Classes you won't sub for?

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by MrsPoppy, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. MrsPoppy

    MrsPoppy Rookie

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    I'm curious if I'm the only picky one out there. I don't mind subbing for general ed or academic subjects, but I will no longer sub in High School (I'm only certified K-8 anyway), and I am VERY hesitant to accept any special ed subbing assignments, or ISS (in-school suspension) assignments. These are because of my grade-level certification, I know that special ed is emotionally exhausting for me, and the ISS kids were already kicked out of someone else's class, which means they'll likely be harder to handle.

    Aside from that, though, I'm hesitant to sub for special classes such as gym, music, art, and computers. Is this the case for anyone else? I've only accepted gym and music (vocal and band) subbing from teachers I personally know because I'm a bit nervous about what caliber of plans I'll get, and those are subjects where I don't have the skill to improvise. I've been too reluctant to accept Art class subbing at all. Am I alone out there? Is it weird that subbing for Art is more intimidating for me than music or gym? I guess I just don't know what is expected when subbing in art? I mean... do they still use the pottery wheels and other equipment, or do they stick to drawing?

    Other than that, I have one specific teacher I won't sub for, but that is based on my experience there.

    So, do you have classes (not teachers) you won't sub for? And Why? Please, no bashing anyone... this isn't about individual classrooms, teachers, or students. It's about grade levels or types of classes or subjects
     
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  3. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I subbed everything. I was nervous about SpEd at first, but I actually loved it. A lot of my jobs were SpEd. I enjoyed all grade levels and subjects. I subbed a whole week for an advanced computer programming teacher. I had no idea what they were doing- ever!
     
  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I wouldn't sub for: PE, Kindergarten

    Prefer not to: 1-3rd grade, but would if there was nothing else

    Have done one mild/moderate spec. ed, would give it a try, it was ok. Did a severe sped ed class, loved it!

    I would do music, but not with students taking out instruments, etc. Wouldn't know what to do with that and wouldn't want to be responsible. When I subbed a music class for a week we did regular class work about composers, it was great.

    Wouldn't have problem with or other electives.
    Anything 6th grade and up is ok.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    If the school is widely known for its music program, as some of the middle schools and high schools are in my area, the plans for a higher-level performance class may very well call for the sub to serve as the certificated body of record while a student effectively runs the rehearsal. I know of at least one middle school where that has been the standard procedure. In such a case there's really no reason not to follow the plans.
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I didn't say I wouldn't follow plans. I would just make sure I know what I'm getting into before I accept the job (know the teacher, or have prior communication, etc)
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Makes sense, too, Linguist, and I wasn't intending a correction for you but raising another consideration for the community, if that makes sense.
     
  8. microbe

    microbe Comrade

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    Won't sub for metal or wood working classes anymore. In my district they don't lock the equipment up and students feel that having a sub means that they need to play with all the dangerous equipment while the teacher is away. No thank you!
     
  9. Enseignante<3

    Enseignante<3 Companion

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    I used to avoid HS jobs (still have never subbed in a HS). I'm certified k-6, I'm young and SHORT, and although that probably shouldn't matter...I was scared!

    I also was usually hesistant to accept music, art, gym, etc. and special Ed. However, I'm currently a building sub, and I am required wherever they need me for the day. Now, it helps that I know the kids and teachers, and I can usually see the plans/ talk to the teacher the day before. But in my experience, those special areas usually understand that many subs aren't experts in that area, so the plans tend to be pretty easy to follow.

    And subbing in special Ed has become one of my favorite places to be! But again, I know the kids. Usually though, there are plenty of paras in those rooms anyway...they're verrryyy helpful!
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    The closest I ever got to subbing elementary school was as the librarian for a district's joint elementary / middle school facility. I could handle reading a couple of silly stories with lots of voices and then running an activity before sending them back to class. However, I could not handle an entire day with small children and knew better than to attempt it.
     
  11. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Ditto, only replace librarian with elementary music for my sister. I ran instrumental lessons and then any general music sing along type things, the music student teacher from across the hall came over ran those. The kids were so fascinated that I can play the flute and look like my sisters twin they thought I was awesome.

