Do you get a break during the day when you sub?

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Cinderfella, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Cinderfella

    Cinderfella Rookie

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    I have subbed in the same high school for over 10 years. When subbing you are expected to follow the teacher's schedule. However, there are times when I am asked to cover another class during the teacher's planning time (my break). What is the policy of your school when you don't get a break in the day and cover for another class?
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We cannot ask our subs to do anything other than the teacher's regular schedule--it would be in violation of their collective agreement. Many do, however, volunteer to help out during a planning period.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    We do ask our subs to cover other classes during the regular teacher's prep period at times. It doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen when we are short on subs. If it happens, the only "break" is the lunch break. Honestly I don't feel too bad about that, though, because a sub doesn't really have anything to "prep" for, so the sub doesn't really need that extra prep period. The prep period isn't meant to be a "break"--it's meant to be structured work time without students.
     
  5. RadiantBerg

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    Same here---also they aren't really teaching during the periods. I frequently see subs in the faculty workroom playing games on the computer or reading the newspaper.
     
  6. bison

    bison Habitué

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    I've NEVER seen this at the many schools I've spent time in, unless they're on a lunch break.
     
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    When I subbed in public school we got the same breaks the teachers did. If we were asked to cover a class during a prep or lunch period we got paid for an extra period. I didn't mind the extra money at all but would not have been happy to do it without compensation.
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I can't imagine why a sub should get a break beyond a lunch period. I always leave work to do for a sub during my planning period, and if I don't have any "sub-proof" work, I let the special ed department know that there's an extra set of hands available.
     
  9. Cinderfella

    Cinderfella Rookie

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    I asked because our school used to pay an extra bit of money for the sub to cover another class and in the past two years it disappeared (new superintendent). It doesn't happen often but in November I was asked three times to cover another class. Not a big deal but I do like to go to the bathroom and it is very hard to try and go during the time between classes (3 minutes) when all the students are also stopping in. Our school only has one faculty bathroom and of course it is not located in a central location. Lunch for us 27 minutes.

    I just wondered what policies are at other schools.

    Would have liked it if when the policy was changed that they would have informed us of it.

    We also used to be asked if we wanted to cover in a classroom. I only turned down one class and that was for special ed with severely autistic children. I do not feel prepared to help in that class. I never know what and how to say to the kids. Some of our students can become unhappy if a person says the wrong thing and I do not want to set them off. I do not have that type of training.
    Now I am not sure what the policy is. I mean I accept a job based on the teacher and subject and it seems a little awkward to then pull a person in.

    Thanks for responding!
     
  10. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    No offense... but... if the school is paying you for 6 hours, isn't it reasonable of them to expect you to work for 6 hours? I mean, I'd understand being upset if they asked you to work during your lunch. They don't pay you for that. But the rest of the time?

    Granted, they should have clarified the policy change, but I can't see why it would be a problem asking a sub to cover another class during the teacher's prep period. The school is paying you for that prep period, whether you're in front of kids or sitting at a desk reading the newspaper... might as well have you in front of kids. It would be different if you were an hourly employee, and they didn't pay you for that prep period, of course.
     
  11. Cinderfella

    Cinderfella Rookie

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    We are not paid by the hour. We are paid by the day. In the past if you were asked to teach more than 6 classes then they paid you the extra stipend. So therefore, in the past you were paid for 6 classes and if you taught the 7th then you were paid extra for that. It just would have been nice to notify employees of any changes.
     
  12. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Subs at my school are given a "duty" during the teacher's planning. It's usually just manning the security desk at the front where they get to sit and direct incoming people to the office or walking the halls. Teachers are never given duties, so I think they use subs since there's always at least a few in the building.
     
  13. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    As long as you are getting a lunch time, I don't think the scheduling is unfair. Planning isn't really a break for the teacher of record. To me, breaks imply free time.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    My subs get my prep breaks and my lunch.
     
  15. Ima Teacher

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    I often had to cover during my planning period, but teachers often did as well. Many teachers had meetings during planning. Nobody was guaranteed planning.
     
  16. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    When I was subbing, we had the same schedule as the teacher we covered for, including the prep. period, and lunch. However, we also had to cover whatever duty the teacher had, which could include before / after school or lunch duty (although not all at the same time).
    However, we didn't have 'rights' to the prep since we didn't have to do any planning. We were supposed to help out if they asked, but usually they didn't, unless they really had to.
    Normally, if you have to cover a class during your prep they will pay you (for us it was another $25 on top of the $105). They didn't pay if you were just making copes or doing some filing.

