I need advice.

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by bora, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. bora

    bora Rookie

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    Sep 12, 2014

    I am very, very sad. I feel like is the end of the world today.
    Today I had to leave the classroom because of what happened a day before in a different school. I had such a hard time keeping the classroom under control. Never been so disrespected in my life from students. I have been subbing since last year but have other teaching experiences from another country and 4 years in a childcare here.
    Yesterday 3-4 elementary students ignored my presence as a sub and refused to follow directions. One of them didn't work at all. One was talking out loud, cursing everybody. The other student said that's what she does. The teacher left me some notes about this student. While 2 others gave me other problems with chatting, wandering around and worked very little. I tried the best I could to get them engaged in activities, but it wasn't working. I sent one of the students to another teacher for awhile because he wasn't working at all. All he wanted to do was talk or play with others. Anyway, if these weren't enough, at the end of the day something happened. I was organizing teacher's table. Everybody else was packing up. Two students got into an accident. I didn't see what exactly happened but I think one of the student pushed another one, trying to get something out of his hands, and he got hurt. I saw that was bleeding a little. I thought it was just his lip, but turned out to be more serious. :( (I learned this today.) I sent the student who got hurt to the nurse, and was getting other students ready to leave the classroom. It's hard for us subs to have everything under control. We try our best but going to different schools everyday dismissal time is always challenging.
    So I got in big trouble because of what happened. The parent is very, very, very upset. I don't blame her. I have kids too. I know how it feels to have your children hurt. I feel so bad for that student. I hope he gets well soon. They are investigating, I can't go back to work right now, but I have very little hope that I will go back. They concern is that I am lacking classroom managment skills. That's what they said to me.
    Need an advice really bad.
    When I think what I have been through to learn English as fast as I could, to go back to school with no help while working full-time and having two little kids, I feel so hopeless right now and very sad. I just want to cry. I don't even know how this situation is going to affect my career. I don't know how I am going to find another job if they fire me. It has been hard for me to find a job even without this complicated situation. :( I love teaching. I love working with kids, and I don't know if I will be able to find a teaching postion one day. :(
     
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  3. El sol

    El sol Rookie

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    Sep 12, 2014

    The incident sounds a bit confusing. Were they fighting? Seems like the other kid should've been reported.

    Did you leave a note for the teacher explaining the incident?

    Hopefully everything works out for the better. Good luck.
     
  4. teach1

    teach1 Companion

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    Sep 13, 2014

    I also would like more information if possible. What type of serious injury are we talking about here? What happened with the other student involved... the one who did the pushing? grade level?
     
  5. bora

    bora Rookie

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    Sep 13, 2014

    They are in third grade. It was a school that I have been only once or twice maybe. (Not sure why most of my "bad" experiences as a sub are with third graders.) I love to teach third grade.
    I talked to the teacher at the end of the day. She was in the building all day. She already knew how disrespectful some of the students were toward me. I told her about the accident at the end of the day, but I didn't know at that time that the student was hurt that bad. ( From what I was told, He may loose one of his front teeth). It was a huge mistake on my part not to ask for help when I felt like couldn't control 2 of the students. I tried so hard, but nothing seemed to work. They drained all my energy. As for the accident, They both were to blame not just only the one who pushed. They wanted something that didn't belong to either one of them. I asked the student who owned that toy to give it to me or put it away. He refused to follow my directions. That's what he did all day. I sent him to another teacher for awhile in the afternoon but he was acting the same when he came back. I have seen student with more serios behavior problems but at least they did listen to me. These kids( 2-3) were ignoring me most of the time. The end of the day of course wasn't any different. It was hard for them to stay on the carpet and wait patiently for the dismissal time. I just had a rough day that unfortunately turned out to be even worse. :(
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 13, 2014

    The only thing you can do right now is wait for them to complete their investigation. Have they interviewed you? Have you been asked to write a statement? If you are asked to give a statement, you need to be truthful. Lying about something or being misleading in any way is going to hurt you a lot more than admitting that you made a mistake, as I'm sure you know.

    It's hard to guess what the outcome of this situation will be, especially without a lot of background information. Unfortunately it sounds like you let a lot of inappropriate behaviors slide all day long, which probably had some impact on the way that these two students escalated by the end of the day.

    If you are allowed to return to the classroom, you're going to have to make a serious effort to amp up your classroom management techniques. Have you thought about how you might do that?
     
  7. bora

    bora Rookie

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    Sep 13, 2014

    Yes I have thought about it Caesar. It's hard though because what works for one may not work for another student. Going to different schools, different classes every day makes it even harder. I try and I learn new things every day. I have been a teacher for four years in my country but kids were much better behaved. Never had any serious behavior problem other than a student who didn't want to work or loved to chat. I am not used to deal with some of the problems that teachers have to go through here in some inner schools. I have learned a lot, but I agree that I need to work harder to improve my classroom managment techniques.


