# Got Interim Sub position....need advice

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by meeper22, Dec 13, 2011.

1. ### AliceaccMultitudinous

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Dec 23, 2011

OK, for starters, this:

" I thought you multiply 0.926 three times so you can multiply the result of 0.926 three times with 3.5 and then from that result, you use a calculator to find the cubic root, then add 0.169 but I don't get 1.237 mm as the answer. "

makes no sense. You follow the order of operations-- do the exponent (cube root) first, then multiplication, then addition/subtraction.

I think you copied the formula wrong. Either that, or there's a typo somewhere-- check other similar problems and see whether the constant should be positive or negative. If you change the sign of the 0.169 to a minus, it works out.

Here's what I get:
0.926 (3.5)^1/3 + 0.169
0.926(1.518) +0.169 (I'm assuming you want 3 decimal place)
1.406 -0.169
1.237

And I'm not a math genius; I've just been doing this forever.

2. ### meeper22Companion

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Dec 24, 2011

Yeah, I see now. This book doesn't discuss that until the next section. That's why I hate to use books because they give you problems that a student wouldn't really know until he reads the next section.

Yet I have to see what each section talks about so I know what to teach for each section.

Now I'm even more confused.

I was about to prep more for my regular Algebra 2 class.

I look at the pacing guide; it's this packet that lists dates in calendar form and tells when you would teach a section, and when mid-terms are, planning days, quiz dates, etc.

I'm looking it over and the pacing guide says that her Algebra 2 class should be on chapter 5 at this point.

HOWEVER, on the first day I filled in for her, she told me to go over lesson 4.6 with them. Not only that, but they were supposed to have a test on the days BEFORE I even came to her class and BEFORE I even knew I had the job.

So now, I'm confused as to what should happen next with this class. My thoughts are that I finish chapter 4 with them, then I don't know if the math department wants me to give them a test on thursday and friday before we review for Mid-terms but I don't even have the test or the review sheet for them.

And a fellow teacher told me the math department gives me the tests and quizzes.

Now I don't know if they have to take the test now or not.

She has this Integrated Math class of students who flunked the math portion of the FCAT and they go to another teacher and they just show up for attendance but I have to see if the teacher they go to, if he gives me assignments for them or if I go to the math department...I don't know.

Then I see she has one student in Liberal Arts Math. Just one.

I don't even know what Liberal Arts Math is.

My respect for this school used to be high....now it's low. There, I said it, I don't care anymore.

I apologize if I sound like I'm whining but I just need to air out my grievances somewhere because if I don't, they get bottled up and it's not healthy for me.

I've already e-mailed a ton of people at my school but waiting for a reply which I hope is before school starts again but seems less likely.

To any teachers here, I don't care if you're math or not, did your department give you a pacing guide; a packet that shows which lesson you teach on which day and when test and quiz dates are; and if so, did you have to necessarily follow it? Like if you didn't, would they think negative about you?

3. ### AliceaccMultitudinous

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Dec 24, 2011

On my way out the door, but here's what I would do:

Spend the next week prepping the lessons; you'll have to teach the material at some point anyway.

The first day back, go to see the department chair. Show him what you were left, tell him where you were supposed to leave off. Ask him his opinon. I suspect he'll tell you to teach from the point hwere the teacher left off.

Gotta run.. Merrry Christmas!

4. ### AliceaccMultitudinous

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Dec 24, 2011

If that was you, having a rough moment because you're sick, then fine.

If it's a reflection of the way you really feel, you should probably quit Monday morning.

Those kids need and deserve someone who cares.

5. ### meeper22Companion

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Dec 27, 2011

What?

Quit? I don't want to quit...if I quit, then what? Just admit that I can't do it and run away from my problems. Have this school think negative about me and let them down? I may not seem like a great teacher now but I want to be a great teacher and I have been trying my best to prep with the material. I've been making notes, thinking about what to do for the classes, and praying to God to help give me strength for this job.

When I said I don't care anymore, I meant expressing how I felt about how the school handled hiring me. And yeah, being sick makes me not think clearly.

I DO care about the students. That's what makes me worried the most...that I try my best and the students don't really learn from it and if they fail, that means I failed them and I don't want that to happen. I mean to find out that a student fails after you tried your best to teach him and to help him understand the material...it would be heart breaking.

I just feel like if I quit now, then I'm just telling myself that I'm a quitter and not an achiever.

I was just airing out my grievances, I didn't mean to cause trouble.

