If you have a really bad day, do you...

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Vince, Feb 4, 2011.

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  1. Vince

    Vince Rookie

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    Detail it in the note to the teacher? I overheard one teacher in the lounge say she never said a class was bad, it made her look better to the regular teacher if she was able to manage the class.

    I usually leave a few names of students who were acting up and give a description like ok, good, or great.

    If they are chatty, I will say that, but what if they are just downright obnoxious and won't shut up all day? Would you write that?
     
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  3. DaveG

    DaveG Companion

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    I'm not a sub, but from a classroom teacher perspective, I prefer the sub let me know what went on (if there were issues etc) as I work hard to make sure my kids understand the expectations when I'm present and when I'm not.

    Either way, the kids usually tell me how the day went with the sub anyway. I've had subs who obviously do what the person you overheard does. The sub will write about how great the class was and how great a day it was, but I'll hear that the reality was completely opposite from students and colleagues.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I hate getting notes that say that everything went fine and then finding out later that there was some huge problem. I like to have some sort of heads up about a situation if one happened, and I'd like to know which students behaved inappropriately.
     
  5. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    YES - please write it down, all of with names and what they did or did not do. I want to know what goes on in my class while I am gone.
     
  6. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I may not list every single detail, but I won't sugarcoat their behavior & will state what I feel is the most important things for the teacher to know. If you want to add at the end that there's more you can say, but you'll sum it up by stating ___ and ___, so the teacher knows there was more.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Kids take advantage of subs... There will be consequences if I get 'notes' from a known and respected sub... I don't do too much if it's a new sub...and I will request to not have that sub again if I get bad reports from the kids.
     
  8. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    It does no one any good if the sub is not honest. I choose my words carefully but I definitely let the teacher know what happened in the class, good or bad.
     
  9. azure

    azure Companion

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    I definitely tell it like it was with quotations if there was disrespect and backtalk or defiant behavior. If it's a good class, I say that and tell the teacher, "You obviously run a tight ship."
     
  10. asianbeauty

    asianbeauty Rookie

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    This is exactly how I approach things too...The key is to be honest, yet tactful...You don't want to offend the regular teacher who likely cannot control her own class.
     
  11. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    When I was a sub, left the good and the bad in my notes. I always started with something postive (pointed out the students who were helpful, well behaved, great lesson plans written, nice tidy organized room, etc). Then, I leave the negative (students who were troublesome, etc.)

    As a teacher, I DO want to know who were helpful and who caused problems. I will not be insulted. I know it won't go smoothly. I know that they will try to push every boundaries possible. If you just say it went well, I may have trouble believing you. Plus, the kids WILL tell me everything. :)
     
  12. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    If I get a note that things are good and things aren't, I will recommend that that sub doesn't come back. Be honest...if you aren't you can only hurt yourself.
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I do want to know the bad along with the good (and will speak to my class about their behaviour) but, please don't assume that if a class misbehaves for a sub that their "regular" teacher can't control them.
     
  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My favorite school when I subbed made it clear to the students that substitutes were actually guests of the school. Therefore, if they treated their guests poorly, there would be greater consequences than if they misbehaved with their full-time teacher. I adored working there!
     
  15. Vince

    Vince Rookie

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    All valid points, I am always honest, although sometimes I don't give minute details.

    This past week I had one of the worst 4th grade classes I have ever had, in fact, one of my worst days ever in 2.5 years.

    I was brutally honest in my note, telling the teacher that it was one of the worst days I have ever had and left a list of 11, yes ELEVEN, kids who couldn't control themselves all day. I also left a list of the hard working kids and the in between kids. In fact, I made three columns of names.

    I sure hope she does something to those kids who were acting up all day.
     
  16. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    If a class is horrible and I say that to a teacher and she doesn't call me back because she thinks I can't control them, that's fine with me. I have no desire to go back to a room that behaved terribly anyway. I'm learning that there are a few teachers with huge egos who can't take hearing negativity. If they get that kind of feedback, they want to blame someone else. You have to let that just roll off your back. I was once in a 5th grade that acted up unbelieveably. Their teacher was in the lunchroom at the same time as me because she was in meetings through the day on campus. She mentioned that the sub the previous day sent two of her kids to the office for fighting. She was saying how it wasn't the kids, it was the sub. Well, since I was spending the day with these very same students, and they were throwing food in the classroom, arguing with me, singing and being exceptionally disruptive, I really found it hard to believe the sub the previous day was out of line in sending them out of the room. One day with her angels was quite enough for me.

