HS subbing

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by HeatherY, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Mar 22, 2012

    I've been subbing elementary for awhile and I feel comfortable there. I know the tricks, I can get plans done, everyone does their work.

    Now I'm working a MS/HS and it is a lot different. I'm just emulating subs from when I was in HS, who were pretty laid back as long as we got some work done. I feel guilty, but really, I have no authority and they know it. I don't want to be the crazy lady who gets all upset. But, as a certified teacher, I'm kind of embarrassed about it. I know that I ought to be doing a better job of management, but if the work gets done, does it matter? I feel like at the elementary level I need to be a teacher, whereas at the HS level I'm just making sure they are supervised. Is that normal? I don't have the repertoire of "tricks" for this age group. Are there any?
     
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  3. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Mar 22, 2012

    I found that when I'm left things to actually teach, I get to the be "the teacher". I have a plan, authority, and we all have a mission to get something done. Usually at the middle school level, I have the easiest time turning "busy" work into actual class time (or at the very least getting the kids to behave like its actual class time)--It's the age level I am the most comfortable with though.

    In high school, if I'm left enough structured (meaning, sequential work, projects, etc.) and not just a stack of worksheets, or if the teacher lets me lecture, I feel like a teacher and everyone gets something accomplished. Also, for whatever reason, when the teacher leaves in the note that the kids can be a handful, or they are rowdy, don't be afraid to send them to the office/out of the room, etc. (no matter the grade) I am after them for EVERYTHING, and I do feel like I'm babysitting sometimes, but a teacher that's babysitting.

    But the AP and honors classes, or the classes where the kids are supposed to look up answers in the book, or do a project on the computer, and the kids are good kids? I totally feel like a glorified babysitter. But that comes with the territory.
     
  4. Nitch

    Nitch Rookie

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    Mar 22, 2012

    Babysitter or teacher, you get paid the same. Just do your best. I am on my third day of a six week assignment I didn't apply for. You know why? Because I had a class that was a handful and I came back. I didn't even realize anyone was watching. I was there three days, then a week later a teacher called and asked if I could cover a 6 week assignment. Lucky break. But I ran into a sub today that I could tell was uncomfortable that I got the job and they hadn't thought to ask her first. I don't know why they thought of me and not her. She has certainly been subbing longer than me as has been in the school much more often. It is a handful room. 3 of the classes have para support and one of those classes has two paras. Never a good sign for a day to day sub, but they are settling in fine and the two para class sort of listened today.
     
  5. mommafran

    mommafran Companion

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    Mar 22, 2012

    Just do your best. I have my degree in Elementary Ed as well and have found myself doing really well with High Schoolers and struggling with K-2!! Go figure huh? I have decided to get my endorsements for High School and in the meantime work with older kids. I love 4th and 5th grade too!!
     
  6. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Mar 24, 2012

    Well, I finally had a class where I was asked to teach something. It went okay. It is different just being asked to supervise and not turn anything in vs kids have to get something done.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 26, 2012

    Speaking from the perspective of a regular classroom teacher at the high school level, we are often afraid to leave subs with "real" lessons that need to be taught and assessed. At the high school level, the material is so specialized that a person really needs a strong background in the content area in order to effectively teach it. Without knowing who are subs are going to be, it's just not reasonable for us to expect that a sub will be able to teach Trig or French 3 or CAD. While it might not be the most exciting thing in the world to monitor and observe students while they are working, I don't know that it's fair to call that "babysitting". Just because students are self-sufficient and the classroom is autonomous doesn't mean that your skills and management aren't necessary.

    I would caution any sub against judging worksheets or bookwork to be "busy" work. That's not always true. In my class, it's never true. Every assignment I give, in whatever format, is purposeful, meaningful, and meant to help students practice the skills we are learning in class. If it's on a worksheet, know that it's a worksheet that I created to make your job as the sub easier, because I know that you probably don't know my content well enough to create your own examples and practice questions. Just something to think about.

    Good luck!
     
  8. SacTeacher

    SacTeacher Rookie

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    Mar 28, 2012

    I have been a classroom teacher and a substitute, I see both perspectives. While worksheets and independent work can support the material being taught and be valuable -
    Substitute + Worksheet = "busy work" in students minds
    Substitute + group work = "Sweet, we can talk all we want!"
    That's what makes it feel like babysitting, the whole day is behavior management.
    These are generalizations of course, I have subbed the occasional class that works responsibly.
    The biggest trend I have seen in lesson plans lately is a lack of procedural notes, assuming that because the students know what they are supposed to do - that they will acutually do it when there is a sub. If I could give feedback to schools, I would say, please ask teachers to leave details on classroom mangements and procedures. I can make it through a math lesson with just a book, but when I don't know where they line up, or who collects homework the day is a whole bunch of "We don't do it THAT way!"
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Mar 29, 2012

    I used to sub, and all grade levels, so I ran into this as well. Most HS teachers leave busy work. They don't want to have to reteach as the content becomes more complicated at that level, and they don't want wrong information given. I do rememeber subbing for an economics class at HS and she actually left me a real lesson to do with them, and it went smoothly.
     
