No good deed goes unpunished (long rant)

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by anna9868, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Mar 28, 2015

    I feel like crying! But I usually don't cry. That's not me. No, I feel like I'll be torturing myself with details and "Why's" endlessly for a long time to come.
    Today's events are bound to bring depression soon, I often have those by the end of school year!

    I guess the only good thing out of this whole situation is that I learned the new saying in English! It's exactly equivalent to russian one, wow, I wonder who borrowed from whom!

    Anything else? I taught a lesson to my daughter that if she wants to be a subsitute teacher, she should be aware that she's be under the microscope all the time and (admins) are usually more than happy to throw you out a the first sign of miscompliance, even though you work your butt off. Actually, I didn't have to tell her that. She arrived at that conclusion herself, believe it or not! I only complained to her of how unfair this situation is. But she is the kind of child to pick up those things easily.

    How do I prey for her that she grows up "smarter" than her mom, that she doesn't "rub people the wrong way". See, she already decided a few years ago that she's gonna be a teacher. And her confidence at the choice of the profession is grown stronger with each year.

    anyway, I was kicked out of one of the biggest school district where I sub!. It's a scary thought as I analyze my history of being thrown out of various place.
    So far, I've been kicked out of 3 jobs in my life. First time, it was from a little family position, home position? in fact. Second time from a school. This time from a district.

    Why do I have this sinking feeling in my stomach that it it would be completely out of education next time! This time there are so many signs that it will happen, I just can't stop thinking about them,

    See, I've been brooding too much lately whether my decision of getting an ESL certificate is a valid one. Somehow, I feel inside that I will never find a regular job in schools, so why waste money on even more education! (I already have masters in ECE) Money is very tight in our family right now, so the thought that I'll be taking classes towards degree which might never be used is a heavy one to live with, especially as the end of the month is approaching and it's that merry time of paying for all the bills!

    See, what was the scariest in this getting-rid-of-Anna this time around (literally among 100s of other things) is that BOTH complaints came from ESL teachers that I subbed for in that district.

    Because I'm getting ready (mentally so far) to get into ESL field, I've been a little more zelous about learning all I can about it, finding things outs, writing a little more inspired notes for the teachers at the end of the day.
    That's one of the things that got me into trouble! One of the complaints was that I didn't leave a detailed summary of the day!

    And they were other complaints as well, I don't want to remember them all! How I wish, for ones, those people would just come out and say the truth: We don't like her! Period!! She should not be so enthusiastic, full of energy and ready to do far and beyond of what's needed of her! For god's sake, she is ONLY a substitute! She should know her place!!!

    Please don't advise me to go and start investigaing! It's not me, I'm not going to do that.
    I've been on the forum for a while, I've posted so many complaints as a parent against teachers, where people would advise me to go and complain, investigate, get an advocate.
    It's not in my nature. I'm Muhamet Ghandi when it comes to education. I solve things peaceful way. Well, there is not much to solve now, what's done is done.

    I can just write about it. Oh, I can also do some creative writing (my hobby when I need to vent) I usually write in Russian, but I decided to try my hand at English this time:

    ********************************************
    Gathering the evidence

    One time I was thrown out of the local middle school, but that was teacher's aide position. The complaint sounded so pathetic "She was reading a book and knitting!"

    Imagine, you are an aide with a middle school boy. The kind of boy who looks at you with a "What ARE you doing helping me here, I'm fine without you!" look. It's middle school. Their hormones are raging. I'm used it it. I try to be obscure as I follow him around the school, so that he doesn't feel like he is followed by someone (new) all day long.

    Special needs class, pretty few kids, but LOTs of aides eyeing you suspiciously. This is second year you've been coming to this school, so they've gotten this feeling inside by now that you are different from the majority of the substitute aides who come here. Something about you rubs them the wrong way, they just don't know what is, so they keep watching you to get more evidence before they can complain.

    One of last days of the semester. Teachers don't feel like teaching especially in these classes. They just want to relax and take it easy, so they announce to the students that it's a free period. You come up quitely to the boy and ask him if he'd like your help with any other class. Of course you know the answer is no, but you need to follow the protocol, silly as it sounds. You are already on the radar, this protocol-following would make no difference what-so-ever!

