Need support from people who understand

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by ktmiller222, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. ktmiller222

    ktmiller222 Cohort

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    Sep 22, 2014

    (FYI, I have two years teaching experience in another state....a few years ago)

    Well, I just started to day-to-day sub in a few good school districts (quit a good job -non-teaching job-after four years) I'm already down on myself. I thought I would go in with confidence but I'm starting off the school year with the thoughts "I'm not good enough" "I won't get anything out of subbing" "Others are better". I don't understand why I'm thinking like this already because I've only subbed a few times.

    Is this normal? I was excited to sub but now I feel like crap and I don't know why. It's like I'm dreading it and it just started! I'm not even introducing myself to people (only people who come into the classroom...I'm not even making a good first impression- I don't go into the principal's office let them know I'm here). My confidence is non-existent.

    Any advice or positive thinking would be appreciated. I feel pretty pathetic by posting this but I honestly thought I was going to be positive about the subbing Thanks!!
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 22, 2014

    When I subbed, I felt the same way. I think for most it's common to have that feeling. I would suggest stopping by the office just to pop in and say hi and let them place a face with the name. You have nothing to lose!
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Sep 22, 2014

    Subbing is a double edged sword. On one hand you are teaching and working with students, on the other hand, you are the last minute replacement who could have been Tom Brown off of the street corner. They don't know you, you don't feel valued yet, you are making less money, while working at a job that should mean more, in the grand scheme of things. Top it off with the fact that you can't predict from one day to the next whether you will be out the door to earn money or lounging around in your PJ's because no district called - what's not to understand?

    Introduce yourself to others, listen when they explain things to you, follow up with a smile and little gesture when you see that teacher again the next time you are in the building. If applicable, get to know the secretary, the sub-caller, and anyone else who could advance your chances of being in the building. I also volunteered when not working, which is a great way to get known. You are just unsure of what to expect, who to talk to, have some performance anxiety, and probably concerned that you are not going to make enough money to make this worthwhile. It will - but it takes some time. Fake the smile until it is real, get to know the teacher's names, spend some time in the teacher's room and just listen to them, interact a little until you know more. Be willing to go the extra mile - fill in for a class, work in the library, cover until someone gets there - and soon people will notice your can do attitude. Be humble - this is new to you, don't put yourself down, though, it doesn't inspire confidence. Be in "willing to learn" mode, and others will engage in conversation with you - everyone likes to be put a little on a pedestal, and your rapt attention does that. People learn to take turns, so once they have shared, don't be surprised when they ask you something about what you think, what you know. It is the beginning of truly belonging. It is way too early in the school year to be this defeatist. If you give up this easily, perhaps this isn't the road for you. If you are just having trouble getting started, look up and stay positive. Rome wasn't built in a day.
     
  5. ktmiller222

    ktmiller222 Cohort

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    Sep 22, 2014

    thank you! i needed to hear this. i need to breathe and know that it's only the beginning of the school year. thanks!
     
  6. MissPapa

    MissPapa Comrade

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    Sep 24, 2014

    I always felt unimportant. Everyone, including students, are like "oh, you're just a sub…" And I've had teachers who criticize me if a mistake is made. I've talked back to a few because they were just downright mean (don't do that, big mistake for me!) But it got me my job. Keep going!
     
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Sep 25, 2014

    I thought of it as a chance to prove myself and gain experience. I was recommended for a LTS position based on my subbing performance. It put me in so many different classrooms and made me realize what I wanted and did NOT want to teach.
     
  8. ST13

    ST13 Companion

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    Sep 25, 2014

    Gonna be 100% honest. This year started my third year of being a sub. There are days when I LOVE subbing (usually when the classes are really good) and there are days when I HATE subbing (getting called at the last possible second, when teachers dont leave enough information, when I make a mistake)

    I've been subbing at the same 3 schools since I started, so most of the staff recognizes me by now... but there are definitely those days when I feel like "just at sub" even during my 3rd year doing this things are still new to me and it definitely shows sometimes. It's not uncommon to feel the way you are feeling. Especially with the job market right now for teachers there are days when I feel like I'll be a sub forever.

