Horrible day at School.

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by rlbbas123, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. rlbbas123

    rlbbas123 Rookie

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    Feb 27, 2007

    Hi, everyone.
    Its been a while since I lasted posted, although, I do read posts daily. Have any of you went home at the end of the day wondering if you did the best job that could, and yet feel that you still made human errors? I subbed for the elementary level on day, and I was just in tears by the time I got home. I kept thinking, I don't want to ever go back. Here's what happened: I got to my class room, read of the instructions, asked a couple of teachers for input, wrote the class schedule on the board(just so the little ones and I can see what was planned for the day and kept up with time). Then it all went to pots. First, they all wanted to share on how things were done, especially since the teacher wasn't there and they all wanted to help. Which was great until I didn't pick a particular child, then they would start crying, then they were all feeling sick. One after another. Since there was a bad virus going around the whole school district, I felt that if a child told me they were sick, then it would be best if I sent them to the office.(School nurse left job)Well the principle came down to see what was going on. I explained. The principle talked to the kids. They were all feeling better. I however, felt like I was frowned upon because I wasn't able to control the kids. But I kept thinking, If I didn't send the child after they said they were sick, whether sick or not, then the parents would be upset me. Teachers have a tough job! Then the tattling came. All day long, after the tattling, the crying. No MATTER what I did, they were either crying, tattling, or both. During the afternoon math assestment, a child cried all the way through, I finally said come to stopping point, and since we were already late for afternoon recess, we stopped and went on to recess. Probably not a good idea? I couldn't feel worse, but when I left, no one in the office would speak to me. I really need good advice on how to deel with difficult days. I really like what I do and I want to do the best job I can, I just feel that subs are not supposed to make mistakes and when they do, they are never called again.
    Sorry so long.
    Thanks,
    Rlbbas123
     
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  3. sub&mom

    sub&mom Companion

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    Feb 27, 2007

    I have been in that sutuation a couple of times. I feel for you greatly. Was there any behavior control in the class? When I sub for the elementary grades I try my own behavior program. I put the class on teams by tables or rows and the team with the least amount of points at the end of the day get a little prize from me. Obviously, they get points for doing things like talking, tattling, not working, etc. You can also flip it and give points for positive behavior, but in difficult behaved classes that is harder.

    All of that is what might have helped. Now that the day is over, all you can do is learn from it and move on. I am sure you did your best on that day. We have all had horrible times. I have felt unsure about sending students to the office. I usually have them put there head down on their desk for a bit before sending them to the nurse.

    Take a day or two off. Go back into the school with a positive attitude. That probably wasn't the first time the students in that class were disruptive! Keep your spirits up. Take care
     
  4. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Feb 27, 2007

    ((Ribbas))

    Oh, Honey, do I understand! Although every experience is different, the feeling like the day just sucked the wind out of our sails is all the same.

    I'm a sub, too, and no matter how prepared I try to be there are always things that go crazy. I always tell the class I'm subbing that I am the sub they'll either love or make them be thankful for the teacher they have :)

    If you know in your heart of hearts that you were doing your best to make sure the kids were well, then you did the right thing sending them to the office. How would you know if there wasn't a sudden case of illness?

    As for stopping in the middle of math...YES!!! You did the right thing!! How sad for the little one to cry through math. Getting out of the room, change of environment is WONDERFUL for kids to download their feelings. Give yourself a hug! I for one, as a parent would rather my little one not cry during any test and be allowed to do something different until their routine is reestablished.

    So, today you learned a valuable lesson with the school....dig out that sub handbook the district gives you or go demand one from the school district office so you'll be prepared for your next adventure in subbing! If they give you the "Well, we don't have one..." ask them why not.

    Second, perspective is just so wild, isn't it? If you think the people in the office are put out by you subbing, think again. Consider yourself a wonderful childcare provider doing the school a favor by providing loving, caring, and thoughtful care over 15-28 students that have multiple personalities, needs, and desires (especially if you're alone without a helper!).

    Third, chalk this day up to experience, Girl! Count 10 awesome things that happened today and focus on those. It can be a small as a smile on a child. :)

    Hang in there! Us sub's have to stick together and enjoy the reason why we decided to sub: for the love of taking care of students until their teacher comes back.

    HUGS!
     