    You have lots of things in your bookbag to do in this nothing-to-do-time. Your ADD personality doesn't let you sit and stare into space like you should be, or quitely check messages on the phone like other decent aides do. No, instead you bring new things for yourself to explore, since you get bored easily without learning something new every day. This time it's knitting. Your son is into knitting now, you feel funny that a boy is knitting all day long and mom doesn't. So, you decide to knit a little thing.

    You sit at one of the students desks, away from other aides (!oblivious of their suspicious eyes) and knit, periodically checking on your boy. He is talking to other boys, like everybody in the class. You think everything is going well, you don't really feel the ever increasing doom looming larger and larger over you. When you've had enough of knitting, (you don't really last long, it's rather boring activity), you put it away. You check on your boy (he is still ok), take out a book and get absorbed in it.

    The bell rings, you pick up your bag and go on to a different period, completely unaware of how you just signed yourself up for the very first School-Kick-Out of your career. Others will follow shortly.
    ......
    That particular time I went to the principle after being told I cannot come back to the school again, begged him to take me back. Since then, whenever I'm at that school, I DO try to be aware of all the malicious eyes spying on me, and I ONLY read a book under the desk. Which makes me feel like I'm back in Soviet school 30 years ago!

    *************************************************
     
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  3. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I'm trying to understand this. You've been fired from 3 jobs, 2 of which were sub jobs. You've been knitting and reading a book while you were suppose to be working. In my school that wouldn't fly, you wouldn't be asked back.
     
  4. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    well, let me ask you, what are you supposed to do in the classroom if
    - you are a (sub) aide with a child, who doesn't really want to talk or look at you
    - the child is totally self-sufficient, only needs help in academics,
    - the teacher tells the class to relax because he'is not teachich today - - you are bored to death doing nothing?

    ps: I wasn't fired from jobs, just banned from school in this case, and later asked for forgiveness and was allowed to come back
     
  5. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    You be bored to death! Sometimes that happens in life. You don't read personal books or knit when you are supervising a child. That's just basic truth. That would have had you stricken from the sub list at any school I've ever taught at.
     
  6. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    and if we're talking about middle school, what kind of supervising am I supposed to do if a kiddo is doing is communicating with his friends?

    also, while I was doing my "criminal" things, the other (regular) aides were mostly on their iphones and ipads. How is that different?
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    If I had an IA or SPED/ESL sub in my classroom reading or knitting, I would have a problem with that (although I also wouldn't tell a substitute that I wasn't teaching that day).

    If your assigned kiddo is doing well, I'd expect you to circulate among the class, or find another student to help. If they were truly doing "nothing" (watching a video or something like that), I'd expect you to sit behind the class and model for students what a good audience member looks like.

    I would not consider knitting or reading a book to be appropriate in front of the children, however. Reading a book would be okay if it were a DEAR reading time and the classroom teacher was also reading (or asked you to read), but otherwise, I don't think that would be okay.

    If it helps, for perspective, there are times in a classroom where being the adult is boring. Painfully boring. Yesterday, my kiddos were taking a test and a pretest online, and had blocked off about 60 minutes to work. When they were done, they were reading silently. Once I got them started, I had no kid interaction other than the occasional question. Saying that I was bored would be an understatement. BUT... I still had to be as engaged with the kids as was possible under the circumstances. That's just the way it is.
     
  8. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    again, what you are saying is nice and dandy when you have anybody to circulate amongst. :) In that particular case, the teacher said there is no learning today, so practically every kiddo was out of their seat, just hanging around or talking to friends.
     
  9. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Mar 28, 2015

    It doesn't really sound like you're willing to accept any response other than "they were completely in the wrong and everything you did was awesomely perfect" so.... good luck in all your future endeavors. :thumb:
     
  10. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Seems to me no one agrees with you but you. Yet, that isn't convincing you that maybe, just maybe, you are in the wrong with your actions.

    I truly suggest you change your major.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Were the most recent complaints also about knitting and reading?
     
  12. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Regardless of the age of the student, if there is such "downtime" where academics aren't on the agenda, you make yourself busy by being social. You should be developing a relationship with your student, or any student in the class. Immerse yourself in conversation with students. You'd be surprised how much students want to talk to adults in a non academic conversation. Moments like this help build relationships.

    You sitting, knitting or reading, displays anti-social behavior, like you don't want to be bothered. Even if you just walk around the room it shows you wanting to be proactive.