    The vast majority of classes are fine. In general, if the kids are chatty, but there are no serious problems, that's exactly what I'll say. It's no secret that kids test the boundaries with a sub. Everyone expects that. Over time, though, I've gotten more explict in what I say in my notes. If a student seems to have an extremely hard time with an assignment, I'll say that. If one or two students are disruptive, I'll note their names. With kinders, if there is a crying incident, I'll say that. I'm really horrible with names, so it takes a lot of effort, but I think it's more helpful to everyone to not sugarcoat.
     
  17. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    That's my view on it.
    You do nothing to help you, the teacher, the next sub, the (offending) kid(s), the education community as a whole by not giving a good sense of the happenings of a day.
     
  18. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    That's not a natural assumption?
    For someone who's experienced and has seen hundreds of classrooms/environments, I think I can gauge when a class is just acting up cuz I'm there, and when S.O.P. is various levels of chaos.
     
  19. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    I want the sub to tell me what happened with my class. My kids are not perfect, and I know that.... not everyday is perfect with me there, so I know it's not when a sub is there. I have ZERO respect for a sub that leaves me a note and said everything went great, or no note at all, and I find out that the kids had problems.
     
  20. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I love when I come back and find the my sub marked things off on my plan, added little notes about what went well or didn't, leave me specifics about a student's bad behavior.

    And please do not assume that just because the kids are bad it means the teacher has no control. I have good classroom management and my kids are good many times. However, because I have good classroom management, I get some of the toughest kids. They may be unmedicated, going through emotional drama, have an emotional disorder. Their misbehavior is not because I have no control.
    *Because of confidentiality and student records, legally, I cannot write down this information for a sub!
     
  21. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    I think there is some middle ground with this. Even though behavior with a sub will be different than with their regular teacher, it is still possible to have good classroom management as a sub. When I get a note that say "your class was the worst ever" or "you have a terrible class" that stuff pisses me off and only makes the sub look bad. I had a REALLY good sub that said there were some talking issues so she left me the names and said they needed to miss recess. I liked that because it showed me she was on the same page as I and I definitely took recess away from those kids!
     
  22. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Right! Don't say it was the worst class ever, but leave constructive feedback. Let the teacher know that one student refused to do any work, another ripped up his test, four or five would not stop talking, etc.
     
  23. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    That kind of stuff is childish, vindictive stuff. I'm not saying that. When I leave a note (about a bad day), I typically might say: "We (I always speak in "we's" on the LP, I don't say "You, your" unless I'm paying a compliment, which I often will do) We did not have a good day today..." and go into it. I don't take little digs, or personal attacks or any of that nonsense. (even if it may be the case!)

    But: If you are getting notes like that, doesn't that say something about your class? If some sub told me I had the worst class ever , I would take that personally (as a reflection of my teaching).
     
  24. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I know what kind of teacher I am, the respect my students have for me and what works best with each of them. My students know what kind of teacher I am, what I expect and what they should be doing. I'm not convinced that how they choose to behave when I'm not there is a reflection of my teaching.
     
  25. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Teachers have different levels of tolerance regarding class behavior, especially regarding policy and volume.

    I have been in classes that are , in my opinion, doing well. Yet on a few occasions, another teacher or an aide will tell them. " You would never behave this way if Mrs.---- was here".

    I hate hearing this. It leaves me wondering wether I am too tolerant.

    But then again, I have been in other classrooms along with the regular teacher, and the kids are louder than the ones where the classes have been given a verebal reprimand, yet the teacher is not bothered.

    In short, normal student behavior, and one's interpretation of that behavior, varies from class to class, and it is not always possible for us to know what is normal.
     
  26. carol2010

    carol2010 Rookie

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    As a substitute teacher, I usually state my expectations to the classroom and ensure that they know I am serious about discipline and how I operate. If it is a bad day, I am not hesitant to list some bad students to the teacher but I never say it was the worst day or anything like that.
     