    Other than that I stay away from elementary. I also avoid elective classes at any level--mostly art, PE, and music.
     
  12. Nietzsche

    Nietzsche Companion

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    I avoid elementary phys. ed. but do a lot of secondary P.E. I avoid art, music and wood & metal shop. I usually avoid math and and higher level HS science. My one HS has AP biology, chemistry and physics classes and I don't like to baby sit HS kids who know more than me. I do a lot of special education at all grade levels.
     
  13. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    When I subbed I did mostly elementary, with the one exception of a school district that was very small (about 120 kids total, K-12). I did everything from kindergarten to P.E., to wood shop for that school. Everyone was in the same building. Otherwise, I avoided high school. I did some middle school, but only for the same teacher (the track coach) so I got to know those kids.
     
  14. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    I was afraid to sub kindergarten and ended up loving that grade-level. The students were so adorable. I had a week long K assignment where I got to help them prepare for their holiday assembly. I literally cried during their performance because they were so darn cute.

    I did not like subbing PE.

    Ironically, I found subbing high school really boring compared to elementary, but I love teaching at the high school level.
     
  15. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    I'm not subbing yet, and I'm crossing my fingers that I land a job once I'm certified so I won't have to.

    However, I would not sub elementary. No way, no how. Middle school and up. From there, I don't care which subjects.

    I would have too much anxiety in an elementary room. Making sure they're not into this or that, that one or two of them isn't running off, having to move them quietly through the halls, etc.

    Give me high school where I can talk and joke with the kids. I don't have the skills to communicate with kids just barely out of diapers.
     
  16. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    I'm not even on the lists for High School. That scares me.
    I'll sub middle school at times when I'm desperate for jobs, but I try to only do history, english or science. I stay away from math, because I'm not confident in my own memory of how to do a lot of things. Generally I avoid middle school, though. The classroom management exhausts me.
    I'm happiest in pre-k through third, although this year I've had several forth grade classes that were a pleasure. Fifth can go either way. I'll take it if it comes up, but if there is a choice between two jobs on a given day, the lower grade tends to win. I've done music, but I stay away from PE. That just seems like yelling all day.
     
  17. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    I used to be scared by high school, but now I love it.

    I do not like PE jobs. And you have to dress down. I don't like going to a school and wearing gym type clothes. Once I did that and I was asked to do bus duty after school. The parents looked at me like trash seeing what I was wearing. I wanted to shout, "I subbed PE today!".

    If you're not comfortable with a subject, you just get the kids to teach it. ie: I was asked to teach a guitar class. I do not know anything about guitar. So I called up a student to demonstrate the correct fingers, another one to demo the song, another one to be the "teacher" and listen for mistakes, etc.... Or get them to teach you. "Okay, now where do I put my fingers? Can someone come up and show me?" Refreshes everyone's memories together.
     
  18. Enseignante<3

    Enseignante<3 Companion

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    this just made me laugh a little:lol::lol: my anxiety is all over HS, and I picture them just totally not listening to me. I think I'm more worried about them being into this and that and leaving the room than my little elementary munchkins! I'm way more able to talk, joke, and communicate with the little guys! :)
     
    DaniB92 likes this.
  19. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    One big relief in high school is when a kid runs out of the room, you don't have to chase them :)
     
  20. Enseignante<3

    Enseignante<3 Companion

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    :lol:
     
  21. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    When I used to sub, I would stick with elementary. I subbed middle school music one day and never went back to anything above 5th grade. I tried to avoid special ed. because I didn't feel qualified. My second subbing day ever was spent in a self-contained special ed. room where the teacher had quit the day before. I was always nervous to do anything in special ed. after that! I also avoided PE for the reason that I didn't want to go to school dressed down.

    I subbed Art a few times and the teachers left very easy plans! I was nervous about it beforehand because I cannot draw at all but it ended up not being required. If you sub for Art, you do need to be good about monitoring the noise level. Students want to talk while they work on their projects. I'm okay with that as long as it doesn't get too loud!

