Do you feel comfortable with regular lessons?

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Julie9789, Oct 9, 2010.

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What's your preference?

  1. Lessons / Preschool-Kindergarten

    8 vote(s)
    36.4%
  2. Sub Work / Preschool-Kindergarten

    2 vote(s)
    9.1%
  3. Lessons / Grades 1-3

    10 vote(s)
    45.5%
  4. Sub Work / Grades 1-3

    2 vote(s)
    9.1%
  5. Lessons / Grades 4-5

    10 vote(s)
    45.5%
  6. Sub Work / Grades 4-5

    1 vote(s)
    4.5%
  7. Lessons / Grades 6-8

    5 vote(s)
    22.7%
  8. Sub Work / Grades 6-8

    3 vote(s)
    13.6%
  9. Lessons / Grades 9-12

    4 vote(s)
    18.2%
  10. Sub Work / Grades 9-12

    3 vote(s)
    13.6%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Oct 31, 2010

    Nice anecdote. (sorry for my Ass-umption. :blush:, and happy birthday!)

    At the current rate of pay, I know I wouldn't be willing to pay union dues. (not sure how much dues are, but given that any significant amount would basically eat too much of my pay. That sorta supports the point though czacza--we supposed to be teachers in every practical sense, but we are paid like high-school kids.)
     
  2. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Nov 1, 2010

    Just a few points to make lesson plans easier for us.

    I believe sub plans should always be left either on the teachers desk, on a large kidney table, or on a desk in front of the board.

    This sounds obvious, but I occasionally find plans in strange places I would never think to look for them.

    I have found plans taped to the corner of the white board, and in pouches next to the classroom door. These are easy to miss.

    I have also found a page with detailed instructions about how to access plans left on the teachers computers. The instructions are not always straight forward, and the details of how to access the plan are sometimes more detailed than the plans themselves.

    I have also been to classrooms where the texts to be used are still packed away in shelves, and I have to dig them out and then find the page number.
    Sometimes I am given time consuming instruction such as," in the Northwest corner of the room on the third shelf of the cabinet next to the bookcase etc etc...

    It would be so much easier if these books were already opened on the desk to the correct page number.

    These requests are not always possible due to unexpected absenses, but they are sure helpful when they can be done.

    Most importantly, teachers should realize that wheraes they have as much time as needed to plan their lesson presentations, we sometimes get under 10 minutes, and have to present lessons on the fly, so we rely on our instincts more than "the right way" at times.
    Usually plans are easy to follow and easy to find, but there are times where the first few minutes in the classroom are an adventure, especially when the students arrive in the classroom at the same time as us.
     
  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 3, 2010

    Here's the misconception- You AREN'T supposed to 'be teachers' in every practical sense. Contracted teachers are held to standards that substitutes just aren't. In some rare instances, a district will take 'any warm body' who 'meets the requirements' to fill a sub slot...Great subs are in high demand. Yet even in my district, one with high standards, we get sub-par subs at times...and the sub rotation, I'm not sure how it works, seems to be more 'equilateral' than 'merit based'...Some of our great subs are sitting at home while newbies and the not so great fill the sub slots...and contracted teachers, even those with tenure, are concerned about contract negotiations, budget cuts, reductions in force...it's a tough climate...for all of us.

    No one leaves a professional, contracted educator plans for the day. No one writes up official observations on subs, looks at test scores based on number of sub days, asks subs to assess students , hold parent conferences or do report cards (unless the sub is in a LTS position in which case for the most part they do receive 'contract based' pay.)

    That said, I've been a sub. I saw it as a chance to 'hone my skills' and to show what I had to offer, to get my foot in the door. It's best that you don't spend your time bemoaning the benefits you DON'T have- those of us under contracts are losing benefits and being asked to do more with less. If you choose to be a sub, enter that position with your eyes wide open and know what the conditions of the job are. We all make choices..be guided accordingly.
     
  4. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Nov 3, 2010

    (Sorry that this thread has devolved from the original thought, but I do think it's a very discussion-worthy subject.)

    I don't understand what you are saying then czacza... (BTW, I suppose I misspoke earlier when I said, "every practical sense." By that, I simply meant that we are supposed to play the part in everything that day... I overlooked the prep, and all the other responsibilities of teachers behind the scenes.)

    You asked whether "subs" would be willing to pay union dues, seemingly as a response to why we (subs) deserve any consideration/respect. Why should it have to be a union issue? Especially as you made it quite apparent--WE clearly, ARE NOT TEACHERS. Practically, our $100/day pay rate precludes any extras like union dues anyway. But it is funny how "teachers" consider this profession the utmost in professional, formal, and highly-skilled labor--yet they're fine with their back-ups earning a $10,000/year living.

    Anyway, thanks for the advice--I will try not to bemoan my plight as a sub. Someday, I hope I can elevate my game and be worthy to be called a real teacher. Until then, I will know my role and STFU: about subs actually being "teachers" and able to teach, about my pay (and the lack of respect that it conveys), and anything else related.

    Teachers rule, subs drool!
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 4, 2010

    The 'union issue' was brought up because the benefits that subs seem to be looking for (you yourself mentioned 'meager pay, no potential for advancement, no medical, no benefits') are hard-fought NEGOTIATED items which are under attack from the state level with budgets and legislation as well as from school districts/boards.

    Yes, I respect good subs. I'm glad when one of the experienced subs are assigned to fill in for me. I know I could leave such subs 'bare bones' plans, but I don't. It's not about not respecting the subs, it's about the fact that the classroom teacher is ultimately the one responsible for the instruction of the students so I don't leave it up to a sub to read the 'TE' or to teach "new Math concepts with no background knowledge of the particular concept" :eek:as someone here mentioned...Most classroom teachers don't teach by the 'TE' and know how to teach their grade level concepts inside outside and upside down...I teach based on my students' needs..and I want that kind of careful, thoughtful instruction delivered even in my absence- that's why teachers leave detailed plans.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 4, 2010

    I agree with czacza. Subs are not the same as regular classroom teachers. I'm not trying to downplay their importance; I'm just telling it like it is.