    You could always engage in conversation with the other adults in the room. Get time to get to know the staff.

    My school has Fun Friday time every week. It's not structured academic time. We do it for social and community building time. And I sit with my students and play games with them. They love talking to and playing games with me.

    Although I am sorry that the situation with subbing for the ESL teachers didn't work out.
     
  13. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    I sympathize with you.

    Not that I necessarily think you were in the right, but your expectations were clearly different from your employers'. And maybe they are turning a blind eye to cell phone use while vilifying knitting, and maybe that's even unfair - but it's their prerogative.

    I'd say you work more to figure out what can occupy your mind during downtime. When I was a student in school, my imagination helped -- I would imagine tentacles popping out of the ceiling, or imagine what I might do if the zombie apocalypse hit at that exact moment, or other things that one might expect teenage boys to imagine.*

    You could also focus more on the students. Figure out what clothing they're wearing, what they talk about, the kind of mannerisms they have when they're relaxed, who they talk to and who they don't, who's left out of any conversation or engaging in solitary activities (like you. Maybe they're kindred spirits ;))

    Speaking of that, I agree with Bunnie, the activities you're picking seem to be ones that shut people out. Though cell phone use is also a bit anti-social, it's often done in very short bursts, whereas knitting/reading is a longer activity.


    * occasionally, these might have involved female members of the class :)
     
  14. Jerseygirlteach

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    I'm sorry this happened to you. I don't think you did a terrible thing, but I think you were wrong. You accepted a job, you got paid for it, but you were bored. Sometimes jobs are boring. As a sub, you can ask not to go back to that particular classroom or environment.

    I would be very unhappy if I had a sub for an aide and she started knitting. Note, that I had a substitute aide who fell asleep in my room because he chose to sit in the back and do nothing rather than be proactive. I didn't get him in trouble, but that's me. I sure don't want him back, though.
     
  15. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    I'm sorry to be a bit curt in asking questions. I really didn't mean to sound like I know I'm right. Just the opposite, I know the school staff was right to ask me not to come back. Remember, later I asked them for forgiveness and they forgave me.

    I was just trying to understand the logic behind their thinking. As you can see, I don't agree with that logic, hence, the questions :)
     
  16. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    I forgot to mention. The student I was in was Autistic support, middle schooler! I suspect many kids in that classroom were (this school district's policy doesn't include telling a sub aide much about the kids, you are left to fend on your own)

    Now, I don't know how often you guys work with middle age Austistic student boys, who really behave like they don't want you there. The guy, I recall, was big, almost as big as high schooler.

    And remember, I'm a SUBSTITUTE, he seems me once in a blue moon. I can just imagine his reaction if I started to try to mingle into his conversation to get to know him or his friends
     
  17. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    The logic is that they are paying you to work, and you were instead knitting and reading a book.
     
  18. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Before you write off a career in education all together take some time to reflect on this. If you wee a teacher in this room what would you have done differently? What would you expect aides to do? I worked as an aide for 7years prior to becoming a teacher. I know what you mean about living under a microscope. I know it seems unfair, and I will be honest with you...IT IS! How ridiculous that People single out one aides behavior and completely ignore the others. (It's happened to me, believe me I get it)
    But right, wrong, or indifferent it comes with the territory. You get used to "playing the game" and doing your best to make your boss happy. As an aide it's not your job to agree or even like the assignment or current class activity. Your job is to support the teacher. When a blanket statement is given about a free period for students,it is generally understood that it applied to students and not the staff. During this time, the staff should be circulating the room, making sure students are demonstrating appropriate behavior.

    As for a student who doesn't want to talk or look at you..that's fine he doesn't have to like it. You're there to do a job, you're not there to be friends. You did the best you could offering space and trying to take into consideration his feelings about having an aide. It sounds like he was embarrassed by his needing an aide and didn't want friends to see. Which is normal. He needs to understand you don't work for him or his friends.

    I had a student who had a similar feeling about needing an aide. Like you I gave her space, but the second she demonstrated she was off task or not being appropriate I was sitting right next to her. She soon learned that the space and "independent time" I gave her was a privilege and not a right. She soon learned that she could work for or earn the space or free time. The more she demonstrated I could trust her the more space she got. But NEVER was I not watching or close enough to her that I could redirect behavior. I might have been out of her and her friends sight...but she was ALWAYS in mine. It got boring, it was annoying, but it worked. Sometimes the job can be boring...like others have said if your student is fine...move onto another and assist them, ask the teacher if there is stuff you can do to help.