    I now teach full-time music and always try to leave plans that could be followed by anyone! We have a hard time getting music subs in my district so I plan to not have one. I usually have them play some games that the kids know really well! So far, I've only had planned absences and I've let the kids know what they are going to do before I'm gone. My sub just needs to be there for crowd control and to keep everyone on track. I try to keep it easy on them because I know some people are intimidated by subbing for specials.
     
  22. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I subbed in Ag when I was college...my husband was one of the Ag teachers. One class was really bad one day so the principal came over and chewed them out. He then pointed out that "this woman sleeps with Mr. M...Don't you think she is going to make his life miserable until he punishes you? And for the record, I won't stop him, I will support him!" They were the best class from that point on.
     
  23. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    :lol::lol::lol:

    My first thought is he really said that? But then, this is High School & it was an Ag class. Small town?
     
  24. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    It was an 8th grade class...yes, he said it and some more...I was 21 and the high school boys took the worse group out behind the football field and took care of the rest. They were angels the rest of the time. :whistle: It was a small town. He had taught 90% of their parents.
     
  25. MrsPoppy

    MrsPoppy Rookie

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    Lots of great responses! I feel a little more confident about giving Art a try next time it comes up since hearing some of your comments. I guess it can't hurt to try something at least once. I used to avoid 6th grade because my very first subbing experience at that level was absolutely horrendous, but then I picked it up again when I got the 5 a.m. call and didn't have anything else for the day... and it wasn't as bad as I remembered. It's still one of those grades that I don't chose when there are multiple options available, but I don't specifically avoid it, either. I think it's funny that I LOVE LOVE LOVE 3rd-5th and REALLY LIKE 7th and 8th, but 6th is just weird. I sometimes wonder if kids brains are trying to switch to middle-school mode, but got stuck half-on and half-off.

    Although I no longer sub in high school, it's not that I had any problem with it (I quite enjoyed it), but I'm certified through 8th, and there are enough K-8 subbing jobs available to keep me busy, so I just don't bother subbing at a grade level where I couldn't actually get hired.
     
  26. MrsPoppy

    MrsPoppy Rookie

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    Although I don't sub high school any more, I used to. At first, it was because no one knew me yet, so I took whatever jobs I could. But I realized that high school goes more on auto-pilot than lower grades, AND if one kid is really getting under your skin, it's easier to deal with, because you can just remind yourself "I only have this kid for another 47 minutes." One thing I accidentally discovered about high school, though, is that stickers WORK! Shocking, I know... but there's something (especially in 11th and 12th grade) about a sticker for good behavior that makes them reminisce about the good old days in elementary, and they'll be good the whole hour if it means they get a smiley face sticker at the end. Some of them say it's to give to their younger brothers or sisters, but I don't buy it. If I discreetly leave a sheet of stickers sitting on top of my planner, usually someone will raise their hand and ask if they can get one if they're good for the hour.

    Someone once commented that it must just be my area, and they don't think it would work with their kids, but I used this in some pretty rough neighborhoods in Metro Detroit. They don't put them on their forehead like 3rd graders, but they will put them on their binders.
     
  27. MissPapa

    MissPapa Comrade

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    I once got called in to sub for high school math in a very bad area. The only job I rejected.
     
  28. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I was VERY picky when I was as sub! The first yr or two of subbing, I did just about every elem grade, including PE...NEVER wanted to do 7th or 8th grades & my district didn't have high school, which I also would enver do. Soon after, I stopped certain types of classes/grades gradually. In the end of my 10-yr subbing career, I ONLY did speech (aka language, speech & hearing). I went back to school & became a speech pathologist, which I'm in my 2nd yr of doing now.
     
  29. El sol

    El sol Rookie

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    not exactly classes but there are three teachers I won't sub for. their lack of professionalism/management makes it a risk for me to sub for them.
     
  30. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    How so? I'm curious.
     
  31. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I understand, but I'm rather artsy so I loved being able to sub for the art teacher! I subbed a couple weeks and really enjoyed it. I did have to stay considerably late each day cleaning up, but I would have done it again. :)
     
  32. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Gross.
     
  33. StellatheSub

    StellatheSub Rookie

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    I just stick with my talents. I sub Kindergarten especially, special ed, resource rooms, pre-K through 5th, disabled classrooms, Foreign languages, Music, and Art. I will not sub for Middle or High School, unless it is for a foreign language class. I will not ever sub for PE.
     
