First Day Disaster

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by newteach1, May 27, 2015.

  1. newteach1

    newteach1 Rookie

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    May 27, 2015

    Hello All,

    I am a new substitute teacher. On my first day of subbing a few days ago, I was placed in an elementary level PE class. During class, while running, two students collided. One student fell to the ground and broke their arm...As a first day sub, I not only feel awful for the student but I am mortified and embarrassed as to what happened. Students were following directions and it was a complete accident, but I can't help but worry that the school now thinks that I am incapable of handling/controlling a class. Although the class wasn't too rowdy or out of control, I am extremely nervous that the school will believe that I could not control students and am incompetent as a substitute teacher. I can't help but think that I will never get a call back. I just do not want the school to think this, as I really do believe that this was a freak accident. This is one of my worst nightmares. I am devastated and I am just looking for some insight about this situation. Thank you!
     
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  3. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    May 27, 2015

    I had a student break her arm colliding with another student on the playground and falling. Accidents happen. Just last week I had a sweet little boy trip up the stairs and bust his chin open- he needed 5 stitches. It happens. I felt awful and still do but there was nothing I could have done to prevent it. Try not to stress about it.
     
  4. Ms.Blank

    Ms.Blank Companion

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    May 27, 2015

    As stated, try not to stress. I had a kid break his arm falling off the monkey bars. I had very similar feelings as you! However, admin was very supportive of me and even told me that they're kids...it happens.

    The best part about the situation is that you were having the students do something very routine and expected for a P.E. class. It would be a different story if you were having them do something unsafe, like hang upside down on monkey bars or try gymnastics, for example...but you were having them do something standard. Don't worry, you're covered.
     
  5. newteach1

    newteach1 Rookie

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    May 27, 2015

    Thank you for your replies! I know that accidents happen and it was not my fault that the student got injured, but I am just worried that admin will think poorly of me because this happened on my first day at the school. I haven't received a call to go back in so I am definitely panicking.
     
  6. misswteaches

    misswteaches Companion

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    May 27, 2015

    I'm so sorry that happened! That is definitely one of my worst nightmares, also. It certainly wasn't your fault in any way.

    Admin shouldn't think twice about having you sub again. If you find they really are not calling you back, are there other schools you can sub in?
    I suppose it depends on the size of your district, but personally I don't sub in every school. I don't do high school, choose to avoid one of the middle schools, and hesitate to take jobs from two elementary schools. (I avoid them due to past experiences, word-of-mouth, and lack of familiarity.)

    I totally agree with everyone else that it's in no way your fault or that you did anything that would prevent you from being called back. But we all know admin sometimes has a special brand of logic. ;)
     
  7. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    May 27, 2015

    A kid getting hurt on my watch is one of my worst nightmares, too. It sounds like you were doing everything right and this is one of those things that just happens, unfortunately. I would bet that you're not getting called just because there are usually fewer subs this time of year (close to summer). If you really think it's because of what happened, though, I think it would be OK to contact the P and just ask to ease your mind.
     
  8. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    May 27, 2015

    How did you respond to the situation? Were you calm, following procedure? Fill out the proper forms afterward? If so, there's nothing you can do about what happens next.

    If you were panicked, adding unneeded stress to an already stressful situation, then it could be a problem for you.

    Accidents happen. It's the response that matters.
     
  9. newteach1

    newteach1 Rookie

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    May 27, 2015

    Again, thank you to everyone for your responses! Like many of you, this was my worst nightmare...and it happened on my first day subbing ever. :(

    When it happened, the child came up to me and I knew that it didn't look good so I had the child go to the nurse with a buddy. I was actually only subbing in PE for a short time this day, so I moved on to another classroom shortly after this happened (I was covering for teachers in meetings). Before leaving, I told the PE teacher that the child was at the nurse. However, I was not aware at how serious the injury was so I didn't inform him on that. The nurse then contacted me and I filled out the paperwork and spoke with her after school.

    I'm just mortified that this happened under my watch...especially because I was only there for a few class periods and that it was my first day at the school. Although I know that the class was under control, admin has probably formed their own opinions of me. There are other districts that I can sub for, but I am just extremely embarrassed, especially because I know many teachers in the building. I don't want these people and administrators to have a poor opinion on me or my teaching. This has been bothering me for a few days now...even to the point where I am questioning my abilities as a teacher. I can't help but rethink everything that I did that day, trying to find mistakes in my actions. I believe that I handled the situation appropriately, but I can't help but feel responsible for what happened -- especially with the worry that those who hired me think poorly of me and will not call me back.
     
  10. misswteaches

    misswteaches Companion

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    May 28, 2015

    I can guess from your posts that you are an above-average teacher. Why? Because you are thinking about your actions reflectively. Beyond that, you're not blaming others or complaining about your situation. You're genuinely asking for advice and feedback. Those are marks of a really good teacher.

    Regardless of what this school may choose to think, you can know that you're a good teacher. (Bonus points for subbing at the END of the school year!) Just keep at it. :)
     
  11. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    May 28, 2015

    I'm sorry that happened on your first day. Don't panic about not being called back. At the end of the year, most teachers try not to miss a lot of days. You sound like a great teacher. Hang in there!
     
  12. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    May 28, 2015

    I am also one to re-think, over-analyze, and question myself whenever something goes wrong. Most of the time, it was something beyond my control, but I still think of it as a reflection of myself. Please realize that all of this is what you are thinking -- not what anyone has actually told you or confirmed. It may very well be that they haven't called you because they just haven't needed subs, or that as a new sub, you aren't high up on the call list yet. If you are really stressing, you could email the P to check in just to ease your mind. Either way, make sure to look at the pattern in your thinking and understand that the pressure is coming from inside yourself and may not reflect what is actually going on.

    Don't let this one unfortunate incident break down your self-confidence! Because trust me, there will be times when you really do F up (we all do at some point, part of being human) and you have to be able to forgive yourself the way you would forgive anyone else!
     
  13. newteach1

    newteach1 Rookie

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    Jun 3, 2015

    Thanks again to everyone for your kind and insightful replies! They, honestly, made me feel much better about the situation. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself in everything -- especially teaching because I'm so new to it. I'm just going to keep at it and hope that confidence will come with more experience. I'm really hoping that this experience will help me become a better teacher in the long run. Again, thank you all for all of your insight!
     
  14. Ykk27

    Ykk27 Rookie

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    Jun 4, 2015

    In our school parents sign a waiver for accidents, which could happen at PE, that they will not hold teachers or school responsible.
     
  15. LifeIsAThrill

    LifeIsAThrill Rookie

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    Jun 8, 2015

    Have they called you back?
     
  16. newteach1

    newteach1 Rookie

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    Jun 19, 2015

    Again, thanks to everyone for your continued advice and support! Thankfully, they did call back! I've subbed a few times at the school since then, and feel like I am slowly making up for what happened. I think I am getting positive feedback, which makes me feel a little better as well. Although I would never choose to have that "first day disaster" happen in a million years, I know that I can't change it... I am just going to take this incident and try to better myself as a substitute and as a teacher in the long run because of it! Thanks again! :)
     

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