    As a matter of fact the student who got hurt did much better in the afternoon. He worked with me for most of the afternoon. He and two other kids were very hyper though.
     
  8. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Sep 14, 2014

    Ultimately, any fights/accidents will come back on you and your management style.
    I worked in some bad schools where fights were common. I learned to be proactive. Nip them in the bud before someone gets hurt. Get in one of their faces, get between them. Threaten to call the office. Do what you have to do.
    The parent won't want you back, and I doubt the school will have you back because you have become a liability.
    I don't think this incident will affect your standing in other schools, but I hope you learn to be more proactive.
     
  9. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Sep 15, 2014

    I feel for you. I once got called in to a room around 11:30 for a teacher that needed to leave. As she left she mentioned that there was a problem between a few of the boys and it had been ongoing, just a heads up. Okay..... guess what? End of the day, a fight broke out. 4th graders. Needless to say, I was not asked back to that school. Really though, I felt like I had been put in a terrible situation. This fight would have happened whether I was there or not, it had been brewing, obviously. I spoke to the mother of the victim after school and she gave me a lot of backstory. Yes, you should have acted differently, but hindsight is 20/20. You were almost at the end of the day too! Unfortunately, you probably won't be asked here again and it might go into some kind of employee record. You should do what you've been doing: reflect on the situation and determine what you might do next time if that ever happened again. Don't be afraid to involve the admin if needed. I worked with a Principal and they would rather help intervene for you, than have this happen later. Hang in there, try to move on and take each day as a it comes. Every day is a new opportunity! That's the beauty of subbing.
     
  10. bora

    bora Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2014

    Thank you all for your advices. I am still not allowed to go into a classroom yet. They are still investigating I guess.
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Sep 16, 2014

    I hope everything works out for you. You were put into a tough situation. I'm sure it's the parents who are making this worse because they aren't letting their child take responsibility for his actions.
     
  12. Ms.Blank

    Ms.Blank Companion

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    Sep 16, 2014

    :agreed:


    I wish the best for you, bora. I know it stinks :(
     
  13. bora

    bora Rookie

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    Sep 21, 2014

    Thanks Mr.Blank.

    I haven't heard from them yet. I tried to contact them. They put me on hold and said someone will call you later because is busy right now. Nobody called that day or the day after. Not sure what to think anymore. I think that it's easier for the agency to let me go than protect me. I hope I am wrong, but...
    The last week I went back to my old job, private preschool. I told them my situation and they are helping me giving at least 30 hours a week for now.
     
  14. bora

    bora Rookie

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    Sep 30, 2014

    I sent them an email, and they sent me an email back telling me ,"Will be in touch with you by tomorrow", which it was last friday, and still ,...nothing. What I am suppose to do? Why is taking so long? Why is so hard for them to tell me what they have decided? At least I deserve an answer.
    As I mentioned before, I went back to my old job, but still looking for another job because my old job doesn't pay that good nor offers good benefits.
    I have a question for you guys.
    I may have an intervew this week, and I don't know what to do. They are going to ask me about my present job. What am I suppose to tell them?
     
  15. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Sep 30, 2014

    Tell them it wasn't a good fit.
     
  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Oct 1, 2014

    Bora, you are a sub. You really aren't obligated to tell them about this position at all, if you don't want to. When you have a contract, schools expect an accounting of your days and years, but some subs could work a week in five years, while others could sub virtually an entire school year in a calendar year. It is unpredictable. Unless you are using this job as a reference, which I doubt, move on and simply state that you are looking for more opportunities. It truly wasn't a good fit, but say that, if necessary, and then move on without apologizing. That should stop that line of questioning.
     
  17. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Oct 1, 2014

    I'm totally confused. I don't see how a student's violent actions are your fault. I've never had a violent situation on my hands, but if someone turns around and sucker punches someone else, completely out of the blue--what could I have done to prevent it? I am thankful I work for a school that holds the students accountable for their actions. All a teacher can do is everything preventative measure they can: seating arrangement, making sure people who don't get along aren't near each other, enforcing consequences, etc---but at the end of the day they have their free will, you can't make them do their work, you can't make them pay attention, you can't make them behave themselves, and you can't prevent them from hitting someone else. All you can do is do your best to create an environment that is not conducive outbursts and misbehavior, but even the best classroom manager will have students who are out of control at least once in their lifetimes.
     
  18. bora

    bora Rookie

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    Oct 1, 2014

    Adamjakeommy, I don't get it either. They called me today and stlll no answer. They still haven't reached a decision yet. They said , " Even though it wasn't you who hurt the child, but another student, the child got hurt under your supervision. "
    What upsets me the most is that, they are putting all the blame on me.
     
