship is built, it's a lot easier to control disruptive behavior.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 27, 2010

    And that is the secret to great classroom management, for both subs and regular classroom teachers. :)
     
  14. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    When I've subbed in a class without a seating chart, I often pass around a "sign in" sheet so I can take "attendance". That way, I can look at the sheet and have some idea of kids names and (after they start work on their assignment) make my own seating chart from the sheet. :cool:
     
  15. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    If students are badly behaving for a sub & the sub included that in his/her end-the-day note to the regular teacher, I believe the teacher should do SOMETHING when he/she comes back & not just leave it up to their subs. Then the kids will soon see that the teacher is in support & has an alliance w/ the sub. Otherwise, they'll soon see that it's alright to act one way for the teacher & another way for the sub, although they know it's bad behavior. If they see that the regular teacher doesn't care, they won't care either & not show the respect that they should.

    Maybe if you find a pattern of the class being bad w/ the sub, you should punish the WHOLE class, then the others will make sure their peers stay in line & blame them when they don't stay in line. Then, the bad kids not only have the teacher to deal w/, but their peers too! It can be an effective strategy because it's like the good kids can help the teacher out while he/she is absent.
     
  16. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Jan 29, 2010

    I will be out for 2 days next week. My classes know that if the sub gives them a detention for behavior, I will give them 2 more. If the sub doesn't give a detention, but leaves a poor report with names, those students will get a detention. I have only had to write double detentions once, then word got around that I was serious.
     
  17. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    That's great. I love it when teachers mean business.
     
  18. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jan 30, 2010

    My standing rule with my kids (goes home on day 1 in parent note that is signed by parents) is that if I get their name from a sub, whatever the normal consequence for their action is doubled. If they would normally lose 2 behavior points, they lose 4. If they would normally sign the green card once, they sign it twice, etc. I agree with Cerek on the letters. I have done that several times. They don't get to get way with writing just a scribbled letter either. We study the proper way to create a formal letter (which I consider an apology to a sub to be) and they have to brainstorm, rough draft, meet with me, and re-write. It's time-consuming and not fun. I've only had one class have to do it more than once. They know that I expect their behavior to be better for the sub than it would be for me.
     
  19. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Jan 30, 2010

    I had to do that once while subbing and would not recommend doing that at the high school level (maybe middle school as well). I don't know any parent who would name their kid "Dick Hertz". <--Yes, there were more than a couple students who signed in with that name.

    Lesson learned: Most schools will at least have a copy of the class list in the office teacher folder (mine requires a seating chart and emergency plans as well). If I didn't see a seating chart, I went to the office to get a class list and used that for attendance.
     
  20. Mr. A

    Mr. A Rookie

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    Jan 30, 2010

    Always write referrals for all kids listed as defiant/misbehaving in your absence, even if they deny it.
     
  21. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jan 31, 2010

    I suppose I got lucky. Most of my high school subbing was done in the Early College school. These kids are (for the most part) incredibly bright and creative, so I'm surprised I didn't get any trick names like that.

    Now, with my sense of humor, if I saw that name on the list, I would probably look around the room till I found (approximately) which student signed that and start calling him (or her) "Richard CarRental". :D

    It's great when you can come up with quick retorts for things like this. It let's the kids know that (a) you have a sense of humor and (b) you're wise to their tricks. Last year, one of the girls at the Early College tried to distract me from the lesson instructions by blurting out "Mr. Cerek, where do you want to be buried?". Without even looking up, I said "In the ground" and continued with the instructions. :p
     

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