How Was Your Day Today?

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Ms. I, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Sep 24, 2010

    I have gone over the differences in detail previously, so I will not rehash them here.
    When I speak of being "disrespected", I am not referring to disrespect by teachers. I am speaking of disrespect by the "system".
    I believe it should be changed.

    Additionally, after 13 years of subbing, This is my slowest start ever, so even though the first few weeks are generally slow, they have never been this slow.

    In a typical year, I would have worked eight or nine of the first 17 days. Working only three days is unusual and is a cause for concern. The pace could remain slower all year due to previously contracted teachers getting asssignment priority.
     
  2. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Sep 24, 2010

    Although I prefer grades K-6, the easiest sub days with minimal stress are high school computer classes.
    If there are two things that Kindergartners have in common with high school students, it is the "need" to use the bathroom, and their love of computers.
    The students are generally so well engaged that discipline is rarely an issue in these classes.
     
  3. aer011

    aer011 Rookie

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    Sep 24, 2010

    So - I picked up two jobs for next week! 1st grade on Tuesday and 4th grade on Wednesday. I'm very excited but also very nervous.

    Oldstudent- I have been told that, aside from disciplinary issues, HS is much easier. My fiance, a HS science teacher, says that he usually just leaves a video if the stuff they are doing is too advanced. It will definitely be something I try out once I get into the swing of things!

    Happy Friday everyone :)
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 25, 2010

    The economy should be a 'concern' to everyone. Schools have less money for professional development, teachers are carefully guarding their sick and personal days for when they are REALLY needed...many of us are engaged in negotiations within which amount of sick and personal days are 'on the table' as well as compensation and benefits. Most schools are doing more with less staff...so less opportunities for subs. :sorry:
     
  5. aer011

    aer011 Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2010

    Hey guys. I've spent the weekend getting myself all worked up for this first job on Tuesday. I'm hoping that someone here can ease a few tensions I have. Warning: this is a bit lengthy and maybe a little ridiculous on my part.

    Possibly a TMI, but needed for my question: I have a strange issue with frequent bladder infections. It's like bacteria flocks to me. One of the many ways I deal with this on a daily basis is drinking lots of water to flush my system and (obviously) having to go to the bathroom on a pretty consistent basis. I realize that I'm going to have to just man up and hold it when I'm subbing and can't go, but what about if I get to the point that I just can't anymore? I'm pretty worked up over this and thinking that I will probably end up drinking very minimal liquid until after the school day. Suggestions?

    Also, a friend of mine subbed for a couple of years and she told me that her best advice was to be mean. Maybe not mean, but firm. Definitely no smiling at first. Something about how you can always get nicer, but once you're seen as 'nice', you're done for. Do you agree with this or not?

    What if there are not good plans left by the teacher? As in, how would I know when to take kids to lunch/recess/PE/music/etc...?

    I really think that a few tips on taking control of the classroom from the beginning would help me out. If I have some ideas for getting things off to a good start, I know I can handle it from there. Sorry about all the questions guys. I am just feeling really nervous about all of this. In any other job, there is training and time to adjust. This seems like a trial by fire. I know that after I've been to a few assignments, it'll get easier...but I need some kind words until then. Thanks for taking the time to read this novel!
     
  6. azure

    azure Companion

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    Sep 26, 2010

    Your friend is pretty much right. . . be very firm from the beginning as soon as someone steps "out of line."

    I have very rarely had plans that left important things out. Get there a little early so you can go over them a couple of times. If you do find that you need add'l information, ask a neighboring teacher.

    As far as restroom breaks, you should have at least one break when they go to specials, and lunch, of course, but cutting back on the water till the kids leave would probably be advisable.

    Do worry so much. . . you'll be find.

     
  7. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Sep 26, 2010

    aer011, I agree to start off very firm, so the kids know you mean business...yet, be ready to smile in the next second. Even the kids who are normally pretty well behaved can get a little out of hand when they see there's a new face in the rm, so yes, be firm! I've slightly slammed down a stack of books on the desk in my day at times to get the class' attn.

    Now regarding going to the bathroom, I feel for you. Maybe if you hv to go as often as every 45 min to an hr, if I were you, I'd introduce myself to the teachers on either side of you bef school starts in the morning & mention how it's physically impossible for you to wait until recess or lunch only & there are times you'll hv to visit the restroom more. Ask if they can keep an eye on your class if you happen to poke your head in their rm. Talk to both teachers, so you're not always bugging 1 teacher, you can alternate btwn them when you need to go.

    Good luck & hv fun!
     