    It sounds like you were not given much training or direction from the staff in the room. When we had subs we did our best to fill sub aides in on behaviors and routines, we don't expect perfection but we do expect to be engaged and willing to learn. I'm not saying you weren't, but taking independent work for you to work on like knitting or reading while in a class SCREAMS "I'm not interested"
    Next time maybe leave that stuff at home or only bring it out on your designated break times. Good luck...it will get better
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You ask the teacher if there's something you can do for her while you are sitting with the student.
    You interact with students...enage in conversation.

    You don't knit.


    Just curious...what was the good deed?
     
  20. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Just sit there, be bored, and collect pay for doing nothing.

    Or do what i'd do in that situation - observe what the students are doing and intervene if necessary.

    You could also ask the teacher if there is anything you could do to help them out - copies, etc.
     
  21. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Asking for forgiveness doesn't mean you believe you were wrong. Many times it is a means to an end. In your case, the means to an end is being allowed to sub in the school.

    Saying you disagree with the logic regarding why it is wrong to knit and read a book when there is no student learning going on indicates you still feel you were in your right to do so and the logic of others was in error.

    Even if nothing else, you should be watching what is going on in the classroom for safety reasons. I understand other adults are there, but your job was not to knit or read a book. Your job was to help teach AND supervise for both learning and safety reasons.

    I stay with my opinion. You should seek an alternate major.
     
  22. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    As an administrator, I've seen the good, bad, and ugly as far as substitutes are concerned.

    Recently, I had to ask a substitute teacher to leave midday due to falling asleep (snoring & feet up) during class. One of the students came to the office to let us know what was going on.

    A few months ago, I had to let a substitute aide know that his services would no longer be needed at our site due to texting while the student he was supposed to be supervising had jumped the fence & ran off campus.

    I'm one of those people who always find something productive to do. When I was a kid, my mom would tell us that if we were bored, she'd give us something to do (which usually involved housework!!!).
     
  23. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Doesn't matter if you're just a substitute or that he's autistic. In the role of being a para was to get to know the student you are working with. It also helps to get to know other students in the classroom. You actively monitor the students, your 1:1 is top priority, though you're also responsible for all students safety in the class.

    I'm under the assumption that since you are a sub, that one day you'll want to secure a full time position in the teaching field.

    Which SUB Para will have no problem being noticed positively and have an easy time getting recommendations:
    The one who interacts with students, assists the students and teacher or the one who sits and knits and reads a book?

    Point being as a sub in the role of a being a para you are to be assisting in some way. Knitting or reading isn't assisting in the classroom.

    I'm not trying to be harsh, I just hope you can see why what you did isn't appropriate, and any administrator walking in and seeing that will have a negative picture of you as lazy or someone who isn't doing their job.
     
  24. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I'm sorry this happened to you. Knitting or reading is not a terrible thing, especially when others are doing equally off task things (phone, ipad, talking), but I think it does look worse.

    Definitely don't write off education, you have a lot to offer, just think about it from the employer's standpoint. They're paying you to do something, and if there isn't anything to do, then either find something, or actively sit there and wait for whatever comes next.
    When I was subbing, if we had a free period, we could do whatever, but I'm sure personal activities would have been frownd upon. I looked over plans, organized papers, started writing my notes to the teachers, and sometimes I went up to the office to see if I could help with anything. Did I want to do that? No way. But I also wanted a job, and wanted to look like I'm there to work, and it did look good.

    Just take this is a learning opportunity, and know that you are always on, they're paying you for the day so you owe them the day's work, in whatever way.

    But don't give up, move on, and many great things will come your way!!!
     
  25. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    What other people do is not your concern. They are equally being watched. And maybe they were sing apps to keep notes on behaviors, answering school email You dont knw,,, Take care of you...your actions leave impressions.

    I currently have 3 subs on my 'do not call' list. I'd add a 4th if I saw a sub knitting during class time...no matter how casual the class climate.
     
  26. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    thank you, Linguist! your words really mean a lot to me!

    of course, deep inside I know I'm not going to give up on education, it is just a momentary weakness!