  34. CrayolaCrayon

    CrayolaCrayon Companion

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    I only sub in elementary schools because that is what I am certified for and what I am comfortable with. My strength lies with Pre-K through grade 3 but I also accept grade 4 and 5 assignments.

    I look like a teenager so I would hate to sub in a middle school or high school. Of course, there are other reasons besides that, such as not being able to handle the behaviors and issues that arise with older students. I am comfortable teaching teenagers ballet (which I do, part-time) but would never want to be their teacher in an academic classroom.

    All a matter of comfort and strengths, I suppose.
     
  35. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    When I subbed, I turned down HS and Middle School, all specials positions except for library, and special education. I am only certified K-3 for a reason..
     
  36. TeachTN

    TeachTN Comrade

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    I prefer Middle/High School positions since that is within my certification range. I will sub in all content areas, but tend to avoid music/PE. PE is because, like others said, I am not fond of coming to school in a track suit. The sub agency for my district has warned us that there are times when we may be set to sub in a PE position and they will actually move us into a classroom - so then I really have no idea how to dress!

    I've subbed in classes WELL outside of my realm of knowledge (AP Physics), but I tend to still be able to help them somewhat since I have a science endorsement. Through my subbing, I have found that, if I could, I would love to teach 7th grade Science, lots of fun topics covered there in my state.
     
  37. El sol

    El sol Rookie

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    It is a risk because two of them have some fire hazards in their classroom. It is annoying that they could get away with this, and, like I said, risky for the students and I if anything were to happen. The fire dept. was there the last time I subbed for one of the teachers. They just made the recommendation of making the changes, recommendations which were made two years in a row already.

    The other teacher just doesn't have control of the classes so whenever I was there it was to work my hardest on the basics which were to be taught by the regular teacher. I don't mind though, I like the challenge. But that teacher giving a bad rep to subs made it more difficult for me. Kids respected me and followed instructions the two days I was there but it is just too much when a teacher has that type of attitude in this profession. The kids don't deserve it.

    I rarely make serious assumptions about teachers but in cases where there are too many things I don't like I need to judge. Usually you can tell how good a teacher is by the general aspect of the classroom, the overall behavior of the students and (not always) the type of note they leave for you. I may be wrong but this works for me.

    This actually goes back to the topic discussed, you can sub for any class if needed. But, as substitutes, and given the variation in the pools of all the districts, we are allowed to pick certain grade levels and go as far as picking favourite schools/teachers. The districts know what you are aiming for anyway so most, if not all, do a pretty good job at having a representative pool of the grade levels and subjects.

    I tend to sub more for middle and high school but have done elementary as well.
     
  38. MrsPoppy

    MrsPoppy Rookie

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    I finally tried subbing for Art, and really enjoyed it! I do agree that clean-up took a while. The first day I spent about 15 minutes on final clean-up. The second day, though, school got out at 3:45, and I got home at 5:00 (8 miles away) because there was glue and glitter everywhere that day. The teacher told me next time she saw me that the custodian would have done the floors if I had just taken care of the tables. Oh-well. It was still fun!
     
  39. SkywalkerLT

    SkywalkerLT New Member

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    Some of my favorite assignments have been vocal music, band and theater. Since my background is more of the performing arts, I was able to have some fun with the kids telling "war stories" and I could really get into the lesson plans. This is in the high school level by the way.

    I'll be subbing Art tomorrow and Business on Monday, both subjects I've no background in, so we'll see how that goes!

    The assignments that I usually turn down are special ed assignments. Nothing against the kids who have those conditions, I just know that I don't have the patience for those types of students. I always applaud those that do, though.
     
  40. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Assistant librarian. I thought I would have lots of free time to read, but no, I had to check that EVERY book was in the correct Dewey decimal place. Do you know how small those numbers are? I had to answer phones, clean up any trash left on desks. Any time I didn't look busy, the wizened old cow would beckon me like a little child. "I have something else for you to do." No thank you.
     
  41. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Well, you're not paid to sit there and do nothing :lol::huh:
     

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