  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You really dont know that a teacher can't control their own class based on a bad subbing day...:dizzy:
     
  28. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Particularly if it's YOU that they're misbehaving for. For all you know, they're great for the regular teacher.
     
  29. asianbeauty

    asianbeauty Rookie

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    Ummm, okay...I'm tired of getting repeatedly attacked merely for stating my brutally honest opinions...First of all, let me tell you how I operate as a day-to-day sub...I arrive at the school site 5-10 minutes early, familiarize myself w/the lesson plan, firmly set my ground rules to the class in the morning, right after introducing myself & taking roll...I let them know precisely the consequences of not following my rules...They know I am dead serious & mean business...I have no qualms about keeping students in for recess, lunch recess, after school--whatever it takes...In extreme cases, I will have disruptive kids write me 1-pg essays reflecting on their misbehaviors...I ALWAYS follow the teacher's lesson plan to a tee, unless circumstances arise which the teacher forgot to clue me in on, such as an assembly, lockdown & fire drills, picture day, or a team teacher decides to cancel ELD rotations...In cases where the teacher does not leave enough work for the students, I am very resourceful...I do several read alouds, teach some Chinese, or tell funny stories about my young niece & nephew...On minimum days, if the teacher leaves me papers/tests to grade I don't leave until I'm done w/every last one...Even if that means I have to work through my lunch break and stay past my work hours...I'm a hard worker who does not believe in making excuses...I always leave a detailed note and leave the classroom way cleaner than I found it...I can control 97% of the classes I cover...The 3% that I can't are lost causes...I am not your average sub who students can easily take advantage of...In fact, they generally behave better for me than they do their own teacher...How do I know this?...The students themselves tell me...Now please explain this to me...How am I as a sub, in the course of a single day, able to command respect & compliance from even the most difficult of students, when their own teacher, who sees & interacts w/her students on a daily basis since the beginning of the school year, cannot manage & control her own class...In the very rare instances where I am unable to contain a class, I guarantee they are 10 times worse w/their own teacher...I have been subbing steadily for over 6 years and seen the good, the bad & the ugly...I've covered almost 1,000 classrooms and do think that I am qualified to distinguish a good teacher from a bad one...Generally speaking, a bad teacher is one who is disorganized and flies by the seat of her pants...the class lacks any real structure...She has to resort to yelling in order to get the students' attention...These ineffective teachers make our job as subs THAT much harder...I will make a mental note to not sub for those teachers ever again...Furthermore, it is quite common to have 2-3 problem students per class...However, when one third or more of the class is exhibiting behavioral issues, you have to question who the real culprit is...Instead of scapegoating, perhaps they should take a long, hard look at themselves...Could several subs saying that your class was the worst ever be wrong?!!...Are you cursed w/being assigned a bad group of students from year to year?...At what point do you take personal responsibility for the role that you play in this fiasco?...I am a straight shooter who calls it like I see it...I do not come to this forum to be politically correct...Rather, I come here to vent & commiserate w/my fellow subs...To those highly defensive "crappy" teachers out there, know that you are doing a great disservice to your students...Don't you have a conscience?...Shape up and stop hiding behind your cloak of tenure. :angel: :2cents:
     
  30. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    You are more than welcome to post your opinion on here, but you are not allowed to attack other members. I hope you decide to hang around and get to know the teachers on here better. You might be surprised at what you find.
     
  31. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    Feb 26, 2011

    x2
     
  32. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    As someone who has subbed for three and a half years and is now a classroom teacher I have been on both sides of the fence. I also have had teachers in my subbing career tell me that I should always say that my day was great even if it wasn't because otherwise it may seem like I could not control the class. I think that is horrible advice. I was always honest, but tactful. I might start my letter like, "We unfortunately had a very rough day today." Or, "Johnny had a hard time controlling his talking this afternoon." I've always made sure to follow whatever behavior system was in place and if the behavior was severe enough to warrant consequences I made sure to give them. That way the classroom teacher would know that although I may have had a hard time with them I did not just let them walk all over me. In my experience, most classroom teachers at least appreciate the attempt.