    Once I covered for a teacher, who had before and after school supervision, and lunch duty. the school had a system, where each teacher would have all the duty for like 3 weeks and then they didn't have anything for the rest of the year. It made sense, but it was hard for me. It was a tough school, I still had to clean up, write notes, etc, but had very little time after my duty and before the office closed.
     
  17. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Never been asked to cover another classroom during a planning period (I subbed in elementary school, so the time when the kids were at specialists). Often teachers would have left me some jobs to help them out, sometimes I'd use the time to best prepare myself for teaching the upcoming work. Even if they didn't have something, I generally could find some way I could help them out -- either scoring/grading work they had done earlier (w/the teacher's permission or if I knew the teacher well enough), sharpening pencils, etc...

    Sometimes, when I was subbing for a teacher next door to another teacher whose class and systems I knew well, I would offer in the morning to come over and help out in there (sometimes pulling a reading group, sometimes just individualized support, sometimes just busy work).

    I can't imagine not working during that time though! (especially considering how many hours outside of the "sub day" that I'd put in for my favorite teachers/classes)
     
  18. Cinderfella

    Cinderfella Rookie

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    thanks for all the replies. It is interesting to see how different all the school systems are.
     
  19. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    One reason our subs are expected to work during a teacher's planning is that many of our teachers only get planning every other day. We almost never sub internally anymore because we have so little planning time as it is.
     
  20. microbe

    microbe Comrade

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    I only ever had time to use the restroom if I got a prep period, so I was always a little upset if I didn't get the teacher's prep (typically because the teacher would allow students to eat lunch with them and/or the lunch period wasn't long enough for me to eat and use the restroom. I always felt it was unprofessional to eat my lunch during class.). Granted, I didn't need the entire prep to use the restroom so I also had a lot of wasted downtime.

    We get paid around $86 a day in my district, and they do not pay you more if they have you sub for a different class during the teacher's prep. Often you don't have enough time to get to the class on time! At one school I had to wait for a few students to slowly drag their feet out of the classroom, rush through a mob of students to get to a class across the school, and as I unlocked the door and let the students pour in - there was a fire drill! I was not informed of the fire drill and I had literally no preparation time to look over their fire drill procedure.

    I dislike the idea that teachers need to get the most work out of subs. Subs are not your employees - we're the district's employees, like you. Some teachers would leave me a lot of their work for me to complete throughout the day (i.e. cutting, pasting, hanging stuff up, making copies). I had one teacher go into AESOP and change the time I was supposed to be at the school to two hours earlier so she could have me get a bunch of work done for her!
     
  21. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I expect subs to work during my planning period because I'd be working during my planning period if I were there, and because the sub is getting paid to be me for the day.
     
  22. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Well, you are getting paid for the day so you need to cover where needed during that day. After 3, you can do what you like.
     
  23. msmac21

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    Cinderfella, I kind of feel like you were taken the wrong way on this post! You simply asked what happens in other schools and all of a sudden you have posters wondering why you want a prep period. In the districts I sub in we are often asked to cover a class too. I don't mind doing it here and there, we don't get paid for it either. But I can see why you wouldn't want to do it on a constant basis. Sometimes it is needed to have that extra period besides lunch. That 27 minutes FLIES by especially when you have to heat up a lunch, stand in line for the bathroom, etc.

    And believe it or not, sometimes subs actually DO teach (contrary to what a prior poster said... I personally take offense to that statement) and need that period to check papers, make copies, just like any regular teacher. I think covering is okay, but I agree that it would've been nice to be given some notice about the changes in your situation! Guess we have to just grin and bear it. Can't imagine being a sub for 10 years!! That is quite an amount of time... Why such a lengthy time subbing if you don't mind me asking?
     
  24. Nietzsche

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    Many times this is true, but I have had numerous instances where teachers have been out due to an extended illness or an unexpected death in the family, and I have prepared lessons and activities at home and during planning periods.

    My experience with junior high/middle school science has been that I am expected to teach what the teacher would have taught on those days including labs and other projects. I'm always happy if I have a planning period to get up to speed on the assignment before I have to teach it. I haven't run into this with HS science classes but I usually don't take these jobs.
     
