I hate subbing...please help!

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by newbieeducator, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. newbieeducator

    newbieeducator Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2017

    This is my second school year subbing and I am only doing it for the experience. This will hopefully be the last semester that I have to do it because I start student teaching in the fall.

    I CANNOT stand it! I hate the fear of not knowing the class/how my day will be, how the kids will react towards me as a sub (I've had pretty terrible experiences), how teachers look down on subs, and basically how you can be blocked at any time if you don't fully complete every single thing on a lesson plan. Is it just my district, or do other districts block subs like it's nothing? It gives me so much anxiety because I feel like I have to just complete everything and follow orders without really knowing if the students fully understand the material. It's also disheartening because I feel like subs are just under appreciated and treated like we're at the bottom of the totem pole. Please help!
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 22, 2017

    Subbing is not easy.

    In my experience subs only get blocked for serious reasons.
     
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  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Feb 22, 2017

    Go in each day with a positive attitude, and positive expectations. It does make things easier. If you're afraid and anxious of how the day will go, students pick up on that.
    If you're sure of yourself, firm, strict, approachable, consistent and fair, most days will go ok.

    Usually schools don't block subs unless it's serious. At my school, subs are hard to come by, good ones are even harder. Right now I'm waiting to see if I do get a sub for tomorrow, probably not.
    We blocked one sub for always canceling jobs the day before. She would expect the job 4-5 days in advance, then the day before cancelled, and we were left without a sub. I blocked one sub before because she would complain about the simple plans and not follow it, but she wasn't blocked from the school, I just didn't want her.
     
  5. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

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    Welcome, newbieeducator, to A to Z! Have you tried substituting in private, independent, or charter schools? These types of schools schools usually bureaucracy, smaller class sizes, more educational resources, and better behaved students than their public school counterparts, but not always. It may be worth it to send your resume to some of those principals, through email. But since you start student teaching in the fall, and the summer is near I wouldn't worry about substituting at this point and just prepare for the student teaching experience.
    :)
     
  6. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I have only asked that one sub never return to my class. She was god awful and I wasn't the only one who said it. We do have one this year who is very passive and we all know that subs really shouldn't be passive since they really have to deal with such craziness from time to time.
     
  7. newbieeducator

    newbieeducator Rookie

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    I wish that I was exaggerating or not telling the whole story when I say this, but I was blocked from a school that I frequently subbed at and was requested at because I handed out two corresponding math worksheets at the same time. One was addition problems and the corresponding one had students draw a picture, where for each answer students were to draw a different part of the picture. There weren't any notes saying to hand out one and then the other, I thought that it would make more sense for students to draw the picture as they came to each answer. No exaggeration. I received the complaint form from the teacher in the mail and it stated "By looking in a student's folder, both math worksheets were handed out at the same time." I was also blocked from another classroom (same school) because I didn't finish writing in the last answer in the teacher's manual. Her complaint form said "teacher manual not completed." Nothing else...it seemed very unreasonable to me but because of the way that subs are treated in that district, I didn't feel the need to fight it. The principal had me blocked from the entire school.

    At the substitute orientation, the sub tech said that blocks aren't lifted because they hire so many subs and it's not worth it to keep a sub who got a complaint when there are others who have none. Am I overreacting or missing something, or were these pretty unreasonable reasons for an entire block? I don't work for this district anymore, but now I'm just afraid each time that I go into work.
     
  8. newbieeducator

    newbieeducator Rookie

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    Yes, I've subbed in private too. I find that they are much nicer and the students are well behaved and respectful, but I can't support myself off of the pay.
     
  9. newbieeducator

    newbieeducator Rookie

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    Thanks for your reply! You always respond with positive and helpful suggestions. If you don't get a sub but cannot come in to work or absolutely need to leave early, what happens? Do they split the class up and disperse them to other classrooms? I know one school that did this but I'm not sure if every school was like this.
     
  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    They don't split classes up into pieces because that would be very disruptive to other classes.
    These are the options:
    - a sped. aide comes in to sub (and gets paid accordingly). This is often preferred because she already knows the kids and handles behavior very well, know school rules, etc (as opposed to a new sub). Most likely she will sub for me because so far I haven't gotten a sub.
    - we do have some teachers who have free periods (not all of us), those periods are there if we have to send a student out of class due to behavior. So there would be a sign on my door and the students would go to those teachers. This hasn't happened to me (This is my 3rd absence, 1 of it was for training though), and I don't prefer it because this requires lessons that can be given to those teachers all at the same time. Students can't continue to do what they're doing (they have folders in my classroom), so there is a disruption to the flow of the lessons.
    We have 2 other sped aides in the self contained sped room, one of them could also be pulled if no one else was available. Our aides are very strong behavior managers.
     
  11. DobbyChatt

    DobbyChatt Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2017

    Subbing is rough...really rough. I did it too before becoming a regular teacher.

    Keep in mind that even regular teachers don't always have "full control" over how the day goes. Some days kids are a little wild, other days they are Angels of the Lord.