    I've definitely left feeling beaten down (one time I even got in my car and started crying!) but like others have said, its normal and the good thing about subbing is since you are in a different class everyday you really can start each day fresh and I agree that it has made me see strategies i liked or strategies I didnt think worked so well. In fact, every time I see something I really like I make a note of it in my phone so I have it when I finally DO get hired!

    One of the best things about subbing though in my opinion is that when you get your own classroom one day I bet you will leave some kick a** sub plans! :) (i know I will)

    Good luck! keep your head up!
     
  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Sep 25, 2014

    Amen to that! I know I am always thinking about making it better for any sub that has to be in my class if I am out. I am also way more tolerant of the fact that some days there is what was planned vs. what happened. I know that my kids hate change, so the teacher of the year might have subbed for me that day, and had the same results. Having been a sub really helps you appreciate the subs that make it look easy. And yes, I have "borrowed" more than a few tricks, techniques, and tools of the trade from everyone I ever worked with. Good teaching is worth understanding and internalizing, no matter the source. :)
     
  10. jspader02

    jspader02 Rookie

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    Sep 30, 2014

    I'm in a similar position. I taught 1 year in another state several years ago. I came back to a TSS job I've been doing for almost 4 years now. I work with kids one-on-one in the school and in the home and community. I'm a total of 6 years out of college and I've never been more depressed than I am right now. I'm so stupid for leaving my out of state job, but it is what it is.

    Anyways, you need to keep your head up and wait it out I suppose.

    I subbed for a year and I loved it. The only reason I'm not doing it now is because the work I have now is more stable and I have solid work in the summer. Soon enough you'll be recognized by certain teachers in the school for doing your job well and the kids will grow to like you too. Slow and steady wins the race. I always wrote detailed notes to the teacher and I think that helped. I'm a little on the shy side too, but just let your teaching talent shine. Everything happens for a reason, or at least that's what I keep telling myself.
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Sep 30, 2014

    Wondering, OP, are you still dreading it? I have to admit that I was dreading my full time job a bit, as there were building changes, admin changes, and a feeling of being totally displaced. I decided to revisit your post because today was the first day when I actually felt that although different and in many ways hard, the people I work with will be just as warm and comfortable soon enough, the kids will quit taking pot shots that I am not like Mrs. Fill in a name. It is always about getting your bearings (or going out for beers - who knows?). My confidence is rising, and I don't feel quite the fish out of water that I did the first time I replied. What a difference a week can make.

    I also wanted to suggest that you tell your principal that you are serious and willing to learn more, so that you will be a better teacher. See if the P has any suggestions of teachers that would be excellent candidates for you to observe, on your own time, or when there is a lull in the schedule. It has the benefit of sharpening your classroom management skills, impresses your P that you are truly trying to become accomplished in what you do, flatters the teacher/s you observe, and creates a sense of belonging to this group of teachers, in this school or district. At some point you will very likely run into a situation that is helped because of your observation, and you will share that with the person who gave you guidance. It is a win/win, and the one thing that helps us all is the teacher reliance on reflecting on what we have done, observed, or attempted, and that belongs to the entire profession. It will help you feel that you truly belong.