  8. aer011

    aer011 Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2010

    Thank you guys for the tips and reassurances. I know that I just need to get out there and do it. I've always been this way with new things...I'll fret myself into a frenzy and 9 times of 10, it wasn't worth it - but it still happens every time :) I know that I'm a little odd, so go ahead and think that! Lol

    I know that this forum will be very helpful on my journey and I hope that I get to a point where I can be of some use as well at times for you guys!
     
  9. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Sep 27, 2010

    Exactly! This is why I might have to get out of education.
    With a better system for subs, at least for those of us who are fully credentialed, we might better be able to reach our goals someday.
    Instead, we may now have to get out, which is too bad.
     
  10. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Sep 27, 2010

    High school is easier in terms of the effort needed to get through the day. In high school, subs are not expected to be familiar with the subject matter, so the plans are relatively easy, and your main job is merely to monitor the students' behavior and focus.
    Since high school rarely involves student engagement, I usually find it boring, and the day truly drags along. Each one hour period seems like two hours.

    With grades K-6, the subject matter is basic enough that one can actually teach the lessons and engage the students.
    I find this more rewarding and enjoyable, hence the days go by much quicker. I am rarely bored in K-6 classes.
     
  11. hac711

    hac711 Companion

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    Sep 28, 2010

    First sub assignment!! First I have to mention our subbing system is nuts! I sit by my phone waiting to get called, decide to go to the restroom and then bam, I get called and can't answer the blasted phone. This has happened twice!! So anyhoo, first assignment, week long at a middle school. Nevermind that I made a silent vow to myself when I was in middle school that I was never to return, but I digress. I was subbing for family science, aka home ec. Teacher has been absent all year, kids were...beyond insane.. Throwing things, swearing at me in Spanish, telling me to shut my cracka mouth, I took it all in stride, until I had this girl who literally came up to my navel and told me to get the f out of her way...I just looked at her and told her to stop being so short and maybe I would. That shut her up, and I regained temporary control of the class, but now I am feeling buyers' remorse and feel the wave of administration about to come down (that is if she even reported it, which looking at her attitude, she seems to want to steer away from authority). I know, I know, bad bad bad, but really?? The kids were beyond. I felt like I was in Dangerous Minds. Home ec!! You would think it would be easy! That's it, I'm going back to elem. school...
     
  12. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Sep 28, 2010

    This morning I am sick to my stomach, both literally and figuratively.

    About a month ago, I obtained an appointment for a very important one day only vascular screening. The only time available was noon.

    Due to 'the system', I had to accept the fact I would not get paid for the day.

    As luck would have it, I got only my 2nd call of the year to work in my highest paying district, which also was at my 2nd favorite school.

    Yet due to my appointment, I had to reject the job and lose $140.

    There has got to be a better way!

    Considering our average daily wages are similar to a high school drop out, and it is highly unlikely the system will ever change, I feel it should be much easier to become a Substitute Teacher.

    If you have a high school diploma, are 21 years old, and have passed the CBEST, you should be able to sub.
     
  13. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Sep 28, 2010

    I feel your pain. I am lucky because two out of my three districts have minimal discipline problems, so I accept all grades. But my third district would offer experiences similar to yours, so I stick with K-6.

    I would suggest that you get advice from either the principal or vice principal on how they would like you to handle such classrooms.
    Enter their office with a pleasant demeanor with no signs of being flustered or frustrated.
    Simply explain some of the backlash you received from the students, and ask for clarification of their discipline policy.
    The answer and attitude you recieve from the principal can help you determine whether you should return to this school.

    I recall a 9th grade class during my first year subbing where the students would turn the lights off ( no windows), and then textbooks would fly across the room while girls were screaming.
    I told an administrator about this and invited them to come look at the classroom with books strewn about.
    He put all the blame on me, so I knew to cross this school off my list.
     
  14. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Sep 28, 2010

    hac111 & oldstudent, drats! Yes, I know ALL about bad timing. Nothing may happen at all, then everything happens all at once! :mad:

    Well, I'm still chugging along at this tiny private speech clinic I'm at to get my SLPA license. I'm only here from Aug - the end of Nov, but it looks like I'll only hv to mk the 40-min 1-way drive just once or twice a wk, so that's good. If I actually had 8 clients to work w/ in a day, I could mk $200 (in a day), but someone's always cancelling, so I mk usually LESS than if I was subbing

    Last wk, I had a horrible sore throat. I'm glad that's over!
     
  15. aer011

    aer011 Rookie

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    Sep 28, 2010

    Hey guys! Home from my first day. Had great support from surrounding teachers. The class was a bit rowdy, but for the most part good kids. I'm not positive that it's ever possible to have 17 6-year olds in total silence, but they weren't terrible. My "problem child" I was warned about by other teachers was actually one of my favorites :) For the most part, a decent start. I am definitely looking forward to older kids tomorrow!
     