    Try to figure out which schools are a good fit for you...every school has its own unique culture that can be good or bad. Schools that will back you up are the only schools that you should be working.
     
  12. DobbyChatt

    DobbyChatt Rookie

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    Also, try not to assume that teachers look down on subs. You really are appreciated.

    In reality, we teachers are often beyond swamped and so pushed for time ourselves that it may come across in a negative light even though it isn't meant to be.
     
  13. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    Feb 22, 2017

    Ceasar is right, subs only get blocked for serious reason/, not for not following a lesson plan. You are needed and we are thankful for you!! And yes, subbing can be bad at times. I was a sub for a couple of years before teaching. Some teachers can be negative and mean vibe. And yes, we know the ones that are serious and have a rough days and may not have a smile on their face. This can be normal and it doesn't have anything to do with you.... and then there are others that are just rude. If a teacher was rude, I wouldn't sub for them. Got them back that way.
     
  14. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Feb 22, 2017

    I have encountered similar, however I seem to have found my "stride" at a district. SO much so, I removed my name from the other 9 districts I was at. I love it where I am (high school) and I am a "perm floating sub". Basically, if I don't "pick up" a job through the system and am not scheduled, I show up anyway and they put me to work where needed because they never fill all vacancies. Just find which school is a good fit for you!
     
  15. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    I subbed last year, and it's a very difficult job. I hated it, but I did it knowing I had to build another resume with classroom experience. Now that I'm in my own classroom, I respect their job twice as much. Go in looking to make yourself better and you'll be amazed how much you will learn.
     
  16. Committed2DaProfession

    Committed2DaProfession Rookie

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    I subbed for a year and the best way to get through it is to simply look at it as a means to an end. Every day, try to look for some way to improve your delivery, classroom management, general classroom presence, etc. Keeping a journal helps a lot.
     
  17. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    I loved subbing. No pressure, I got to get to know the kids, I was able to think on my feet a lot, and I got to experience so many different environments. I think it really prepared me to have my own classroom. But it's not for everyone so don't feel bad that you're having a rough time! From the looks of it, lots of teachers on here had issues with subbing.

    You were blocked for some very trivial reasons. I would never block a sub for the nonsense about the teacher manual. I might if you didn't follow lesson plans, but only if my directions were crystal clear. I don't understand why you couldn't give both sheets at the same time but I'm not an elementary teacher and I'm very lax with my subs at the middle level. Be glad you dodged a bullet at that school.

    Have you found another public school to supplement your income? You may need to try a whole bunch, even within the same district. I subbed in 6 districts when I was subbing full time. You'll find your niche somewhere!
     
  18. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    I'm sorry to read you're having such a difficult time!! Our district is pretty amazing toward substitutes. We have a 3 step feedback system, so a sub is not going to just get blocked for kicks & giggles. It requires a paper trail, and counseling with the Principal. It starts with the sub filling out paperwork evaluation the teacher's lesson plans, organization etc. Then it goes to the office and gets returned to the teacher to fill out an evaluation. Finally it gets sent to the principal to sign off and do an evaluation. If there is negative feedback at any point in that process, it gets talked about. You get a chance to correct it and move on.

    Now at my last district I was blocked for some stupid little reasons. They told me similar, that they had "hundreds of subs" and we were disposable.
     
  19. newbieeducator

    newbieeducator Rookie

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    This district also did a paper trail. If subs ever left an "honest" evaluation about how the day went, they were usually blocked. If a sub put that student behavior was poor/unsatisfactory/any other options that weren't "good", they were blocked by the principal because it was considered poor classroom management and unsatisfactory teaching. We never met with the P or anything, just blocked.

    In retrospect, this district was ridiculous and I'm glad that I no longer work for them.
     
  20. newbieeducator

    newbieeducator Rookie

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    I did apply to other districts, mainly because I also moved and felt that I still needed more experience. After far too many "bad" days with very little pay in my new district, I've decided to stop subbing and just prepare for student teaching in the fall. I'm so grateful for all of the experience that I gained from it, but I just couldn't handle the blatant disrespect. I asked the office secretary where the staff restrooms were because it was my first time at that school and she replied, "Over there in the staff lounge. Where else would they be?" Completely shocked me.
     
  21. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    I still can't believe that some teachers/districts treat subs like this. I can remember being treated somewhat in an antagonist manner when I was a sub. But yet you are here to come when we come down with the stomach flu, you are hear to take over and teach our class when we need to be gone. I am extremely thankful for subs since some that I have had have even done a better job running the class than I have. And yet so many teachers put so much emphasis and get mad if the sub doesn't follow the plans exactly. I can recall seeing some sub plans that didn't make much sense and were confusing and or the students didn't understand what was suppose to be done. There was a thought to try to call them but the thought was removed when I knew they were either sick or had something important going on. When us teachers are the manager of the class, someone else isn't going to be the same manager as us. It's one day lost or a few days, it's not the end of the world. Some students or classes will lie to subs to try to make things easier. Also, other teachers or administrators in the building may not know what to do if they plans don't make sense. I always say in my plans to "do what is prudent" if my plans don't seem to work.
     
