Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by microbe, Dec 24, 2012.
Dec 24, 2012
What have subs done in the past to make themselves no longer welcome in your classroom?
Texted the entire time.
Made fun of a student's disability. (Oh, yes she did.)
Change my plans with no reason given.
Disregarded my carefully written plans and directions
Didn't manage behaviors well...too much yelling
Left room messy...didn't have kids neaten up (end of day procedures listed in my plans )
Decided one of my kiddos could move ahead to a higher level in reading
And one who decide my whole class was ready to measure to quarter and half inch despite my directions to only work on nearest inch measurements...yeah...I had major reteaching to do after that one.
Told the office a few of my refugee students were acting like "a bunch of crazy Indians."
Erased the spelling words on my white board and created her own spelling list.
Left me a note explaining how she had changed my plans to make them "better"
Let students work together on an assessment
Told the class that he wasn't going to do the math activity for them to do because he didn't understand it, so it "wasn't any good"
Demeaned and embarrassed one of my students (I was in the next room and overheard)
Spoke to the students about topics which made them uncomfortable (recent example--the end of the Mayan calendar and what it meant for humankind)
Haha, this one is kind of amusing. Were the words harder or easier?
Not use the sub plans left on my desk, complete with everything that was needed. Instead moved all of it to the floor & took worksheets off of a shelf.
Using racial slurs.
I have not yet had a bad sub but I've heard that there is one in our building. She apparently disregards the plans and lets the kids decide what they want to do. The first grade teacher told me that she subbed for her once and she spent the day singing songs with the kids. The kids then decided that they didn't want to go out to recess but wanted to stay in the room. She let them! The regular teacher returned to related arts teachers complaining at her for the bad behavior of her class while she was gone.
This sub has also sort of rubbed me the wrong way and I don't even know her. I took my 3rd Graders on a field trip about a month ago and had a half-day sub. I got back from the field trip before she was done teaching my last class so I decided insteady of popping in on her, I would stay in the workroom and grade some quizzes that I needed to get done. I had anticipated getting back before the end of the day and left my work in the workroom to do without interrupting my sub. This "bad sub" (not my sub) came into the room and saw me working and started making fun of me saying that I was too serious. I don't even know her!
Threw all the student workbooks against the wall.
I came back and all the kids' math workbooks were in a heap against the wall. Not stacked.... a giant, messy heap. I asked the kids what happened and they said the sub got frustrated (I can't remember about what) and threw them all against the wall. :crosseyed
I had a sub who disregarded my plans and did her own lesson instead. She also came in short sleeves (during winter) and apparently hadn't read my note about recess duty. She was late too (it was a half day sub). I asked that she not sub in my room again.
We had another sub at my first school who sat by the kids during an assembly. All of the rest of the kids could see her thong majorly sticking out of her pants for the whole assembly....I don't know how she couldn't feel the breeze! It was really unprofessional.
I've experienced many of the things already listed here.
The most common offenses are: sleeping, watching DVDs on a laptop at the back of the room, allowing students to work together and/or use outside materials on a quiz (despite my explicit instructions that students work independently and without access to outside materials).
I wanted to add...most of my subs have been great. I appreciate everything they do!
I've been teaching for awhile and in all those years I've only had two subs I put on my "rejected" list. One because she didn't understand English-couldn't speak or read it. The other never subbed in my room, but would talk in the staff room about how no one would hire her, how the neighboring school district said she was inept. I called her Eeyore because she was so full of doom and gloom. She even said that she couldn't get a job because she is Asian. Um....I'm Asian...I was sitting right next to her when she said that.
Dec 25, 2012
During the 8 months I ad my own classroom, I had subs twice. The second time it was a 2 day deal.
During these 2 days:
- desks and books (almost all of them were destroyed by tagging)
- what was worse is that most wasn't even gang related, a lot of them were about me, and some very explicit, sexual pictures of me and some students (I never caught who did them)
- one student sat behind my desk, went through it, stole Aleve, Advil and Vitamin C. This was a huge deal. because although they were small bottles, not even 1/3 full, students could crush them up and snort them to get high.