  16. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Sep 28, 2010


    Middle schoolers are nasty creatures, no doubt about it. I know someone who subbed MS and had a girl trying to climb out a window. She wouldn't respond to his demands to come down, so he called security, who grabbed her and then she wrenched away and ran down the hall...Don't even try to be nice to them. Go in and tell them you're the mean sub and go from there. The best advice I ever heard...maybe I even read it here....was to build a gallows and then hang a few. Good luck!
     
  17. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Sep 28, 2010


    Can I ask you where you sub? I'm guessing CA because you mention the CBEST. I'm in Orange County and our rates here are $105 per day. Given the cost of living here, that's unbelieveable....what area pays $140?
     
  18. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Sep 28, 2010

    In order to maintain some degree of anonimity, I will not mention the district, but I am in LA County.
     
  19. hac711

    hac711 Companion

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    Sep 29, 2010

    Things better today, but the kids are so so bad! There are some who are nice and polite (the immigrants and the mentally handicapped) Two funnies happen today, though. Had a girl stop and say to me, hey, you look nice (I am a always skirt, tights jacket/sweater kinda gal) I said thank-you and she replied the other subs looked like sh#t and they made fun of them (her words). Then the secretary said the teacher I was subbing for is taking a leave of absence for Oct. and asked if I wanted it (she can do a referral). I said of course ($$) and she said she was so surprised b/c most subs who come put them on their no call list. Then my next door teacher (who I introduced myself to on day one) said she put me for referral because all of the other subs this class has had had absolutely no control. So I am happy that I can manage the kids (even though I don't see it since there is fighting, mouthing off, swearing, hitting, stealing just to name a few). The teacher laughed and said that was par for the course there! Am I crazy to take it?? The only thing that is making want to do it is the $125/day...
     
  20. sunshine*inc

    sunshine*inc Cohort

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    Sep 29, 2010

    Well, I had my first experience today as the student teacher who had to do all the work while the sub got paid. I'll be glad when I can start making money again teaching a class when the teacher is out. :lol:
     
  21. waffles

    waffles Companion

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    Sep 30, 2010

    Just to make you feel better, I hate it when I'm in the room with a student teacher because I always end up not doing anything and still get paid.
     
  22. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Sep 30, 2010

    I've student taught a total of 4 terms & never had a sub in the room because I was already a substitute way before I started student teaching. There's been a time or two that I was the sub for the class that I student taught for. :)
     
  23. aer011

    aer011 Rookie

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    Sep 30, 2010

    Hey guys. Today was...hellish at best. 2nd grade. Only a half day (thanks goodness!) But these kids were out of control! I was warned about one kid, but had three instigators. The large majority of the class would have been good, had it not been for their proximity to these three boys. I was so happy to see their real teacher walk in. I had to explain to her that I couldn't keep them under control enough to get all her work done. She just smiled and named the boys who she guessed (correctly) were the problem.

    Guess I'll put that class down in the "do not sub again" column :) I have a doctors appt tomorrow, so unless a pm half day comes up, I'll be off.

    How is everyone's week going?
     
  24. sunshine*inc

    sunshine*inc Cohort

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    Sep 30, 2010

    Even though I have sub experience and a sub permit my district will not allow me to sub for my cooperating teacher. The teacher thinks it's silly and would prefer that I get paid since I'm doing the work. But it is what it is. The districts I sub in allow the student teacher to sub for the cooperating teacher.
     
  25. KateA

    KateA Rookie

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    Sep 30, 2010

    My week is going well. I only worked monday for a spec.ed. kindergarten class as an aide. The teacher invited me back to sub when she would be out in a few weeks... so that's a good thing. :) This and last Friday I subbed in the same class and what an experience! I've honestly never worked or been near anyone who is ESE (how's that for sheltered?) so I was a bit nervous, but all the teachers were really sweet and helpful.

    But I have a new respect (not that I didn't have it before) for ESE teachers. If any ese teachers read this, you guys are awesome!
     
  26. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oct 1, 2010

    Well, another Friday is here! Everyone have a good one & great weekend!

    That's too bad that you couldn'r sub & get paid at the time sunshine!
     
  27. aer011

    aer011 Rookie

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    Oct 1, 2010

    Sunshine- I think it's ridiculous that you are qualified to sub, and yet have to have a sub in the room when the teacher is out! But...I asked around and it's the same way here. I'm assuming they think of it as some sort of liability, though that doesn't make sense as you have subbed before!

    KateA - I am a bit scared of doing SPED at this point. Kudos to you for trying something that was out of your comfort zone - and for being invited back!

    I snagged something super fantastic this morning: a 5 day k-5 computer job starting 10/11. SO excited for this! I love the idea of seeing all grades in one day (and not having the same kids all day long)!