    It's just that it's so hard to live your life when you are different than most people you interact with and your difference kind of stands out. I know I have to work on those differences to appear like everybody else, and not let people know what I think.

    One of my good friends who knows me well told me once: Anna, you have a rare talent to stir up conflict.

    He is right, I do notice it. I would work in school. Those people who happen to accept me usually like my work because I'm always hard working, I believe we should always occupy kids no matter what their level is, no matter whether it is "officially" my job at this time or not, I'm just nuts about educating kids, period.

    On the other hand, admins, or teachers/aides who are not so open-minded and are used to the traditional-be-like-everybody kind of aide look at me sideways, or given the chance, throw me out.

    In the knitting-reading school I told you about, I know I've been to more than one situation where I was looked down on BECAUSE I was willing to do more than my duty.
    Is that not good either? here is an example:

    again, special education class, it's some kind of before holiday break class, no learning is going on. The aides take out some board games, throw them to the kids and start talking to each other. I'm sorry, I'm not a very social person, so I don't enjoy talking to those aides, I'd rather be with kids IF they are willing to be with me. And getting kids interested in games is one of my professional hobbies! So, I start observing the girls, I forgot what games they had, something standard, Connect 4 or such. They quickly loose interest, few kids these days get excited over board games. So, I walk up to them, and either I show them another game which they aren't sure how to play, or maybe I engage them in the same game. The main idea is I spend 10-15 minutes teaching or modeling for them, and when I leave their desk, they are playing a game and having fun. I'm satisfied with myself.

    Now, those girls were NOT the girls I was supposed to supervise. I think my kiddo didn't want to play at all, not even considered it, something like that.
    Was it wrong what I did as well?

    I'm willing to bet, those aides (who just threw the games to the girls and went on talking) probably did NOT look at me approvingly, thinking, Who is she? Why would she want to spend her time with them?
     
  27. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    to be honest, I'm not sure even at this point if I'll want to secure a full time position or not. Unlike sub aide, being a sub teacher seems to be a little more liberating position.

    I'm not required any longer to be very social, I'm not under as much scrutiny as an aide. I feel (some days) I'm even able to teach kids/myself a thing or two.

    Seems like a pretty safe position. I may want to stay at it for a while. After reading this forum, I have too many doubts about being hired and then about keeping a job if I'm terrible at politics, school politics, socialization politics.

    Even at my very first teaching position, a preschool teacher for 2 year olds, I was told by the director that I'm wonderful with kids, but terrible with parents.. I had the wrong smiles, not enough smiles, didn't say politically correct things.
     
  28. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    It's a dance...you get better with practice. Don't give up...just keep seeking ways to learn. Hang in there
     
  29. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    thanks! My problem is I often feel I don't know what we are dancing, and how to dance it, so...

    Speaking of dancing, funny! I was always too shy to dance, a friend of mine "inspired" me to learn, I was waay beyong 30 y.o. at that time :haha:

    So, I guess I can learn, just need to understand some nitty gritty details
     
  30. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    thanks for taking the time to explain, Bunnie! Again, believe me, I am NOT arguing with you. It's just that, usually, in a crowd of people all of whom thinks the same, my (intuitive) opinion is different. Is it my fault that I happened to have a brain that thinks differentely than your 95% of people or something?

    The "problem", the way I see it, with what you saying, Bunny, is that you phrase is assuming everyone should think that. Why? What if I definitely see the logic behind your words, yet my opinion is different?

    I've worked in many different classrooms during this school year, including autistic support, learning support. If I were the teacher, and could act according to MY COMMON SENSE, I would see NOTHING wrong with ONE aide who reads a book or sews when students obviously need no supervision. If I see that during academic time this aide gives out as much help as she can, and during "down" time she makes sure there are enough adults in the room (besides her) to monitor the kids, and she looks up occasionally from her reading-knitting, I really really don't see WHY I should be frowining on that aide!
     
  31. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Mar 29, 2015

    Another great example comes to my mind, back from the preschool class I was let go off after a year of teaching, remember? good with kids, not good with adults!

    I had one "very difficult" parent in my class. The one who is always dissatisfied with teaches, and of course, triple so with a non-standard one like me. Here is a situation which signed off my "resignation sentense" , even though it was eary on in the year:

    We had classroom party. Every kiddo was to bring a snack. during the snack the kid of the "difficult" parents refused to eat the snack saying she hates it.