- the student also had the chance to go through all my drawers and stole a deck of cards (it was for the students for game time)
I didn't have anything personal or private, or valuable in my desk
- barely got through half of the material
- one student grabbed her butt (I never had a problem with this student, prior to or after this incident)
- students got on the computers, printed porn images. They printed so many that it jammed up the printer
- at some point the officers found some pictures in the bathroom, and found out it was from my room. So someone had unplugged all the computers, printers, so when I got back nothing worked (everything had to be plugged into a specific outlet)
This is what I can remember from 6 months ago. My students never even touched anything on my desk, never wrote things like that about me in books, or other places. It was a nightmare.
This sub continued to work there for about 4 months or so, even though she could never handle a classroom, the students would always mess with her (get in her purse, eat her lunch, and she would never do anything about it). She worse see through clothing (at a lock up facility for teenage boys). I never noticed, but everyone talked about it, and this was one of the reasons she was banned. (she was about 50 btw).
She finally let a kid put gang related tagging on her arm with a pen! She gave him permission. Another kid grabbed her arm (in another class) to read it. It stopped there but this could have become something horrible.
Only after this they banned her, although she was around for a week or so, even after this incident.
This is so concerning.
Much harder. I was teaching first grade and the spelling words we were learning were part of our phonics targeted sound. The sub picked really hard words. I'm sure there was a logical reason. Maybe they were playing word games but I was annoyed that she erased that part of the white board instead of just using the blank space on the white board.
Yes, it was. Although up until then, or after the students haven't done anything like that. When I showed it to an officer, the first thing he said: "please understand that this isn't about you". That helped put it into perspective. Since then I have asked many teachers with 10+ years of experience in this environment, and they all said that this wasn't about me, it was them having an outlet to express their frustration. I watched them carefully for tagging, and they never even made a mark on the desks / books. Now, that the sub was there, it was like a kid in the candy store, free to take it all. Why they did that about me? Who knows. I don't even care.
With all that (the horror stories) being said... what do you expect from a job with: poor pay (roughly federal poverty levels), no future, no benefits, and no respect. You generally get what you pay for.
There are lots of jobs out there that don't pay much. Walk into a McDonalds, Walmart, any retails stores with entry level jobs, even waiting tables, etc. Those people still do the best they can with a smile on their faces. Most people would not excuse a rude employee giving horrible customer service, because 'oh, poor thing, he doesn't make a lot, so it's ok'.
In my opinion, no one has to work somewhere if they don't want to. No one is forcing these subs to work. They even have the option to accept or decline a job, it's not like they have no choice. They feel that they can't work middle school? Don't accept a job there. Can't work at a certain school due to the student population? Don't go there. And not making enough is never an excuse for poor service. So that doesn't work for me.
I don't have benefits, but I do feel respected. And as far as future... I have a better future subbing in hopes of landing a teaching job, as opposed to getting a job in another field.
It's not about giving poor service because you don't get paid much. It's about the quality of personnel you attract. You stick those "smiling" McDonald's workers in a classroom, and see how they do. You aren't gonna get the best and brightest when you offer dead-job wages/benefits. Teaching is supposed as a profession that requires a lot of technical ability. But they attract the least able (with the amount they pay). Who's stupid enough to take such a job? I'll tell you who: Those who are unqualified to do anything else.
The main group of capable people in the "profession" (of sub teaching) are young/naive teachers who don't really know any better; or dummies like myself, who continue to linger and fool themselves into thinking they do something of value and hold out hope of a career in teaching.
John, I just LOVE your philosophy (note sarcasm) I really do hope you'll find a way to be positive again, because I couldn't live with this type of miserable mentality.
But, subbing is really not rocket science. It shouldn't be that hard. Yes, it helps if the person is trained, because it will be useful with classroom management. But it really doesn't require teaching. Teachers leave lesson plans, and for the most part they tell the sub exactly what to do, what kind of strategy to use (and explain it), the sub is not required to plan or come up with ways to teach. Actually a lot of teachers prefer that the sub does not get creative, just follow the plan.
I didn't mean to put people from McDonald's in classroooms. That example was used to show they don't make a lot, yet they don't sit there and pout and use the $ as an excuse.