    Hope everyone has a great weekend!
     
  28. sunshine*inc

    sunshine*inc Cohort

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    Oct 3, 2010

    If you get an opportunity to sub in a SpEd class you should take it. Although I don't plan to earn a SpEd credential, I have enjoyed my time in RSP and SDC classes.
     
  29. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Oct 3, 2010

    Ninety percent of the time, spec ed classes offer the easiest assignments because there is at least one aide, and more often than not, two or more aides.

    If I was starting over with my education, I would have gotten a special ed credential. I would have had a job by now.

    But at the time I began my program, I was already in my forties and did not want to take the time to get two credentials.
    Now, one can go straight into special ed and bypass the regular credential.
    Spec Ed is something that young people interested in teaching should strongly consider to increase their chances for employment.
     
  30. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oct 3, 2010

    I have a special ed (mild/moderate disabilities) & a multiple subjects credential. I also have a Masters in Special Ed. I was an RSP teacher for a yr, but decided to switch gears to speech-language pathology. I've taken enough courses to be equivalent to a bachelors in communication disorders & should have my speech-lang path asst license before this yr's over.

    When I sub, all I choose to do is RSP & LSH (lang, speech, & hearing AKA speech). I'm picky. You also shouldn't have the behavioral problems you would if you have a whole class of 30 kid all day. :) The SLPs at my dist do NOT have aides.
     
  31. aer011

    aer011 Rookie

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    Oct 3, 2010

    Thanks for the tip on SPED. I had considered testing for certification in that area, but just always assumed I "wasn't that special type of person it takes...". Duh, subbing is a great way to determine that for sure!

    5th grade math in the morning. Hope you guys have a great week!
     
  32. aer011

    aer011 Rookie

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    Oct 7, 2010

    Where is everyone?

    I haven't worked much this week. Fifth grade math was so-so. Yesterday was a half day in a computer lab (awesome...I have so got to find myself a job like that!). Today, I've got an interview for a full-time teaching position! I'm excited and nervous...hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

    Hope everyone's week is going well!
     
  33. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oct 7, 2010

    I've been around, but I had yesterday, today, & probably tomorrow off this wk, so nothing much to say. :)
     
  34. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Oct 7, 2010

    Amusing story.

    I used to work and now volunteer at a historic site giving school tours. Last Friday we had a tour for 8th graders from a local school. All this week I've been in and out of said school. I've had this conversation at least 30 times today with 2 art classes of 8th graders.

    Child, who is staring at me, whispering to friends and then finally gets gutsy enough to speak: Hey! Aren't you the lady from historic site?
    Me: Yes that's me, I was at the blindsman's bluff station.
    Child: Well what are you doing here then?
    Me: I'm a sub
    Child: NO WAY! Can we play blindsman's bluff?
    Me: Nope
    Child: *groans*
     
  35. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Oct 8, 2010

    For the first time this year, I have worked all five days.

    I hope this is not an anomaly.

    I was angered to find a jury summons in my mailbox last night.

    There is no way I am going to lose an average of $125 per day to report to jury service.

    I submitted the form claiming financial hardship.

    Even if I get rejected, I will refuse to serve until summer.

    Let them fine me.

    Just one more thing wrong with " The system", for subs.
     
  36. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oct 9, 2010

    oldstudent, I get paid the same amt a day.
     
  37. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Oct 11, 2010

    I work for three districts that average $125/day.
     
  38. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oct 11, 2010

    I see.
     
  39. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Oct 15, 2010

    I had a rough day today. The temperature was down to 32 this morning and there still is no heat on in the school. I'm not a cold-natured person, but it was SO COLD in my room that I began to get a headache, then developed a low-grade fever. I had to wear my coat ALL DAY and I never wear a coat inside. I rarely wear one outside.

    I went to school early because I needed to print off the quiz for today. After about an hour in the room, I was cold to the bone and could NOT get warm. I had been scheduled to drive a bus this afternoon. I cancelled that and even asked the secretary to call a sub for my class. I had begun shaking uncontrollably. Unfortunately, most of our subs were already working for other people in the school, so I sucked it up and gave the kids their quiz.

    Came home, took a load of ibuprofen and went to bed for about two hours. The fever wasn't bad and it finally broke, which is a good thing because I have to be at work at the hotel at 7:00am tomorrow. It's "leaf season" and we are booked solid, so it will be a busy two days this weekend. :help:
     
  40. Momma C

    Momma C Comrade

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    Oct 15, 2010

    If we get called for jury duty, we have one of two choices: Sign your jury duty pay over to the district Or pay for your own sub. They call it double-dippping. :mad:
     

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