Fist fights and legal issues...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by JediLeyli, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. JediLeyli

    JediLeyli Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 16, 2015

    So...I've posted here a couple of times. I'm a graduate student getting my license in ESL. I was asked to take a 3 week long sub position as a math and science teacher in an inner city school. Despite not being a math or science teacher, I agreed because I figured there would be lesson plans and it would be a good experience.

    Well, there have been no lesson plans provided to me. I have no help from admin. I have no science or math books for these kids. It's a fight to get copy paper. I'm expected to assign, teach, and grade work. I'm also expected to conduct parent teacher conferences, meet with parents, make calls home, etc (all on a sub's salary). I've been in there for going on five weeks now (the actual teacher is out because of stress...they don't know when/if she's coming back). I'm so frustrated.

    Question 1: Is this even legal?! I don't have a license in any subject and am certainly not qualified to teach math or science! I'm teaching them how to add fractions and about 3/4 of them get it and the others are just off the wall insane! Shouldn't there be a qualified teacher in the room?

    Question 2: Two boys got into a fist fight in my room yesterday. One is 5'5 and 250 pounds, the other is probably 4'11 and 120 pounds. I couldn't let the little one get murdered so I tried to break it up...and got an elbow to the face for my troubles. I did get the little one away but....should I have stepped in or just let it happen and call the admin to break it up? Has anyone ever had a fight break out in their class?
     
  2.  
  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,714

    Oct 16, 2015

    Do you have a sub license? If so, this is legal. It is, unfortunately, also exceedingly common for rough schools to staff hard-to-fill positions like math and science with long-term subs.

    As a long-term sub, you may well be expected to write your own plans and do your own grading. Long-term subs usually get paid more than day-to-day subs for exactly this reason. It's not easy, especially with little or no support, but it is what is expected. If you aren't willing or able to do the job, then you should maybe consider looking for a different sub job.

    As for the fighting issue, my standard response is that no, teachers should never intervene in physical altercations. The risk of injury to the teacher is great, as you've experienced. There is also a risk that the teacher will end up injuring a student while breaking up a fight, and that is a mess that nobody wants to be involved in--lawsuits, etc. I advise you to direct other students in the area to leave (even if it means getting out of the classroom) and call for help using your panic button, phone, or sending a student to the office.
     
  4. JediLeyli

    JediLeyli Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 16, 2015

    I don't have a sub license. I was hired by the district as a sub on a Tuesday, was called on Wednesday to come down to the school to meet the principal and discuss the possibility of a two week long assignment, went down there on Thursday and instead of the "meeting" I was told to go up to the classroom to teach the class. I have never been in a classroom as a teacher before and I tried to explain to her that I know crap-lot about what fifth graders learn in math and science but she didn't seem concerned. These kids were out of control for my first two weeks and after A LOT of effort, I've gotten to the point where most of them can calm down and work FOR ME (they still terrorize most of the other teachers in the building) for a stretch of time. The problem is that the two week position turned into a two month long position (and "possibly longer" according to the v.p)! I'm not qualified to teach these kids (I've never even made a lesson plan before) and when I bring it up I'm just told to have them watch videos...it's just so frustrating and if I were these kids at this school, I'd probably act up too.

    I don't want to quit because it seems like a bad career move to do so (at the very least I could get a recommendation letter) but I'm so stressed it's insane.

    Thank you for the advice about the fight! I will follow it...hopefully no more elbows to the throat for me.
     
  5. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,325
    Likes Received:
    1,644

    Oct 20, 2015

    I don't think it would be a bad career move to quit. You don't have to use them as a reference and they can't threaten your license because you don't have one. It sounds like you've given it a good try and you have to figure out if it's worth it to you to continue. Since you're still going to school you will have many more opportunities to get references.
     
  6. greendream

    greendream Cohort

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    159

    Oct 20, 2015

    As for the fighting, I wouldn't ever insert myself physically. Just too risky.
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,585
    Likes Received:
    1,700

    Oct 20, 2015

    This sounds like a TERRIBLE situation for you. Did you file an injury report for that blow to the face you took?
     
  8. Rox

    Rox Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    19

    Oct 20, 2015

    As for the injury, you should definitely file an incident report. You never know what will lead to a workers compensation complaint later down the road.

    Hang in there... It seems like you're doing the best you can given the circumstances.

    My district provides nonviolent crisis prevention training, so that if a fight were to break out, we can use other techniques to break it up. However, it may be best to send for help, clear the area, and supervise from a safe distance.
     
  9. JediLeyli

    JediLeyli Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 23, 2015

    For the shot to the face, I had to go see the nurse and they called someone from workplace connections to see me because the nurse thought he fractured my nose (he didn't...but it sure felt like he had). I filed a report with the district but NOTHING happened to the student. He was sent home for the remainder of that day and was back in my class bright and early the next day. A few days afterward, he threw a desk across my class and stormed out because I told him he had to stay in for recess for being talking during a test. He received NO form of punishment for this.

    I have some of the nicest kids on the planet in my class. They help me clean, complete their work, sit quietly, help me carry things, etc but the 10 or so kids who misbehave are so awful that it's insane. There were two girls from my class who beat the living crap out of another girl during art because she told the teacher that they were chewing gum. This poor girl had to go to the ER. The two girls got 1 day of in-school suspension! These kids are 10 years old!

    I was talking to the janitor today and he told me that he knows woman who I'm subbing for outside of school and that he doubts she's coming back. I think I may give my notice Monday. :/
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 271 (members: 3, guests: 230, robots: 38)
test