I just need to vent!!!

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Mldouglas, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. Mldouglas

    Mldouglas Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Messages:
    365
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 26, 2007

    Hi!

    I am so glad that this forum is here. I have been subbing on and off for about ten years. I have always prided myself on being the best sub that I can be and always having an answer for anything that the kids may throw at me. I am also a borderline perfectionist and get upset with myself if I make a mistake in a class. I just don't like looking bad in front of the kids. I had an experience on Friday and one today that have really upset me. On Friday I was at this school and I was subbing in the morning for a 5th grade teacher. I had to teach a math lesson. I am very good at most math. Anyway, the math curriculum in this particular district is new and some of the concepts are very confusing unless you are in the class everyday. The lesson I had was called "Rectangular Method". I felt really bad because I was struggling with part of the lesson and one of the kids came up and showed me how to explain it. I just felt like I could have sat right down and cried. Then today, I went in for a teacher and she had asked that I correct their work but she forgot to leave me an answer key for the spelling assignment. I felt like a total idiot because I did not know whether or not "nonfiction" is a hyphenated word. I just hate looking bad in front of the students!!!! Thanks for reading.

    Marci D.
     
  2.  
  3. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,622
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 26, 2007

    I'm a perfectionist myself, however, I'd never let those kinds of things upset me to the point I'd like to cry over it. It's just not worth it, really.

    I've had students show me how to do something plenty of times. Learning isn't a one-way street and subs should expect to learn from the students just as they expect the students to learn from them. In addition, I'm sure regular, classroom teachers don't assume the sub knows exactly how to do what they're are doing in class. I've had several of them tell me (in the sub plans) if I don't feel comfortable teaching it or if I don't know how then it's okay to substitute something else, have them work on homework, or allow them to read a book. A good rule of thumb as a sub is: If you're NOT comfortable teaching it or simply don't know what to do then don't do it and leave a note explaining why you didn't do it. 99% of the time, the regular teachers will understand.

    Secondly, I've seen nonfiction hyphenated and non-hypenated. Either way is correct. But why stress over it like that? Wouldn't it have been better to have simply grabbed a dictionary and have looked it up rather than sitting there in front of the class feeling like a total idiot as to whether or not it's hyphenated?

    You, as a sub, only make yourself look bad if you choose to make yourself look bad.

    If I sound rather harsh, I apologize BUT I'm only telling it like I see it.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Mar 27, 2007

    I've been teaching for a long time and have made at least my share of mistakes in front of the kids.

    It's no big deal. I'm always honest about it and thank the kids who point it out (as long as it's done respectfully.) They know I'm human and have a tolerance for mistakes: there are far worse lessons I could teach them.

    But if I do make a mistake they don't catch, I make sure to correct it. Again, a quick "oops, sorry-- that should be a 2" covers it and they get the correct info.
     
  5. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Messages:
    6,699
    Likes Received:
    66

    Mar 27, 2007

    I can't tell you how many oops moments I've had in the classroom. They happen. First, the teacher should have left an explanation in her plans. As a teacher, I don't assume the sub knows exactly how to do what we are doing in class. For some of it, I never knew about it until I was teaching. When I have a word that I have a brain "fart" on, I just make a big production of turning it into a lesson on how to use a dictionary to check spelling. The kids know, of course, but it's brushed off. Don't be too hard on yourself. It happens to all of us. If you have done it so long, they know you are talented at what you do.
    Just to make you feel better, yesterday the kids were working on a chapter outline in social studies (they had been working on it for about 15 minutes). I went to look up a question that they were asking about to tell them where to find it in the book. I realized that we had skipped a whole chapter! I tried turning it into an early April Fool's joke, but the grins told me I didn't pull it off! :D
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    Mar 27, 2007

    It happens to me allllll the time. I can be careless and rush a bit (shocker), so I do make mistakes. I'm fine with that. I think the more difficult part of the subbing situation is that you won't perhaps be back the next day to redeem yourself.

    If a particular method is being used in math or any other subject, the teacher absolutely should leave you detailed instructions, or should provide an alternate assignment for the students.
     
  7. sub&mom

    sub&mom Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 27, 2007

    Look on the bright side...you learn more when you teach something to someone. The class probably learned alot from you that day because you made the mistake and they caught it. I think it is great that they showed you the concept. Don't frett. Look a the positive side of things.
     
  8. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 27, 2007

    I wouldn't sweat it. As a side comment, I think it's totally absurd the way they keep changing the way they teach math. Then, they expect parents to help their kids? I refuse to relearn math just to help my kids, I finished my intermediate college algebra for my nursing degree years ago, I know how to do drug calculations, and I'm NOT going to relearn math again.

    I think they ought to quit tinkering with how they teach math, it's a big pet peeve of mine!
     
  9. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,622
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 27, 2007

    I couldn't agree more! :)
     
  10. rwusydney

    rwusydney Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 27, 2007

    You are human and, therefore, bound to make mistakes and unable to know everything there is to know. I think you are being far too hard on yourself.
     
  11. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 27, 2007

    MIDouglas:
    That was a real coupe for the regular teacher that a student felt confident enough to come up and show you and the class how to do that particular method!! I'd most definitely leave a congrats note to the teacher for having taught the concept so well, that the child was using his "higher" thinking/skills by demonstrating a needed skill!! The fact that you "allowed" a student to help you teach shows that you recognize that peer tutoring is often better than having an adult teacher teach/talk through the same skill. Good for You!!! You have no need to be embarrassed, believe me! YOu've also shown the class that learning doesn't stop just because you're a grownup!!
    I will never forget tthe time a 6th grader showed me how to multiply with 9's using your hands!! This was one of the worst Emotionally disturbed kids I have ever had to work with!! He was sooo proud of himself, I actually got him to do 15 minutes of work by himself without being a complete disruption each day for that week!! The regulare teacher couldn't even manage 5 minutes one day a week with him!! So, when you have the opportunity to let a student shine like that, let 'em shine and praise the heck outa them!!
    Correcting work without an answer key can be a challenge, one that I usually don't try to do when the students are in the room. Then I pull out the old dictionary and go to town!! Or use spell check on a computer. Maybe that's something you could try another time.
     
  12. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,622
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 27, 2007

    AMEN TO THAT ONE! ;)
     
  13. longtimesub

    longtimesub Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 1, 2007

    Be careful...I got banned from a high school because I looked "bad" in front of students while giving a lesson. (Read my posts on getting bad evaluations. Do the search on this forum.)

    It is possible for a regular teacher to write up a bad evaluation for a sub when the kids tell the teacher that the sub could not explain too well...That happened to me.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 225 (members: 2, guests: 198, robots: 25)
test