This is truly offensive, and untrue. I am neither young or naive, having been employed for at least 18 years of my life so far (not counting summer jobs and babysitting as a teenager). Neither an I unqualified to do anything else. I have worked a combination of 16 of those years of employment for 2 different Fortune 500 companies in two different fields, and done an excellent job (they had me recruiting and training in addition to my normal duties because they wanted me to hire more people who were like me), but disliked my work. We are not FOOLED into thinking we do something of value. When a student with behavior issues is able to do work he normally skips because I've found a way to engage him, that is something of value. When teachers and principals are letting me know NOW that someone might be retiring at the end of the year and that the job isn't posted yet, that's them recognizing the quality of work I do, and my passion and dedication, despite any pay issues. When the people in the school are rooting for you to get the job that hasn't even posted yet, you know you've done something of value, and I'm POSITIVE that conducting myself as a professional is a large part of that. It does not take much to be professional. My entire wardrobe is under $100, I turn off my phone in class, I sleep the night before, not during work, and I do my best work every day because it's my job to do so, and my personal code of ethics demand that I never do a half-done job regardless of the pay. Did you do a horrible job during student teaching because you had to PAY for the semester instead of GETTING PAID? I highly doubt it. If you did, they shouldn't have allowed you to graduate. Using money as an excuse to do a poor job is despicable and no one who does that should be allowed back into a classroom again. Ever. Not as a sub, and CERTAINLY not as a TEACHER.
He does have a bit of a point. We're paid so little in my district that it isn't surprising to me that the subs are of really low caliber. Students tell me at least once a week how their last sub slept in class. I see other subs coming into work in their pajamas. And I'm the only sub I know of that actually leaves the teachers notes.
I'm not saying that it's right - gosh no. I'm just sadly agreeing that it's a byproduct of low pay and low standards.
I don't see his point at all. The horrible subs would be still horrible, even if they were offered a $50 / day raise. It's not about the money.
We have a sub, who's almost always late, and a lot of times she's 30-45 minutes late. she sleeps in class, and she's a racist. (have no idea why she still works). She would do the same things, even if she made more money. It's about her work ethic, or who she is, not about money.
There are incompetent people in any profession. the profession itself does not become one of low value.
I hope you really don't mean that. That's really offensive & demeaning. It's part of what's wrong with society.
In high school I was a member of the National Honor Society. I'm not "qualified" to do anything else because I went to school to teach. IF I had wanted to, I could have gone to school and have become a doctor or a lawyer or whatever else. I didn't want to, not because I wasn't "qualified" to do the job, but because I have no desire to do those jobs.
You are completely missing the point.
If subs were paid $50/hour, those dregs in the profession (i.e. those who sleep, who sit on their buts, those who are socially 'off') would never make the cut in the first place. Because you'd attract more sane, respectable candidates to the job. When you only pay what they pay, the pool of candidates is basically going to be anyone with a pulse. And if that is the level of candidate, then you are going to get what you pay for. I can't believe I'm having to explain this. As to kpa1b2's comment, I was speaking to the sub teaching pool, not the teaching profession. I'm presuming that you didn't pass up careers in law or medicine to be a sub teacher.
Subs are generally required to have college degrees. Increasingly, we are even seeing districts require a teaching credential of some kind. Subs in my area generally earn $105/day. Over a 175-day school year, that roughly equals $18,000/year. And again, no benefits, no perks, no raises for superior job performance (over this past decade, actually a reduction in pay), no respect, no future. Not to mention the subjegation and perfunctory comments/view toward you by "fellow" teachers.
What I'm saying is that you can't expect anything more, if that is all you are offering.
There are great subs who just care about doing a great job. Period. All of the subs on my preferred list are not looking to get a foot in the door. Most of them are retired, or have other part time jobs, just looking to be involved. Our good subs who are looking to get teaching jobs generally get quickly snapped up by one district or another for full time positions. I can't imagine why this hasn't panned out for you. Must be a different climate. I've heard some distrcts just value their good subs so much that they don't want to lose them. Maybe that's the case for you. In any case, I wish you well.
