Can assignments from me be kept by me?

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Ms. Scarlet, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. Ms. Scarlet

    Ms. Scarlet Rookie

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    Sep 9, 2010

    I have my very first sub assignment tomorrow (high school English). I was planning on giving them a small assignment to work on while I take attendance and such. Nothing crazy, just a short little writing activity about their favorite book or something. First, is this something subs do? Second, if I give this small assignment (basically busy-work so I can get attendance without interruption or loud talking), would it be appropriate to keep it or is it best to leave it for the teacher? I would like to get a feeling for what students are like these days and what their interests are, but again, I'm just wondering what's appropriate and what's typical.
     
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  3. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Sep 9, 2010

    If the teacher has not left you anything for the students to do at that time a short writing assignment would be okay. However, if the teacher has left other instructions you should follow those.
     
  4. Anne wmcosuvamu

    Anne wmcosuvamu Companion

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    Sep 9, 2010

    I would leave it for the teacher, and mention that you had them write the paragraph for a 'do-now' while you took attendance. You may certainly read some of them over (whenever I sub in an English classroom, I read over the students' assignments), but I would hesitate in taking stacks of student work.

    Just make sure the assignment only takes the few minutes it takes you to roll call. You don't want to interfere with the teacher's lesson plans!
     
  5. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Sep 9, 2010

    If it isn't part of the regular lesson plan, I suppose you could keep it, but the regular teacher may question why you gave such an assignment when (s)he learns about it.

    Kids today really aren't much different than they have always been. I've said before that kids are less respectful now than they used to be, but after being in the school system for 3 years now, that really isn't the case. MOST kids are still respectful of the teacher. However, the ones that are not respectful are far more DIS-respectful than kids used to be when I went to school.

    While most of the kids are pretty easy to get along with, I've seen the ones determined to disrupt class or disrespect the teacher do things even the WORST kids in my class wouldn't have thought about doing. The big thing is that some can be openly defiant and will absolutely refuse to back down. Once they act defiant, they can't really back off without "losing face", so that can be a little tricky.

    TRY TO AVOID POWER STRUGGLES!!!!

    You ARE the authority in the class, but if a kid decides not to recognize it, you won't "win" anything by trying to argue the point or force him to bend to your will. You can either ignore their behavior (if it isn't too outlandish) or call on a neighboring teacher o the P (if all else fails).

    Just go in with an air of confidence and authority. You're a sub, so of course they are going to try to "test" you a little, but if you let them know right away you are in charge, most of them will fall in line easily.

    As for learning about their likes and dislikes, Justin Beiber is mega-hot right now, especially with middle school and below. If you know ANYTHING about the Twilight movies, that will be a plus. I identify with the guys by talking about X-Games (extreme skateboard, bike and motorcycle competitions). They really seem to like that most of the time.

    You don't really need a writing assignment....just talk to the kids and ask them what they watched on TV last night.

    Facebook, Twitter and texting are also HUGE with HS and middle school kids. So that should give you a starting point. ;)
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 9, 2010

    Taking attendance should take you all of 3 minutes. Not enough time for a writing assignment. Stick with the teacher's plan.
     
  7. doxieteacher

    doxieteacher Rookie

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    Sep 9, 2010

    I would follow the teacher's plan exactly. If they don't give you enough work or the instructions are unclear, get with a neighboring teacher or the office for help.

    Cerek had wonderful advice, go in confident! The kids will feed off of that and (hopefully) treat you with respect. Don't be afraid to use discipline and always leave a note for the teacher on how the day went. They want to know it all, the good and the bad!
     
  8. waffles

    waffles Companion

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    Sep 9, 2010

    Hopefully the teacher will leave you seating charts anyway, in which case you technically don't need to ask the kids for attendance anyway. Just look at the chart and match things up.

    Don't give the kids extra work, that's just mean. Especially if it's just for them to do while you take attendance. On top of everything else you run the risk of having kids want to finish that assignment before doing the work that their real teacher left for them to do.
     
  9. azure

    azure Companion

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    Sep 9, 2010

    I agree with the others. Don't give them the writing assignment. The only time I've made up work to give a class that wasn't in the teacher's plans was when I was in the class for 5 weeks.
     
  10. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    If you must, save your assignment for extra minutes at the end of class. You wouldn't want the teacher's plans to not get finished because you wanted to do something else. Plus, what if your assignment conflicted or preempted an assignment the regular teacher has planned for later? I would be irritated.

    I had a sub do other stuff once, because she thought something else sounded "fun". She had the kids making paper folded frogs. Yep, fun, but how does that connect to my curriculum? Oh, yeah, it doesn't.
     
  11. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Sep 9, 2010

    The teacher likely has something that they do regularly at that time, so I would only save those sort of things for time fillers, if they are completely finished and you need to have them do something. My kids do fix-it sentences and journal in the morning, and I would be upset if my sub had them do something completely different. I know you will be subbing an older group, but the same idea applies.
     
  12. substitutesftw

    substitutesftw Companion

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    Sep 9, 2010

    I agree, the students may have warm ups to do.

    Whenever I give my own assignments, I take up whatever they finish and keep them to discard later. For instance, I did not have any plans yesterday, but I had a math activity that took up all the time we needed.

    I don't see any reason why the teacher would want any "extra" assignments, so I never leave them. They have enough to grade and keep organized, and there's really no reason to add to it unnecessarily. I always leave whatever "real" (assigned by the teacher) work the students have, though.


    edited for grammar :confused:
     
  13. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Sep 11, 2010

    I don't like leaving my fillers behind because I don't want the teacher to feel they have to be graded or even reviewed. So, I say take them home.

    If the teacher doesn't leave a lesson plan, and I create a lesson. Then, I leave the work for the teacher to review - with a note that the students don't expect a grade, but I thought she'd like to see their work.

    If I replace one of the teacher's assignments with something I create (due to technical difficulties or another excusable reason), then I leave the assignments with an explanation.
     

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