  25. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    That seems like a fairly specialized issue though. I can't speak to having a sub prepare lessons... the only time a sub has ever prepared a lesson for me is when I was on long-term status for my daughter being born... and long-term subs in my district get almost double the pay of per diem subs. The only time I'd ever need a per diem sub to prepare lessons for me is if literally every member of my grade-level team, the TVI attached to my class, the SPED teacher attached to third grade and our math coach all went out on emergency leave at the same time. I leave five days of emergency plans, and if given any possibility to do so (before long-term status), I would either get the plans to school or have a teammate/someone who knows the curriculum to do plans for me.

    I know I probably sound pretty anti-sub... believe me, I love substitutes that are competent. Good subs should absolutely be treasured! I've had some ugly experience with subs though. I had a sub last year that couldn't speak English, another sub who told the kids (and I quote) after lunch, before our class bathroom break: "come up to the classroom after you are all lined up again." (bonus points because the 5th grade was taking a state standardized test at the time... double bonus points because my classroom is on a different floor from the cafeteria, on the other side of the building... triple bonus points for claiming "the plans weren't specific enough" when I had spelled out to the letter exactly what to say before, during, and after the bathroom break)... and a teammate had a sub last year who literally sat in a corner reading a paper, not interacting with the kids at all. I had her kids come into my room less than an hour into the day, just so that I could accomplish something with my own kids.

    Good sub or bad sub though... I expect them to work during my planning time, and I don't ever plan on apologizing for that.
     
  26. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    I'm going to be honest - as a former sub, I don't begrudge any sub a little break during my planning period. Subs usually take my first prep period to read over my plans and prepare for the day. During the second one, they'll correct something if need be. I am more concerned with how they handle my classes than with how they spend every minute of my prep periods.

    Subs in my district work to the teacher's schedule. However, on days when subs are in high demand, they may be asked to cover another class during preps. If so, they are paid extra for that additional class.
     
  27. microbe

    microbe Comrade

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    Do you get to use the restroom during your planning period? I can't use the restroom if I'm constantly needed to supervise children.
     
  28. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Every other day, I don't get a planning period. I use the restroom at lunch, or I run between classes if it is an emergency. When I have a sub on those days, they do not get a break. I do not get extra pay for teaching all of the blocks in one day. Why would a sub get extra pay for doing the same thing a teacher does?
     
  29. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Twice a week, yes. But the work I have subs do during planning doesn't involve supervising children. The school might temporarily reassign a sub (or I might let a department know I have a sub), but in either case, they'd be able to find a minute to go to the bathroom.
     
  30. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    My subs don't teach. I've had too many bad experiences. I don't leave any work for them to do. I'd hate it if they took it upon themselves to grade too. Therefore, I have no problems with them being asked to cover something during my prep. I am right next to the bathroom so they can go between classes, which is when I usually go.
     
  31. Nietzsche

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    Keep in mind that all situations are different. I have gone into elementary classrooms and not had lesson plans. I subbed for a 3rd grade teacher where there were no lesson plans. I went to one of the two other 3rd grade teachers and told her there were no plans. Her response was, "I don't know what to tell you." The other teacher was also no help. With the help of a student and an aide, I was able to determine what to teach for the entire day. I won't go back for 3rd grade at that school!

    I recently had a 6th grade class with no lesson plans. The other teachers were helpful, but they were in the same position as I was in trying to figure what the teacher would have been teaching that day.
     
  32. Cinderfella

    Cinderfella Rookie

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    msmac21, thanks for understanding what I was asking.

    You are right, I was looking for what is normal at other schools.

    My concern wasn't working the prep period, it was after a history of being asked if you would mind covering a particular class and being paid extra to all of a sudden being handed a slip of paper telling you to cover a class and not get paid. The new policy should have been explained.

    It still says in the handbook that is handed to each of us every day we sub that our typical day is cover 6 classes and that a teacher has a planning period. It even goes on to mention where you can go and read or use a computer.

    There are days that I am working on what a teacher asks to be done during the class time during the planning period and there are days that a teacher is so organized that it is all right there.

    I am in the habit of using my planning period to reorganize the room, desk and go to the bathroom and then go to MC and shelf books.

    I have actually been subbing the same school district since 2000. We moved quite frequently when my children were small and it was hard to find a job. A note was posted on a lunch menu about if you have a 4 year degree that you could sub in Ohio. I thought it was a great opportunity to work and be off on the same days as my children (yes, I sub in the district that I live). For the first 3 years I subbed everywhere and then I realized that I loved high school the most. So I now only sub at the same high school. It gives me the opportunity to get to know the students. I know the school building. I have a good relationship with all the teachers. So 10 years later here I am.