Except that if subs did have a $50 day raise, there would be more people interested in the profession and there would be more competition. Right now my district is really hurting for subs, so the teachers take what they can get. Unfortunately in many cases that ends up being the racist sub that shows up in her pajamas.
Dec 26, 2012
All of our subs must be fully qualified teachers and the daily rate of pay is very good (when I was subbing 12 years ago, it was over $150/day and is significantly more than that now). The "duds" I have had in my room are actively looking for permanent teaching positions--they have a lot to learn.
This is just...wow. I sub because I went to school to be a teacher and have not secured a contract yet. I don't know about where you live, but where I am, EVERY district requires it's subs to be certified teachers. Most every sub is doing so while they work their butts off for a contract. Other than that, our pool is retired teachers who wish to remain in schools from time to time. There is most definitely a future, at least in my area. You impress someone as a per diem sub, you may get an LTS, you impress there, you work your way toward a contract. I am putting my time in because there are not a ton of contracts out there. I have a very strong work ethic, and I am educated. I am young, but not naive.
It's not a 'profession' we're looking for. I don't think any sub woke up one morning and said "hm, what do I want to do with my life? I wanna be a sub!". Nope. I'm subbing, because I'm waiting for positions to open up, although it may be a while because of the budget issues. A lot of people are in the same boat, some are retired teachers, and some don't want to be teachers, it's just a job for them for now. I have actually met a lot of subs who were awesome, but they didn't want to be teachers. It was just a way to make money for now.
If all subs got a raise, I don't think there would be better quality people attracted. Maybe less of them would quit. But the ones who have bad work ethic wouldn't change, they couldn't.
Let's give all the good subs out there a pat on the back. I have been there, and it's nice to know you're appreciated.
Listen, I just finished a 4-day assignment before Christmas Break, where the teacher didn't leave any lesson plan. I didn't make an issue about it, just went to the next-door teacher for general information, and got the four days done. The principal, along with the secretary, next-door teacher, the teacher herself (who seems well-respected, she showed up at the end of the four days to see the children) all praised me for the job I did. Now this may sound like bragging, but it's not... the point being, I get this practically every day--that is, praise and comments from staff and parents, not to mention students. EVERY DAY. Praised for my general manner, how the kids like me, and the job I do.
You know how many jobs offers I've seen? Zero. In the past five years, let's say I applied to 300 schools... You know how many interviews I've had? Two... with not even an inkling of a job opportunity in my two school districts. This is what I'm speaking to, and (getting back to the point of the thread) the reason why you can't expect any more from the sub teaching pool. No one of quality would continue on under that circumstance (job prospect). There is nothing that redeems the low level of income. We get no respect, no benefits, nothing.
We are paid with lip-service, that's the bottom line. It is why I have (right or wrong) grown to resent it (the lip-service). To me, what Milsey said (above), is condescending. The teacher I just did the 4-days for said aloud among all in the staff lounge, "YOU are the best sub I have ever had... I have never seen students blah blah blah..." I took it as a slap of sorts. I am not a kid... Compliments don't pay my bills.
Why do I continue to do it? Honestly, it's because I'm stupid. Plain and simple. I'm idealistic, and I can't/don't want to/won't do anything else. Somebody in another thread asked what our NY resolutions were... one of my resolutions (honestly) is to hopefully break free of my notion of being a schoolteacher, hopefully compelling me to pursue another career path.
JL- do no other subs get job interviews or job offers for full time teaching positions? To what do you attribute not getting many interviews and no offers? From your comments, it seems that you are well liked and highly requested as a reliable sub...some districts like to 'keep' their subs, but you've applied to 300 jobs...it just doesn't make sense. Your frustration is understandable...just not understanding what the 'roadblock' is to your procuring a full time position. What do you think it is? I wish you well.
I'm no expert, but if you applied to 300 schools and only got 2 interviews, then most likely your resume and / or cover letter is not of good quality, it wasn't good enough to land you the interviews. Or, if you've applied to random schools, even if they're not hiring, they probably woouldn't be holding interviews.