6. ### AliceaccMultitudinous

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Dec 27, 2011

Oh, no trouble.

It's just that online, it's hard to distinguish the meaning behind a phrase like "I don't care." It can mean "I wish I didn't care as much as I do" or "I'm so sick of this that I don't care any more." I'm glad it's the first.

So, how's the prep going?

7. ### MathTeacher29Rookie

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Dec 27, 2011

Is there someone else at the school who is teaching the same subjects as you? If there is I would try sitting down with them and looking over the material for the week ahead. My department also uses common quizzes and test. I would recommend you get copies of them well in advance, I've seen new teachers not look at the test until the day before and they realize then that there is material on it they hadn't covered or emphasized enough.

8. ### meeper22Companion

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Dec 27, 2011

I got the tests for two of the subjects.

One of the teachers told me he is going to take care of assignments for Integrated Math since the students in Integrated Math go to him anyway.

I don't know about Liberal Arts Math student, I was going to talk to the math department head about that since only one student is in that class.

There is one other subject, Algebra 2, that I have no clue as to what will happen with that because their regular teacher was to be done with Chapter 4 before I took over but didn't. So I was going to talk to the Math Department Head about that in terms of if they take a test before Mid-terms.

The week after they come back from break is review for Mid-terms, I believe. Then it's Mid-terms, then the 3rd quarter starts.

I am still prepping, there is something I haven't read about. You know when you graph f(x) with a real world problem like graphing the weight of a patient over several weeks, I see the origin or (0,0) and there's this "break"...what is that "break" for exactly?

9. ### TeacherGroupieModerator

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Dec 27, 2011

Real patients don't weigh nothing; if the patient's weight never goes below (say) 78 kg, it makes no sense to graph weights between 70 kg and 0.

You should see the break in the y-axis - and it's a very good thing to teach your students to pay attention to the labels and the increments on the axes, since one of the classic ways to lie with statistics is to tweak the scale on either or both axes to exaggerate or minimize trends.

10. ### meeper22Companion

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Dec 28, 2011

So you would put a "break" in the graph if zero is impossible, in terms of the example I gave since a person can't weigh zero pounds?

I know two other teachers who teach the same subjects I am but with Algebra 2 honors and Analysis of Functions; that teacher only has 7th hour as planning and I have to teach a class that time.

I tried to sit down with the other Algebra 2 teacher but she had a conference and so it seemed like she may be busy to even help plan with me. That's my take on it.

I have another question about HW assignments. How exactly do you assign them? Only my third hour Algebra 2 honors class meets with me everyday. For my other classes, I meet either 2 or 3 days of the week.

Students have 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th hour one day and the next day would be 5th, 6th, 3rd, and 7th hour and then the day after is back to the 1, 2, 3, and 4 hour classes and then the day after that is 5, 6, 3, and 7 and well you get the schedule.

The Algebra 2 honors book advises HW assignments to give to students but only that book. I figure I would have to go over the problems the book has to see which ones they could do but I don't want to give TOO MUCH in that they wouldn't have the time for it since they have six other classes to worry about.

What's the advice on HW assignments?

11. ### Special-tEnthusiast

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Dec 28, 2011

Graphing: Your post just reminded me about graphing calculators. Check to see if the previous teacher was using them. Our Alg1 and higher teachers incorporate them into their classes. If you do use them in your classes, I highly recommend that you check them out to your students by number so they don't get stolen or lost. They are expensive to replace. Take your time collecting them at the end of class so you're sure each one is returned.

Pacing: From what I see in the math classes I push into with my sped students, the pacing is rigorous. If the department has a pacing guide and tests, you have to push to meet the deadlines. If your students are behind, you have to do your best to catch them up. The thing is that you are going to have students who cannot keep up. They should be coming to you after school for tutoring, or they may be enrolled in math tutorials to supplement. You will know in your heart that if you could spend 2 extra weeks on a topic that more students will achieve mastery, but you cannot lag the class. You really have to push your students to come to tutoring for the extra help they need. Our math teachers typically stay after school for 1 hour 3x per week.

That said, you may have some control over grading, even for the students who are not scoring well on the department tests. The Algebra 1 teacher I work with has created a series of mastery tests. The students have to score 8/10 to pass. This semester the students have to pass Linear Equations and Systems of Equations. Passing raises their grade an entire grade (ie. d to c). If they don't pass the mastery on the first try they have about 4 more tries. Once a student has passed the mastery they keep taking it for practice and a grade for effort.