  19. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Oct 1, 2014

    Without taking this personally, look at it from this perspective:

    You are not a contracted certificated teacher, who is almost certainly covered under their insurance policy.

    The parents may be screaming for blood, or threatening a lawsuit. However, it might be possible to get them to relinquish their anger and lawyers if the school can prove that they take their claims and concerns very seriously. The best way to do that is to offer up the person most easily replaced, who they are not committed to defend by contract - you.

    It comes down to the actions may or may not have happened if you had done something differently. You can't prove that you saw all, did all to prevent the boys mixing it up, and they can't prove that either, so they are going to assume that your lack of years of experience was probably a mitigating factor, much the same that a newly licensed driver's lack of recognition of all the hazards around them may have contributed to an accident. In short, it means that you may have contributed to the resulting actions, making you partly responsible, in the eyes of the law and a jury if this goes to court.

    If you were a district that thought you could hold off a lawsuit by dismissing a teacher to placate the lawyers and parents, what would you do? Be honest. If they take you off their rolls as a sub, it simply means that you can't sub, THERE. You don't lose your license, and it does nothing to keep you from finding future employment as a sub elsewhere.

    You are scared, hurt, and unsure how you could have prevented these actions, which is normal. I would bet that you have played it over and over in your mind, wondering if I had done this or not done that...

    If the parents become placated, the district may yet decide to give you another chance, but you may choose to move on, anyway, to keep from remembering the ordeal every time you walk through the doors.

    The school is concerned because these are young children. If two HS boys mixed it up at the end of the day, there would be a lot more consideration to the boys being responsible for their actions. Younger children make more choices without considering consequences, which is why we leave them with babysitters usually through grade school. You could have been perfect, but there is no impartial perfect recording of what happened that day, with school ending. Our memory sometimes fails us, and it is common for three people to stand together on a sidewalk, witness an accident, and give three very different accounts to authorities. It is human nature.

    Ultimately, teachers and parents must accept blame for actions of young children in their care. We have all heard or seen a parent crying, saying that they only looked away for an instant, but something bad happened. It may not seem fair, but it is common. My suggestion is to move on, seek help with classroom management, and seek to redeem yourself by becoming the best teacher anyone has ever seen. Let this motivate you to grow as an educator, and to always expect the unexpected. It truly is more than a well known saying - it can guide your actions and reactions.

    Best of luck - and honestly, I am just presenting a different perspective. I think you can still be the teacher you want to be!
     
  20. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Oct 1, 2014

    Sometimes in life things seem to be falling apart and the feeling of hopelessness is overwhelming. Things will work out. You are very motivated and strong and you get through this.
     
  21. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    Oct 2, 2014

    I'm sorry you had that experience! Discipline in the classroom can be rough for full time teachers, and I know students take advantage of a sub even more. Wonder if you would like a lower grade better? Just a thought. I pray you find exactly where you want to be!
     
  22. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Oct 4, 2014

    I find it hard to believe they could hold you accountable for this. I had a situation once when I worked in a state preschool where a student was running across the pavement. The aide yelled to him to stop, turn around and come back to his original starting point to walk. He turned, started running back, fell and broke his arm. Fortunately the mother knew her child and while she wanted to know what had happened, she didn't make a huge fuss. Even when this child came back with a cast, we had to stay close to him to keep him from doing exactly the same thing again. The only thing I think they could be upset about in your case is if someone felt you weren't properly monitoring the class. It sounds like these kids needed constant supervision. If you were not paying attention while this was going on, that might reflect badly on you in some aspect, but things happen even when parents are present. Kids do dumb stuff sometimes and end up hurt because of it. I'm sure the school has had accidents on the property before. It's unfortunate they're being so indirect with you. I hope it all works out.
     
  23. bora

    bora Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2014

    Thank you all for your feedbacks.
    Tomorrow I have an intervew for a preschool position.I like it because it's very close to my house. Offers better pay and benefits. Do I have to tell them why I haven't worked for that agency lately? During this last weeks I have worked for my old preschool. They have been so nice to take me back but unfortunately I can't go back there full-time because they do not offer good pay or benefits.
    I haven't heard from the agency yet, by the way. After what happened, I feel like not going back to work for them anymore. Very disappointed. :(
     
  24. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Oct 6, 2014

    I don't think you have to mention anything about it. As a sub your work days might be sporadic since you aren't guaranteed work every day anyway. Good luck in your preschool interview!
     