You say this all the time. You complain that you get compliments. If you didn't get compliments, then you would complain about that, that no one values you, and can't even thank you for the great job you did. You're just never happy.
Since you always say that you're stupid for doing this, then why don't you do something else? You seem so miserable, and you keep complaining about your work. It is one of the worst things one can do, to have a job they hate, although they could be doing something else. No one is forcing you to sub. It would probably be good for you if you found another line of work.
Teachers are not in the position to offer you a contract, so it's rude and incredibly immature to refuse their compliments.
Listen, it's nothing personal against Milsey. I'm just speaking to the condition. There may not be many subs who take it as far (as feeling insulted), but I personally know teachers who feel forsaken, and their bitterness comes out just as well. In my district, many laid-off teachers now work as hourly support staff, and in talking... they gossip, they resent teachers who they feel are inferior. Are they immature too? It just speaks to the general condition of bitterness. How it manifests itself isn't really the issue (which BTW, I don't openly snub "compliments" I receive.. I just accept them, and move on). We hear all the time about teachers, all the pressures on them, etc. What people don't talk about is teachers like myself, who feel forsaken. It is about seeing that there is that condition, where quality candidates see a lack of upward mobility over a long period, and trying to find ways to address it, especially considering that teaching jobs simply aren't going to be one of those ways. How are you going to keep people, teachers... interested, feel valued, etc. After all, isn't that at least part of what a HR department is for? What has been done to address this condition, in which a large number of current sub teachers, are left wanting over a long-term? As someone who has been around the profession pre- and post- 2007-2008, I can tell you that I haven't seen anything (other than, I suppose, those hourly positions that I mentioned) that works to address this issue in teaching.
As to what my roadblock is (czacza) honestly... some of it is personal. I'm not the go-getter that others are in my efforts to land a job. e.g. I don't personally hand-deliver, I don't go in to say hi to every P at every school I go to, etc. And part of it is the competition. But honestly, I'm not interested in talking about my personal circumstance (why I'm not working). I'm interested in shedding light on the general circumstance, which is why it may seem like I am miserable, etc. We (laid-off teachers, new teachers) have nothing (benefits, job security, job satisfaction, money). When you have "nothing" (in any field or facet of life), what you want is some sort of impact: be it a voice (i.e. to be heard), change, sympathy, action, etc. You want something. You can transpose what I'm saying about laid-off/new teachers on the poor in this country and "their" general feeling. People who feel marginalized, pushed away, etc.
Now obviously there are those (among us) who disagree. But I'm not a lone wolf here. I know there are others who feel the same way.
If you've honestly (let's say 300 schools)applied to that many schools in 5 years, maybe it's time to look at both your resume & cover letter. When I've been job hunting, I've tweaked my resume & cover letter to fit the job.
If the attitude that I sense here is coming through in your cover letter that could be why you're not getting interviews. No interviews will lead to no job offers. If your attitude shows in the teachers' lounges of the schools you are in & I'm assuming that you are applying at those schools also, that could be why you are not getting interviews.
If a sub has a bad attitude, doesn't come across as professional, I'm not going to recommend that sub when my P comes to me asking about the sub.
Teachers talk, principals talk.
I, personally, had a 6 month LTS last year, that I got reccomended for from subbing. I have the final round interview for a 5 month LTS the day we come back from break. Again, I was recommend for from subbing. I just don't think you can say that all subs have no future. The economy and job market suck right now. It's hard to get a job in any field. But only being out of school 2 1/2 years, I'm not going to give up because I'm still subbing. I'm going to work harder. I get respect in my position. And ok, I'm less concerned with the no benefits thing b/c I'm only 24 and therefore still able to stay on my parent's benefits. Every teacher I work with treats me like a colleague and encourages me. I don't get paid in lip-service, and I make up for the income with a second job. Is it ideal? Absolutely not. Am I willing to work to exhaustion to get what I want? Absolutely. I just personally resent saying that the pay attracts poor candidates. It certainly doesn't in my district. It attracts recent grads who are working hard to get a foot in the door.
And the original point of the thread was simply what have subs done to be unwelcome in your class.
Separate names with a comma.