    Remember (just for a second), I still have my "russian" mentality. Back in russian school it is ABSOLUTELY normal to do what I did. The party is over, when the parents come in, I put on, my long-practiced right smiles (again, not very natural for russians to smile so often :), and tell the difficult parent handing her the rest of the snack: You know, your child says she doesn't really like the snack, maybe you want to consider something else next time.

    Now, 7 years later, after YEARS of anallzing the situation I KNOW what was wrong in those words. But again, took me YEARS to understand.

    You know what the principle told me when she called me in:

    - Anna, what have you done??!!! I told you in the beginning of the year that THAT parent is a difficult one! You were supposed to behave super polite with her! How could you tell her in the eyes that her childn DOESN'T LIKE the snack!!! Anna, she is a parent of a 2.5 year old, WE don't say that to the parent!

    Yea, the problem here is with the word WE. I don't seem to be part of that WE mentality.

    Back off! Those who's been reading my posts for many years may remember me posing, LONG time ago about my daughter's struggle with Selective Mutism. It took my 2 years of INTENSIVE WORK on the school personel's close-mindedness to overcome it. Heck, even when I posted a topic, in, what I consider, a community of mostly open-minded teachers, there were so many debates.

    Anyway, back to the principle's words. I remember thinking inside: What is she talking about!!! I LOVE when people tell me what's wrong with my child. I'm the one who goes around BEGGING to tell me what's wrong with my child (at the time of that preschool, I knew something was wrong with my daughter's not speaking, but I didn't know what it was)

    THANKS GOODNESS, I was layed off that dumb narrow-minded need-to-pretend-all-the-time preschool that year! It forced me to look for another one, and I signed up my daughter the following year in 2 preschools simulatenously. One was the traditional one, and another, home preschool, let by our teacher-ANGEL, your non-standard teacher who, LIKE ME, believed that if there is something wrong with a child, we should tell the parent about it. Together, we have a chance of overcoming the difficulty. Because, if your attitude is that of that parent and principle, how can you appreciate the fact that if there is something "wrong" with the child, we have a better chance of helping him/her out while they are still young!
     
  32. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Mar 29, 2015

    Oh well, conclusion:

    Yes, I can learn from my mistakes. I can analyze CLOSELY some particular sitation and just remember how the 95% of people would react in the case of knitting-reading. But, alas, deep inside I cannot agree with those 95%. I can only learn to fake my thinking.

    And that, I feel is my main struggle in education (well, besides the fact of Where to get the money to pay for the certificate :) ) is

    WHOULD I LEARN SOME DAY TO FAKE OFF MY THINKING SO WELL IN ORDER TO FOOL PEOPLE AT THE INTERVIEW AS WELL AS PEOPLE THAT I'M WORKING WITH, THAT I AM PART OF THAT 95% ??

    Because, if the answer is no, my career would be a Forever Subsitute Teacher. I can feel aready that for that position I can fake my thinking enough. I already get "good reviews" from certain aides and other non-important people in various schools. I just need to make sure I learn to be polity enough and friendly enough with the secretaries, which is a pretty difficult skill for me to master. Not that I'm impolite. But if I behave my natural self, than I LOOK like I'm indiffirent. Hence, back to the lessons of putting on smiles, etc.
     
  33. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Mar 29, 2015

    Yes, I know that I'm not good at standing up for myself. I need to learn to do that as well. Usually, when I'm told to leave (a position, school, family, you name it) I never argue. I know I think differently than many people, so how can I argue!

    I don't know. This time I'm thinking I should try to stand up for myself. Yet, I'm too scared that if I do the hiring company may just say good bye to me for all the rest of the districts that I sub in, and our family would be deprived of much needed income that I now bring home.

    So, here is a story in short of what happened this time from the administrator's point of view:

    I'm an employee of CCIU.
    The school we are talking about is my kids Charter school, it has 4 building in it. I mostly (used to!) sub in the 2 elementary building.