  25. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Oct 6, 2014

    :yeahthat: Subs are as close as you can come to being a day laborer in the teaching world. If you have a long, pleasant and productive relationship with a district, and they will write a reference letter, you bring it up. In this case, I wouldn't. If asked point blank, don't lie, but go with the unpredictability of subbing vs. a steady job and benefits. Who wouldn't understand that? Good luck and fingers crossed. :)
     
  26. teachld

    teachld Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2014

    This is normal

    I work in the sped population and children hurt themselves all the time and teachers are investigated a lot, especially the ones that work with the violent aggressive students and they are still teaching to this day. If you didn't hit anyone , abuse anyone, then you will keep your job.

    Don't sweat it. Besides, at this point, there is nothing you can do about the situation other than wait. It is routine to investigate the situation. They probably are doing it to appease the parent, Like, she will be happy if you got in trouble for this... but it's really precautionary and common in school. They will investigate it, ask you a bunch of questions and figure out a way, so that the parent does not sue.


    I've been through something similar, and nowadays parents do not hold students accountable for anything anymore, it's like... "accidents aren't allowed in 2014". Everything is the teacher's fault. But we are human.

    I was investigated and all that happened was downtown asked me a bunch of questions. and that was it. I was scared and couldn't sleep. for a week. .. but it was more to appease the parent if anything.

    so don't worry.
     
  27. bora

    bora Rookie

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    Oct 20, 2014

    Well, finally the agency called me.:) They decided to keep me, but I can't work for that district anymore.
    I'm still considered for the preschool position that I have applied. So far they are interested in me, but I am so stressed out because do not have anybody to pick up my kids from school and take care for them if they hire me. While as a sub I chose the days and times I wanted. Also the preschool where I have been working lately is asking me to work full time for them. I don't know what to do. :dizzy:
     
  28. Ms.Blank

    Ms.Blank Companion

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    Oct 21, 2014

    Well, that's some good news at least! Congrats! Sometimes it's good to get a fresh start after a fiasco like that, anyway :) Good luck with your decision!
     
  29. TNSub

    TNSub Rookie

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    Oct 30, 2014

    It's absolutely silly that they would hold something like this against you. A tooth? Really? I could understand if it was a situation where a kid had a heart attack in your class and you didn't call 911, but a kid knocking another kid's tooth out with a toy?

    Maybe it's just the generation I come from, but when I was a kid, I was wrestling around with a friend at home, and he actually knocked half of my front tooth out with a toy. My family didn't get all sue happy about it, we went to the dentist and that was that - I still have half a fake front tooth to this day.
     
  30. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Oct 30, 2014

    That was then, this is now. The bottom line is that teachers and subs are responsible for what happens in the room. I believe that we are expected to have good enough class management skills to keep most things from impacting the welfare of our students. With no ill meant by this, OP didn't have control of the class and isn't exactly sure how this happened. Playing at home with a friend is not the same as getting ready to leave school for the day under the watchful eye of an instructor. I am glad that OP has had the chance to reflect on this, and consider just how unpredictable subbing or teaching can be. If ever there was a need for eyes in the back of your head, this is the job. Class management skills are learned and honed over time. OP has time and desire to learn from this mistake, so all is well. Do I think the parents were wrong to be upset? Frankly, no. Just my opinion, as a parent and a teacher.
     
  31. stuffaz

    stuffaz New Member

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    Oct 30, 2014

    feel your pain

    I am beginning to understand it is best to be tough/ clamp down on talkers and movers right away. They know the rules and one warning is all you give. Keep it quiet to get things done and keep the learning happening. Maybe even have time for extra recess if earned.
    I understand about an out of control class, I've had it. Where I spent my time warning, and pointing, YUk! And then kids are arguing with each other. Same time of build up to problems. Good Luck with your job. ?:^)
     
  32. joerose

    joerose New Member

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    Nov 23, 2014

    I don't think this was your fault at all. Both of those students need to be held accountable and if you get blamed for this it really speaks of poor administration and rules in the school. Until students are made TO accept responsibility for their actions more behavior like this will continue to happen. I would never go back to that school.
     
  33. jacob

    jacob Rookie

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    Dec 3, 2014

    Teachers have also their peaks and valleys, happy moments and sad times. A small conjugal problem can severely affect how a teacher perform in the classroom. Teaching is such a sensitive job that embodies the entire societal, intellectual, and cultural values and being an effective teacher is a challenge that every single player in this field recognizes as the most daunting task.
     
  34. bora

    bora Rookie

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    Sep 4, 2015

    Update. I was blocked to go back to that school, which I didn't mind. I stopped working for them right after the investigation was finished, because I accepted another offer for a TA position. Unfortunately, I had to quit last week. Because of my own kids school schedules and bus times, I couldn't work long hours anymore. Now I am back to subbing for awhile with one school district who hired me last week. Planning to go back to Kelly too.
     

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