    It's not fair to say that subs are teachers in the same way teachers are. Subs handle classroom management, attendance, and sometimes lesson delivery. Those are three things that regular teachers do every day, but they are far from the only three things that teachers do every day. Every day we do dozens of things that are all vitally important to the academic and social success of our students. Subs don't do those things. They aren't responsible for the ongoing assessment and evaluation of the students, parent contact, grades, standardized tests, writing lesson plans that align to state standards, maintaining the tons and tons of paperwork required by most of our districts, ordering supplies, supplying materials for classroom use, creating a student-centered learning environment, referring students and their families to the school counselor/nurse/social worker, and myriad other things.

    Subs in my district aren't required to have more than 60 credits of college, whereas teachers are required to have teaching licenses and degrees. I have an MAT plus 32 credits. I've attended bazillions of professional development inservices, which subs aren't required to attend. They don't have to learn about differentiated instruction, student engagement, learning modalities, language acquisition, etc.

    They don't have to do all the things that I have to do. It's not reasonable that they would receive the same compensation and benefits that I do.
     
  7. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Nov 5, 2010

    In this district, the TE is used as an introduction, or supplemental tool by all teachers, but not as the only tool. Many on this site tend to think the TE is evil or something, but being able to use a variety of sources, especially one that parallels with what the students have at their desks right in front of them, is a good thing to me.

    And if teachers are planning the lessons and have been in the same class for the entire year, I would hope they know all of the concepts in and out. Subs rotate from different grade levels and concepts everyday. And that takes talent to teach on so many grade levels, subjects, and concepts in a matter of having just minutes to prepare.

    If you were to walk in a different grade level for a day, you will not have taught every single concept that will appear in that grade level for the next 9 months. Certainly you will be unfamiliar with something on some grade level K-12. That is what I meant about 'no background knowledge of the concept' because no teacher or human being period has taught or even learned every single concept or topic that every school, district, grade level, state, and subject requires.

    I should have worded that differently because I didn't mean I was completely ignorant to the entire subject matter or skill needed for the topic, if I were, I wouldn't have been able to figure out how to effectively teach it in just a few minutes.
    (And this was a long time ago but I'm still proud of myself for that one because this was a rough school with many behavioral issues, so I had many challenges that day!) They were learning a fraction concept from a much more different way than I learned it. I knew a simpler way to explain it, but I had to use this new variation using particular required graphics in the book. That's all I was saying.

    The TE directly correlates with the student textbooks, and then, after I gained understanding of what the book wanted for that lesson, because that's what the teacher instructed I do---(use the examples of the TE), I go on to use my own creativity, and array of background knowledge that goes beyond the textbook and beyond the teacher's detailed instructions to provide effective instruction for that particular day. Not saying I will raise standardized test scores or anything like that, simply, provide effective instruction for the day.

    In no way am I dependent on a TE, not as a sub or regular teacher or tutor. I use real-life and concrete examples from music, different courses I have taken, even from my doctoral Science studies, my former teachers, the Internet, Discovery/History/TV Channel, the newspaper, books, movies or whatever comes to mind to help explain various concepts in as many ways as possible, keep the kids engaged and interested, and bring the textbook, state standards or whatever it is to life using real life examples that the students can relate to.

    I also allow students time to construct their own knowledge and think critically, explain concepts in their own words, share their stories and ideas, etc etc so the TE is a very small portion of the many techniques and sources that I use.

    As regular teacher, as you said it's your ultimate responsibility, so I would always re-teach any and everything upon my return, no matter who the sub was or no matter how detailed my plans were. The principal could come in and teach if she wanted, but that's my class and I'd reteach it using my style regardless. So I wouldn't panic over a single day of sub plans, long-term would be different though.

    Just wanted to explain myself but I think I'll move on from this thread, peace :angel:
     
  8. Kaylee hutton

    Kaylee hutton Rookie

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    Nov 5, 2010

    Right now I'm pretty happy with my regular lessons. Even better
    We are just starting out and have little pressure so I started out trying free or low cost resources and many of them are working very well - MEP, ETC, some Evan Moor books, some Intellego units. Our most expensive purchase was AAS and DS LOVES it. It is going very well and is a very good fit for him. I did buy SOTW and the activity book which we haven't really started using yet but I think they will work fine with a lot of supplementation (thankfully we have a really good library). We are using them through the free Mosaic curriculum which reorders it some and helps tone-down the religious stuff. :thumb:
     
  9. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Nov 6, 2010

    I would certainly never argue that subs should be treated as contracted teachers when it comes to salary and benefits. This is why my proposal invloves " limited contracts and benefits".
    I believe credentialed subs should be able to earn roughly 50-65% of what teachers earn, and should work every day with greater responsibilty and accountability, resulting in a greater asset to the schools and the contracted teachers.
    Under the current "on call" system, the average sub, when lack of benefits are included, earns about 20-25% of what contracted teachers earn, which is too large a discrepency when considering the special challenges with which subs have to deal.

    As far as the TE are concerned, I can certainly understand why many teachers do not rely on them. Many aspects of them seem quite inadequate.
    However, since I realize that my method of presenting a lesson will likely differ from the teacher's method, I do tend to follow the script of the TE to some degree unless told otherwise.
    Whether I deviate from the TE depends on how much time is allowed for a lesson. My deviations are additions and alternatives, not replacements for what is in the TE.
     
  10. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Nov 6, 2010

    +1 on all you said.
     

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