distraught sub :(

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by georgie4682, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. georgie4682

    georgie4682 Rookie

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    Jan 25, 2007

    I just finished my student teaching and received my certificate last April and I subbed through the end of last school year and into this one. The school district I am subbing in has many, many challenges. Many of the children come from poor neighborhoods and many come with behavioral and learning problems.

    As a sub I never know what I am walking into in the mornings, as I'm sure most subs do. The classes range from pretty good classes to complete and total nightmares (and its mostly complete and total nightmares). I have come to dread getting calls and I am often calling to say I can't sub the next day even though I need the money. I need to get out of this district I think, I've heard that this district is just so different than others, but I don't want to quit in the middle of the year. I think I'll wait until next year.

    My question is how do I deal with so many behavior problems in one classroom. For example, I have been in for one particular Kindergarten about five times this year because the teacher requests me. The class is so horrible though. It is mostly four boys who cause the problems, but they disrupt everything. Two of them will run and wrestle with each other before I can even do anything about it and while I'm dealing with them, the rest of the class gets out of control. They are constantly out of their seats and talking out. It drives me crazy! Plus, the next kindergarten room is right next door (basically in the same room). It's a huge room with a partial wall in the middle so we can't see the other class, but we can hear each other. I feel so bad that my class won't stay quiet. The other teachers have told me that it's not me, but I just can't help feel that it is. I have had absolutely wonderful classes in this district, but they are few and far between.

    I go into these classes with a positive attitude and I use different behavior systems, like offering game time or a treat at the end of the day, but they just keep on acting up and then don't seem to understand why they don't get anything at the end of the day. And if I use something where only the best behaved students get something, I end up with kids crying or having temper tantrums.

    I know this is long, but I really am at the end of my rope. I need help before I burn out in my first year of subbing. I really love the days when I get a really great class and I can actually teach, but most days it's just babysitting and trying to keep everyone as safe as possible.

    Thanks so much!
     
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  3. smilingteacher

    smilingteacher Rookie

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    Jan 26, 2007

    Welcome to the teaching profession. I have not completed my Student teaching yet, but I have been subbing for a couple of months.

    As a sub you should put your foot down the minute they break any rules. They will continue the behavior until you take control

    First I have a few questions. What grades do you sub for? What is your credential in (Single subject, middle, Special education?) Once the bell rings what do you do for the next 5 minutes? Do you have a classroom management plan. I assume this is middle school. Are there consequences for wrestling each other? Do you send them out?

    . Example: I work 9-12 at the high school level. 1st To get there attention I always say, "May I have you attention please." I remind them that this means they must turn around and listen to me. 2nd At the beginning of the class I tell the students a few things about where I went to school, what city I live in, my goal to be a teacher, and hobbies I enjoy. 3rd: They must follow three rules with me: Be respectful, no swearing, and no cell phones. I remind them they should not talk when I talk. I wait for silence. If the students are good they can pack up early. They are then to sit until the bell rings and can talk during this time.

    If they break these rules I warn them once and then consequence. Generally I make them stay after and ask them what they did wrong. On the last period I try to be careful because of the bus. I would generally say something like Do not swear; if you do that again I will write a note to your teacher. I have noticed that after a time students know who I am and have been more respectful and better behaved over time.

    I also let the students know that I write a note to the teacher whether the students were good or bad. I am constantly changing these approaches and have found they work. I also have no problem with moving students, sending them to the office, or giving detention.

    I work in a nice district where the students can behave well. These are some things that work for me feel free to change any of them to your liking. If I missed anything let me know.

    John Morris
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jan 26, 2007

    Think....

    Transition
    Back up work
    Preventive Maintence
    Positive Reinforcement
    Consequence/Stop the behavior in its tracks
    Consistency
    Pick your Battles
    Tell your expectations ahead of time and often
    Be firm (you are the boss)
    Stay alert
    Use your tone
    Use silent cues
    Use singing (younger students)
    Give Rewards (if you can)
    Tell kids out loud and often what they are doing right (so the others can hear you being positive).
     
  5. georgie4682

    georgie4682 Rookie

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    Jan 27, 2007

    Thanks for your replies.

    I guess I forgot to mention that I typically sub K-3 and occasionally 4-6 (this is where I'm certified also). A lot of these kids just don't seem to understand what consequences mean, either the teacher has no expectations for them or their parents don't or something else is going on here. This particular Kindergarten is pretty much the norm in this district. I can tell when I'm subbing in a room where the teacher has high expectations from the class because then I may only have two kids who misbehave, but when I get a class with multiple behavior probs I can't help but think the teacher is doing something wrong. And if other teachers tell me that it's not me and the regular teacher has probs with them too, how am I expected to control them any better?

    When I do discipline them, they don't understand why even though I tell them what I expect of them. For example, yesterday I subbed for phys ed and I had this kindergarten class (the same one I've been subbing in). I warned them that if I saw any type of wrestling, shoving, or any behavior that was inappropriate for school, they would not play and they would sit on the side. Well, half way through the period two of the boys started pushing and shoving each other so I told them to come and sit on the side. One of the boys kept asking to go back and play, the other was crying quite loud and neither one could understand why they weren't allowed to play. I explained it to them again, but they kept up their behavior. I did leave a note for the gym teacher so hopefully he will address the issue.

    I do have a question about sending them to the office. Some of the buildings do not have call buttons so there is no way to get anyone into my room. I know if I send them, they will not go and they will probably just wander the halls. Is it ok to send another student to get the principal? Also, I do give them consequences for wrestling with each other...time out...but what do you do if they don't stay in time out for the period of time they are to be there...just keep sending them back??

    Thanks again! I just feel sort of lost.
     
  6. smilingteacher

    smilingteacher Rookie

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    Jan 28, 2007

    Do you have a cell phone? Cant you call from that?

    Kids think they did nothing wrong. The good one will recognize that there behavior was inappropiate and move on. the bad ones will question you. There really just trying to make you feel guilty. Tell them what they did worng and then walk away. If there a real problem tell them " I just told you why you are being punished if you are still curious see me after school" If that doesnt work write a note or give them a referal. I usually walk away for a few minutes and then come back.

    I dont send students to get the principal unless it is a life or death emergency and I cant get a hold of the principal. I'm note sure on that one for other schools or under 6th grade.

    Also keep the students busy with engaging activites. If they have lot of things to do its hard to misbehave.
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jan 28, 2007

    Don't forget that some of these kids may actually have disorders that you aren't privvy to know about. It does increase the challenge but I know when I have a sub that works with me (aide), our take on the day's behaviors are totally different. The sub's take is based on a normal classroom. Mine is based on improvement.
     

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