    I hope you are finding your way, and that you know that those of us who have "been" you remember the trials, and the wonders, of all that you do. Make yourself the best sub you can be, and you may not be "just" a sub for long! Remember, keep applications on file year round - you never know when a position will open up. :hugs:
     
  12. ktmiller222

    ktmiller222 Cohort

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    Oct 1, 2014

    It's still the beginning of the school year. I don't know why I'm being so negative about it. I guess I thought it would be different. I will sub in a room and another teacher would come in for something and won't introduce themselves, teachers won't respond to any emails I might send out ahead of time that I will be subbing in their room, and I can't seem to be in a school where the principal is actually there for me to meet, etc. I don't mean to sound negative but I thought the staff at the schools would be more welcoming. When I taught in another state, everyone was so friendly towards subs. We would treat them so nice when they were there because we knew they were lost.
    My goal is to sub more and put on my big girl pants (haha). I ignored some sub jobs in Sept because I was just dreading it. Now that it's October, I've decided to bust my butt more and try to be more confident. Thank you for your response. I hope that I can post a more positive message on here in the near future! Best wishes to you!
     
  13. LovetoteachPREK

    LovetoteachPREK Companion

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    Oct 2, 2014

    I just wanted to offer my support. I subbed all last year due to a possible job not coming through. I was really depressed about it for the first several months of school. I was angry that I didn't have a job, and was often subbing for teachers who seemed "ungrateful" that they did have jobs.

    And oh did I hate it when they told me I was "lucky" on days I didn't have to work! And then you'd get that kid who would say "You're not a teacher, you're a sub!"

    It takes thick skin some days. But, things did get better for me as the year went on. You do get to know people and if you do a good job, you get asked back to the same classroom enough that the kids become more familiar and you can develop a relationship with them and the other teachers.

    Keep your head up!
     
  14. ktmiller222

    ktmiller222 Cohort

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    Oct 4, 2014

    Thank you for sharing. I'm hoping things get better. Yesterday was a positive because there was a TA in the room and she introduced me to a few people. Didn't really get to talk to them much but it was a step! It's just I don't know what to say half the time! Keep the positive thoughts coming!!
     
  15. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Oct 4, 2014

    Compliment the shoes, ask how long they have been with the district, where did they go to school, are those her children in the picture on her desk, how old are they, how long have they worked in the district, have they always taught xxx grade, where did they find that darling top, bracelet, necklace, shoes, etc, and I am sure by now you get the message. You find them interesting, which you will, and they will respond, for the most part, in turn. Start the conversation but let them steer it and do most of the topic shifts. Most people love talking about their lives, and you need to learn to be a good listener, at first, so that you know what makes them tick. You will soon know that this one is crazy for daylilies, that one is the biggest basketball fan in history, and the one over there always has great teaching ideas that blow you away. It's just regular interaction, and, honestly, I have been known to jot down the occasional note to go with the name, just to help me remember. Soon, it becomes easier and second nature. I am good one on one, but used to be uncomfortable out of my comfort zone. As they say in the commercial, I don't just tell you how to do this, it is what I have done to make friends and become comfortable in groups. Good luck! :hugs:
     
  16. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Oct 27, 2014

    I just started subbing about a month ago -- subbed for a week and a half and then went on vacation for a week and a half haha. I kind of threw myself into it the first week -- first day was kindergarten all day and HOLY COW.
    But now that I'm in my second full week... it's a lot easier (the in-and-out weeks are tough. If you can, try to load up on jobs for the week. Taking a day off and then going back can make it more stressful than it needs to be). The first full week was really difficult and I hated it. But last Friday I had the first job that I really LOVED, and that made today so much easier. Find a grade you love (for me, it turned out to be 3rd, which I'd never taught before), sub in that grade as often as possible. And of course, what everyone else said -- talk to other teachers when possible. It's not always a lot, but it helps. Returning to schools helps a lot too. I'm at a school today that I was at for 3 days my first full week, and just the thought of being recognized makes it much more bearable.
    Subbing is really a mixed bag. Sometimes it's really easy, and sometimes it's REALLY stressful and difficult. Find the grades/subjects that fit you best and stick with those, because you'll feel more confident with your teaching that way.
    And for what it's worth, I'm finding that teachers really appreciate subs more than I realized. Taking a day off can be guilt inducing, and knowing there's someone to cover for them helps a lot.
     

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