  10. azure

    azure Companion

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    Mar 30, 2012

    Whenever a teacher leaves work that can either be done individually or as partners/groups, I have them do it individually. I learned very early on that while they might work well in groups for their regular teacher, if a sub allows that, invariably the conversation becomes social and often deteriorates into inappropriate.
     
  11. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Mar 30, 2012

    I also found that most HS teachers leave busy work.

    I did sub at the HS I attended, and occasionally subbed for my former teachers. They would leave me real lesson plans. I eventually became known for being able to teach the math, too.

    I did have a two week assignment subbing for the computer programming teacher. Ummm.... crickets. Luckily, they knew what they were doing. I was just a babysitter. And even that was easy- the classes were super small and they were doing exactly what they loved. My sister was still a student there, so I'd log onto a computer using her log-in and fill out job applications all day long (I was looking in about 6 different states). :blush:
     
  12. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Mar 31, 2012

    All of my HS subs were babysitters unless they taught/knew the subject. As a student, I loved getting another teacher's perspective and "style" with the material.
     
  13. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Apr 3, 2012

    I completely agree with you. These subjects are too much for someone who does not know it intricately. But at least leave something that the kids are supposed to have turned in at the end of the period. What happened was that the assignment was taking notes from the book to turn in "next class" which is actually two days later. The kids responded with, "Then we don't have to do anything right now! We'll do it at home!" At that point I had no recourse for getting them to do anything, although I did try. In hindsight, I could have told them it was due at the end of class and then let them take it home if they were not really done. Hindsight is 20/20! There were only 4 kids in this class, so it wasn't that big of a deal, but boy did I feel stupid. Since it was such a high level class I assumed they would do the work, but I was wrong.

    I also agree that procedures would be nice. Especially some quick notes on who are the reliable kids. It seems that elementary school teachers always leave you a list: this is who you can trust and this is who will mess with you. It's hard when after the class the teacher next door comes in and says, "Oh, you could have sent so and so to me, that's what we usually do." Well, I didn't know.
     
  14. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Apr 3, 2012

    Many times, high school teachers will not indicate whether an assignment is to be collected or finished at home.

    If I am not given this information, I always tell students to turn in what they have and that it is not homework.
    This increases the chance that more students will actually make an effort to get some of it done.

    In 15 years of subbing, with about 15% of my assignments in high school, not once was I actually asked in the lesson plan to provide direct instruction.
     
  15. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Apr 5, 2012

    Well, I had a good day yesterday, but the comment about procedures being left out could not have been more apropos!

    I went to the room which was a sped classroom, and it was a small room, but had student chairs and workspace. Plans on the T desk, no problem. One page outlining what each student ought to work on when they come. Then it says: Sally's test to finish is in the green folder. Okay, so I start searching for this folder. Not seeing anything. I start to think, oh, maybe it is in the student's green folder and she will bring it with her. No, that doesn't sound right. I keep searching for the folder. Eventually I remember the office mentioned that this teacher has a second classroom. I go find it, and low and behind the folder is there. Turns out the class in the morning takes place in this other room as well. How was I supposed to know this? Once you find the plans you figure you are in the correct room! Anyway, it all worked out fine, but a little more direction in the plans couldn't hurt.
     
  16. SetterHugger85

    SetterHugger85 Rookie

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    May 3, 2012

    Does anyone else get nervous when asked to grade stuff but are left no direction on how to do so? I find myself getting asked to grade things on more than one occasion and either have to look back at how the teacher went about it and do my best from there.

    I try my best don't get me wrong, but if I had my own classroom I think I would be nervous about just leaving grading to others unless it was straight forward with an answer key...
     
  17. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    May 3, 2012

    It's definitely not fair to ask subs to grade things!
     
  18. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    May 3, 2012

    At the high school level, it is unusual for a sub to be asked to grade papers.

    If asked to do so, I would scope out the classroom for an answer key. If you cannot find one, seek out a teacher teaching the same subject and ask if they have an answer key you can borrow.

    Otherwise, honestly tell the teacher you do not feel qualified to grade the papers and to attempt to do so would likely cause him/her more work.
     

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