Liberal Arts Math: Your liberal arts math student may have an IEP. This reminds me. Make sure you find out which of your students have IEP and get their math accommodations from the sped department. Don't worry too much about the students who are pulled out for Integrated Math. The teacher they see for tutoring probably supplies the curriculum.

Homework: Assign as needed. It should be independent work that has been practiced in class. You can give short (4 problem) homework assignments after every class if you want to check their mastery of a concept. If you are on a block schedule with long periods, you might just assign these mastery checks during the last 20 minutes of class and collect them on the spot.

Hiring: I've covered quite a few LTS positions and it always felt like I had to hit the ground running. And now, being on the other side, I see that when we hire LTsubs, it's not always a smooth process. This can be due to a number of factors. It actually sounds like the math department is organized enough to do team planning and tutoring. So, it may not be as bad as it seems.

12. ### TeacherGroupieModerator

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Dec 28, 2011

The graph contains a break not just if zero is impossible, but if there's a span of numbers that it's either inconvenient or a bit silly to include in the graph because no data lie there: if one is graphing weight gain/loss in increments of 0.5 kilo over three weeks, the graph for a patient who comes in at 125 kilos is going to waste a lot of paper if we include all the possible weights between 0 kilos and 100 kilos. The break in the graph signals to the reader that the graph is focusing in on a particular part of the scale; as long as the break is signaled, and as long as similar graphs have similar breaks or we're looking just at the one patient, that usually isn't a problem. In contrast, a graph that plots lifetime weight gain will begin at 0 but will probably mark the y-axis in increments of 5, 10, or even 25 pounds.

13. ### meeper22Companion

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Dec 29, 2011

So now I just got an e-mail from the head of the math department and she tells me that I don't have to give tests and quizzes on dates that are listed on the pacing guides. I want to try to give them on the dates but I would just hope I prep my students enough to pass the tests.

Now I'm being told I have to talk to two different people about getting a teacher number.

How do you all deal with stress from teaching? I don't want to go to work everyday with my heart racing and then leave home worrying about what'll happen the next day with how a lesson turns out and what a student might do or get pulled out to talk to someone. I've only been at this job for three days and I keep worry about what may happen in the future. I don't know why I do, I've always had ever since I was a kid.

So, as teachers, how do you deal with stress to where you don't "fear" going to work everyday?

14. ### Caesar753Multitudinous

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Dec 29, 2011

Some of the things that happen at school are beyond your control, so you shouldn't spend time worrying about them. Instead, focus on the things that are within your control, like learning your content thoroughly.

15. ### Special-tEnthusiast

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Dec 29, 2011

Try to reframe the fear as anticipation and excitement. Every day will be an adventure. That's the fun of teaching. I was once told the being flexible is a very desirable trait in a teacher. It's true that you just can't control all the factors in your day. You will be dealing with 100s of children and a handful of adults and assemblies and fire drills and computer glitches, etc.

16. ### meeper22Companion

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Dec 30, 2011

You have a point there. It's true, I do see things beyond control for a teacher. But now I have somewhat more trouble.

I was looking over the Ch. 5 test that the head of the math department gave me for the Analysis of Functions class and 4 questions ask for the student to graph and analyze the given function.

One question is y = -2^x + 1
This is an exponential function where x + 1 is an exponent of -2.

So the question asks for the Domain, Range, x-intercept, y-intercept, and Inc/Dec.

What I don't get is it asking for an x-intercept. You have to make y = 0, so you get 0 = -2^x + 1.

But y can't be zero, there's no power you can raise -2 to be zero. So how can there be a y-intercept?

This Analysis of Functions class, I have the most trouble with. I thought I could teach it at first but when I saw the material, I was left pretty clueless.

17. ### AliceaccMultitudinous

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Dec 31, 2011

For starters, remember your order of operations. It's not (-2)^(x+1), it's "the opposite of [2 ^(x+1])

There is a y-intercept. You substitute 0 in for x, and get -(2^1), or -2.

There is no x-intercept. The x-axis is an asymptote-- a line the function approaches but usually (as in this case) doesn't cross.

Unless there's a constant added to or subtracted from the problem, the x-axis will be an asymptote for exponential functions.

18. ### Joyful!Habitué

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Dec 31, 2011

Alice,
You are a marvelous teacher. I wish every student to have a teacher like you in 2012!

Meeper, best wishes.

19. ### TeacherGroupieModerator

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Dec 31, 2011

Joyful, I have wished for years that I could have had Alice for high-school geometry.

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