    As a teacher I know that my boys can be a rough bunch. As structured as I try to keep my classroom, it is naturally unstructured. I have a lot going on at once and some of that is out of my control. So, I completely understand if my sub has a hard day because sometimes they give ME hard days too. I appreciate honesty though and my boys know that I am very sympathetic to subs since I was in their shoes not too long ago. They know if they misbehave I'm going to get them the next day. Plus, having my TA in there helps because she'll tell me anything the sub doesn't.
     
  33. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Asianbeauty...out of your grand total of 4 posts so far, you've been directly critical of teachers in at least 2, and danced around it in your post above. You may have 6 years of subbing experience...that's great..use those experiences to hone your skills and build your own philosophy...learn from the good and great teachers for whom you sub, and try out some of your own ideas in the rooms where lesson plans might be sparse...Coming here and venting is one thing...coming here as a relative newbie and bashing professional educators is another. You'll find we are a supportive group with great ideas...and fiercely protective of our profession...and sometimes 'brutally honest' as well.
     
  34. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    OOOOOHHHHHHHHH, WWWWWWOOOOOOWWWWWW!:eek:
     
  35. substitutesftw

    substitutesftw Companion

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    I always leave detailed notes. And I always let teachers know who did a great job and who gave me problems. If kids get me to the point where I want them held accountable by the teacher, then they must really deserve it because I'm pretty easy-going. I would hate for a class to get rewarded for being "an awesome class" when they were really were not.

    The thought never crossed my mind that a teacher would think I'm less competent because I wrote about behavior problems. It's not like teachers think their classes are perfect.


    LOL I thought this post was funny. Sometimes, a teacher may have been out the day before I get there and I can see the other sub's note. Usually other subs' notes are much shorter and less detailed than mine. I always assumed it was because they just didn't know what to write or what feedback the teacher was expecting, but it totally could have been because they wanted to look like they had a great day. :lol:
     
  36. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    1. That statement says a mouthful... outside of the mouthful you already said.

    2. Seriously? Please.

    3. Not a guarantee that anyone can make.
     
  37. asianbeauty

    asianbeauty Rookie

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    Aren't you mature? :rolleyes::dizzy:
     
  38. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I've held off on commenting on these "let's attack the teachers" threads until now, but I just can't do it anymore.

    I am currently in a K-6 credential/master's program. My mom has been a teacher for over a decade. I've worked in schools for the past 5 years - after school programs, student teaching, and now I sub occasionally to gain extra experience. I also try to stay up to date on current events and issues in education.

    The accusatory tone of these posts appalls me.

    Teachers are getting attacked from EVERY angle: the media, politicians, public figures, parents, Joe Smith who doesn't even have kids but is apparently an expert on why public education has so many problems, etc. etc. ETC. It is absolutely horrific to me that educators come on this message board, a place where they are supposed to be able to express frustrations, ideas, concerns, and triumphs with their fellow teachers, and they are ATTACKED here as well. Seriously? How is this productive?

    Asianbeauty, I recommend that you stop listening to the mainstream media and start understanding teachers better. You have mentioned that teachers involved in unions are generally worse. You have also mentioned hiding behind a "cloak of tenure." Well, I know MANY tenured teachers who are EXCELLENT, my own mother and my former cooperating teacher being two of them. I also did some of my undergraduate fieldwork in the classroom of the union rep at that school. She was a fantastic, compassionate educator. When you mention unions and tenure in your closing remarks, it leads me to believe that you are basing a lot of your perception of teachers on what the media tells you to believe. And since I see you are from California, as am I, I know the media we are exposed to is incredibly critical of teachers.

    I am just so, so sad to see this.

    Maybe it's because I am currently studying to BE a professional educator, but I would NEVER, EVER say these things about a teacher that I sub for.
     
  39. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Maturity doesn't preclude reactions to outrageous, biased, unwarranted attacks.
     
  40. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I could be ugly, but I think you are for both of us. I am not the one trying to judge others. I am sorry you don't have a full time teaching job, but in my district trash talking or tearing down a teacher you sub for is the kiss of death. My principal will not hire anyone that does that. So I hope that while you post on here and feel free to be so judgemental, you are not sharing at the schools you sub.:2cents:
     
  41. asianbeauty

    asianbeauty Rookie

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    HUH?!!...Contrary to popular opinion, I have nothing against regular teachers, just the crappy ones who are systematically failing students placed in their charge...My baby brother is a teacher, and a damned good one!!
     
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