    I also am the school proctor for all AP exams and have been doing that for almost 9 years. I do state testing also.

    I enjoy subbing and the teachers know who I am. When we had a personal sub caller I was working 4 days/week. Then Aesop came along and the first two years were awful. I was old fashioned and worked the system like they explained it. My subbing was very seldom. So I have bit the bullet and now have SubAssistant and am working 3-4 days/week (which is what I want) but it still bugs me that I now have to pay to get a job.

    My mother was a teacher and when I went to college I in no way wanted to follow her footsteps. Well, now that I am older and have been subbing, I know I should have gotten my degree in education. I love it. I have many long term sub jobs (0ne lasting 6 months) But I am in my 50's and going back to school and then trying to find a position would be very hard. So a sub I shall stay.
     
  33. Nietzsche

    Nietzsche Companion

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    Cinderfella,
    I have subbed in six school districts. As far as what is normal, there are days when the schools do not have enough subs to cover all classes. I will only address secondary since you said you only sub in HS. None of the districts state a policy similar to "a typical day is cover 6 classes and that a teacher has a planning period." None of the districts pay extra if you cover classes every single period. A couple schools will send classes to the auditorium where there is already a teacher covering a study hall. Some schools will close the library and have the librarian cover classes. I would guess that I am asked to cover at least one other class about 30-35% of the days I work. Some of the days, I still get a planning period because many of the teachers have assignments such as hall duty, team planning, in-school suspension and cyberschool.

    I think elementary schools have a much more difficult time covering when there is no sub in a classroom. I often get calls from elementary schools when they see in Aesop that I have not taken a job that day.
     
  34. Cinderfella

    Cinderfella Rookie

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    I totally understand about covering classes when there are not enough subs for a day. My beef was not informing us about the change in pay policy. Not that it made a big deal of difference but it would be nice to be treated with the same respect and regard as the other employees in the district.

    Since our Substitute handbook still says that a typical day consists of a minimum of 5 classes (with a period of some sort of duty) and a planning period complete with where we can go to get on computers etc..... I think it is confusing. This was the normal for our district and I was just wondering what was the normal for other districts.

    I really didn't mean for it to turn into a debate of what should be done or not done during a planning period and if a sub deserves a planning period or at least some time to go to the restroom. But I have been on other boards before where threads do tend to take a life of their own.

    Every district does things differently, pays differently, and expects things from their employees differently.
     
  35. microbe

    microbe Comrade

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    I never said subs deserve extra pay for that block. I pointed out that I often don't get a bathroom break because I either have extra duties during my lunch break or because the teacher allows students to eat in the classroom. Preps are nice (and I typically subbed in middle and high in my district so those teachers got a prep every day) because it would give me a chance to use the restroom.

    I do, however, feel that they deserve a pay increase simply because the pay is so abysmal. I also feel that I should get extra pay if a teacher decides to change the time in AESOP so I go into school two hours early to do her busy work. I should only be held responsible for school hours. I don't care if this is what the teacher does, I'm not the teacher's employee.

    I should point out that when I did sub for elementary school, I always had plenty of time to use the restroom. In my district at least, elementary teachers have many more opportunities to use the restroom, and sometimes even had a restroom right in the room. Using the restroom was only a problem in middle and high school.
     
  36. msmac21

    msmac21 Companion

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    Cinderfella, makes sense to me now! Personally I think it's never too late to go back :) but I completely understand why you wouldn't, my mom is in the same position as you, I know she always wishes she would have become a teacher. MAJOR prompts to you for having the patience to be a sub for 10 years! :thumb:
     
  37. Cinderfella

    Cinderfella Rookie

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    If I went back I would go for a Masters because you need it now days and honestly I just don't want to be a student and have all that pressure at my age.:lol:
     
  38. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    A masters is no longer required in the state of OH.
     
  39. Cinderfella

    Cinderfella Rookie

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    dgpiaffeteach , I didn't realize that! Gives me something to think about.:unsure:
     
  40. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Most of the time, a sub will get my planning. BUT there are times that they might cover another class. It is up to the school. I use to sub in a district that you not only covered in another class, it might be in another building. That was hard when you were not familiar with the area.
     
  41. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    This.
     

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