  5. wpotterygirl

    wpotterygirl Rookie

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    Feb 27, 2007

    I'm in my first year of teaching/subbing, and all of my experiences have been positive - except for ONE. (and I really meant to put that in all caps - it was that bad!) I'm certified in pre-K - 3 so I sub in the lower grades. This was a 2nd grade class in a well-funded school system that is actually rated #1 in Ohio. It started with the tattling thing. I had barely walked into the room and I had a stream of little people following me around saying, "SHE did this..." or "HE did that..." in very whiny voices. Then the violence started. There was hitting, kicking, stomping on hands while other kids picked up their pencils. There was one child who stole things from others and gave me the "I dare you to do something about it" look. I had one child who I believe had some social issues, where she could not handle it if something happened in the classroom that didn't normally happen. She would truly fall to pieces, get angry, and start screaming. Within an hour I had to take 2 students out in the hall (but not out of sight of the rest of the class) to discuss that we use our words, not our fists - one hit the other so the first one knocked him to the ground. While having this discussion, other physical altercations were taking place in the classroom.

    When it came time for me to have read aloud, I could never start because a group of students were crawling around the desks chasing each other, and another had lodged himself between the heat register and the teacher's desk and would not come out. By lunch time, I was ready to shoot myself. When the teachers in the lunchroom asked me how my day was going, I didn't know what to say. They took the cue by looking at my face and asked whose class I was in. When I told them, they all said, "Oh!" and gave each other knowing looks. I truly would have appreciated a little heads up on the behavior issues, but the teacher had left me absolutely nothing. The teacher next door took pity on me and told me that I could send a child or two to her room if they needed "a change of scenery". Thank God for that wonderful woman!!

    One of my students did end up in her room shortly after lunch, when he started a fight with another student and then cried when the student hit him back. When it came time for them to go to library (which we were 10 minutes late for because I could not get them to line up), we got halfway down the hall when another teacher looked at my kids and asked, "Where are your shoes?" I looked down and noticed that 6 of my kids decided to go to library barefoot. I was mortified! I was so busy making sure they did not break each other's faces - I never thought to look at their feet! The librarian told me that this is a horrible class and she is mean to them because it's the only way she can stand them. I went back to the classroom and cried for the 40 minutes that they were gone, got myself back together, and picked them up.

    All we had left was to pack up and get coats & boots on to go home. They didn't want to do that, either. I couldn't get them to leave the classroom. I finally got all of them out except for the 2 most difficult children. They were across their desks from each other, squaring up to fight again. Before I could even say a word, one of them tried to throw a metal desk chair at the other one. At this time I pointed to the door and said, "OUT!" They tried to say, "But he did..." and I repeated myself. It took 4 times to get them to go.

    After leaving a note for the teacher about the "highlights" of my day, I went to the office to pick up my timecard. To top off my day, I burst into tears in the principal's office, in front of the secretaries, a bunch of students, and a bunch of parents. I picked up my timecard and ran to my car.

    So how's that for a crappy day? I'm embarrassed to even put this in writing because it makes me feel like a failure, but my husband helped me to put it into perspective. He told me that there is no way that the problems in that room began when I walked in the door, and he is correct. I still feel badly about it, particularly for the 6 or so really nice kids in that class that didn't get to learn that day because of all the stuff I had to spend my time dealing with. I still work in that district (in fact I'm starting a long term there this coming Monday) and love it, except for that one class. The next time I was in the building, I introduced myself to the teacher and told her that I was the one who had "THE DAY" (as it has come to be known) in her room. She was really nice about it. She felt awful and said that she has had no end to problems in her room - it's just not a cohesive group of students.

    So, I can honestly say that I empathize with you on your horrible day. Just remember that you are a teacher for a reason, and keep plugging away. We have an awesome responsibility, and it takes a special person to be able to not only handle it, but enjoy it and learn from it. And please remind me that I said that when I start freaking out about my long term subbing!

    Peace,
    Wendy
    :)
     
  6. rlbbas123

    rlbbas123 Rookie

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    Feb 28, 2007

    Thanks for all of the reponses to my Horrible day thread. It is great to know that subs every where experience one or two..... days like I had and that we ALL do the best we can. As for teaching goes, I think that if anyone was to say that teaching school is easy, than they haven't walked in the shoes of a TEACHER or Sub-Teacher.:)
    Thanks,
    RLBBAS
     

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