  22. newbieeducator

    newbieeducator Rookie

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    I completely agree with you. Don't get me wrong, I've made great relationships with teachers who requested me and told me that their students behaved way better for me than with them (they'd be on campus in a meeting or planning day and would pop in the class to see how things were going) but the 1 or 2 teachers who don't like the way that something was done have the power to get subs blocked from the entire school. It truly sucks, but it is what it is. When I have my own classroom I will be sure to treat my subs with full respect and will be mindful to the fact that students don't always act the way that we expect them to when subs come into the classroom
     
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  23. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    Excellent! Thank you! You hang in there and I know you are doing a better job than you think you are. You have one of the hardest jobs out there and I thank you for what you do! Don't let any teacher let you down!
     
  24. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    Another point- Those one or two teachers are on a power trip for some stupid reason, and thanks to those teachers, that school won't have a sub when teachers call in sick. So then the classes have to merge and teachers loose their prep time for the day. That means no time really for emails or prepping for the next day. It's happened at my school when someone complained about two subs that did great when they subbed for me. They weren't blacklisted but didn't want to come back to sub because of the negativity. Now I have to go down a list and call and call and hopefully catch the lottery of finding someone. No wonder why we have such a shortage of subs nationwide.
     
  25. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I am subbing now for experience as well. I definitely think it's a tough job and I would not do it long term. I dislike the new kids everyday and kids older than 3rd grade know that you are "just a sub." Even the younger kids try to take advantage. I'm lucky that in the schools I work at the kids are mostly respectful and I've learned how not to let them take advantage. I'm also quite soft spoken and have a kind personality-- the older kids seem to respond well to that and we always get our work done without behavior issues. For the older middle school kids however, there isn't a lot of teaching so it feels more like babysitting which I don't enjoy. It gets really boring.

    The one thing I hate about subbing is not knowing the policies and the kids. When there is a sub, many kids try to go to the nurse. The other day, a kid told me he was feeling dizzy with blurry vision. I had a feeling he was lying but I didn't want to prevent kids from seeing the nurse if they really needed it. So I sent 2 down that day, and the nurse called me and said they were fine. These situations are hard because I don't want to prevent kids from seeing the nurse if they need. I do try the delay tactic if I suspect they are faking.
     
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  26. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    I don't mind giving up my prep to help a teammate, but we have 2 subs in our pool....so we have to make sure they have the best experience possible. You are dead on about the lack of substitutes. Colleges telling candidates not to sub isn't helping either.
     
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  27. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    I mean when I was a sub, I realized there was a lot I could have done improved and made some classroom management errors. At least I was there though when someone woke up with the flu or had an emergency. Subs aren't the teacher and some teachers expect everything to go like it is when they are there. As an example... I mean let's say a CEO of a company has to call off a week of work and have sub CEO come because the main CEO of the company has to have an emergency surgery. There is no way within that time that the sub CEO could have the same relationships with the employees or do things the same way the main CEO does. Let's say employee A says that the main CEO always lets me off early Friday and employee B says that Wednesdays are my work at home days. Is the CEO suppose to just say to heck with it and you all are lying or go with it? Let's say the main CEO is having intense surgery and there is no way for the sub CEO to call and ask the main CEO. See, that's why subbing is so hard. Was the main CEO suppose to write about each employees daily strengths, struggles, and if they leave early? (Assume the CEO /boss was the head of at least 80 employees). Was the sub CEO suppose to read and understand perfectly every policy of the workplace within a short time before subbing and how to reprimand if employees want to lie or not follow company policy? Then assume that the main CEO comes back after recovery and realizes that weekly transaction reports were misplaced or put in the wrong filing areas. This, I'm sure, gives every right for the main CEO to give the sub CEO a bad rating or never call her/him back to sub, even though this sub took their precious time at short notice and was getting pay a fraction of the cost of the main CEO while subbing and had to stressfully go over the loops with little or no help and try to run things at the company effectively with his/her best knowledge. This is an analogy to subbing. That's why it's so hard. That's why I am so thankful for subs, I wish they were paid more, and they are awesome.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
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  28. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Very good example !!!
     
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  29. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    I agree with you. There's nothing like coming down with a fever or stomach virus, or some other issue, when we absolutely need to take off, knowing that we can't find a sub because one or two teachers of the school nitpicks on something relatively minor about subs and then we don't have anybody to cover. Then, if we call in, we feel as though all of our other colleagues are putting in double effort while we are gone and it makes us feel guilty. Not only do we loose our plan time, we have to cover for the absent teachers duty like lunchroom watching, detention or other things while the main teacher is gone, which I don't' mind, but it makes things harder and we basically have no down time for 8 hours straight other than time between classes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017

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