    - about a month ago I had an incident on the parking lot of that school. I've written a whole big story about how I've done EVERYTHING in my power to avoid conflicts, but because of bad advise from the school admins (vice principle to be precise) I did get into this little unpleasant situation. Nothing serious (in my opinion!), I was just blocked off with buses, and I really needed to get out, so I got a little anxious and ran like crazy around parking lot like a trapped mouse, because I need to get somewhere fast that day

    After this, the school tells my hiring company that I SHOULD't COME BACK to that particular building.

    Now, our company (CCIU) is now switching all of us, aides, to a different contractor. The place is HUGE, so you can imagine how busy they are with that process.

    They contact me (CCIU) to give me a warning, but I dont' remember them telling me I should not work at that building. Maybe they forgot to tell me that, who knows!

    Oh, I make a serious mistake (I think now) of emailing my letter (the one that describes the story) to the head of the school. Very stern woman that is pretty nice when I talk to her as a parent, but as a sub....

    the point of my letter is, please take a look, PLEASE tell me what did I do wrong. I really really like your (our) school and was thinking one day of searching for a job there as a building sub one day.

    Her answer comes in cold and official: YOU ARE A CCIU EMPLOYEE! WE DONT' TALK TO THEM, IT'S NOT OUR JOB.
    And by the way, we don't hire our building subs from the street. Teachers first work as aides before they get a shot at being hired as building subs!

    ok. Now, a month later. A complaint from a ESL teacher comes about me. You know, it's the same thing as knitting-reading situation, I admit! I let my guard loose. I work by butt off with those students, beyond of what I'm supposed to do. But yea, when I have free time, I go on and read my favorite russian forum.

    Fine, this time I ADMIT I'm wrong. I should not have done it. But that besides the point.

    Second time around I'm kicked out of the next 7 assignements at this school, no one tells me ANYTHING about it. I'm starting to go BESERK with worry at home. I email our classroom teacher, begging her to explain to me why would anybody do it. She really feels for me (we've talking a lot with her about teaching ideas), but she frankly tells me she has no idea why they would do this

    I receive a call a few days later to come in for an appointment with Mrs. So-so. I don't know who that Mrs. so-so, they don't tell me why they are calling me. I call the secretary to find out, she doesn't know either.

    Together with her, we decide that it's about paperwork that need to be finished so I can be transferred to that other hiring company.

    Now, listen to this, it's SOOOO FUNNY (well, now that I've gotten over my sadness a little)

    this woman from CCIU calles me in the office (the one who has to deliver The Sentense) and before we get to her office, I start complaining to her how unfair that school is, 2nd time in a row they kicked me out of 7 straight positions for the next few weeks. They should talk to them about it, they are not being substitute-friendly.

    Ha-ha-ha. She looks at me a little embarrased, and tells me what's why she called me in today. To let me know that the school is now kicking me out of all 4 of their buildings, meaning the entire school!

    turns out they already kicked me out of the first building a month ago. And asked the hiring company to let me know. The hiring company was too busy, they didn't!


    Given the state of shock I was in, I didn't think of asking for a copy of my Sentense. I'm thinking now I should.

    Maybe I'll get the courage to ask for that copy.
     
  34. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Mar 29, 2015

    The US is a melting pot; there are many people from all over the world who have recently come here.
    I am sorry you are having so many issues so many places, but it sounds like you have difficulty "reading" a situation and knowing how to react. I think you really need to process some of your situations, and see what you can take away from them to help in the future.
     
  35. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Mar 29, 2015

    It may not be your fault, but it apparently is enough of a problem that it impacts your ability to do certain jobs in the manner that it is expected to be done.

    Life isn't always about fault. However, ability and doing jobs the way they are expected to be done (some of this is culturally) is part of life. Sometimes that inability is enough to keep you from doing certain jobs even though it is not your fault that you are not good at certain things.
     
  36. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Mar 29, 2015

    no so sure. I'm hoping I'll be able to learn how 95% of people think in certain situaions, and then fake it when I'm in one those.

    so, thanks for reading, everybody! you are really helping me in this difficult endeavor!
     
  37. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Mar 29, 2015

    Ya know, honestly, in the space of 4 pages, we've gone from "I've never done anything wrong" to MULTIPLE situations that have led to you being rejected from multiple locations, all for reasons that, even from your POV, I completely understand.

    Is it your fault that your "brain works differently"? Ok, fine, no. But if you want to work and be successful, you need to change it or at least its output.

    Your highly dramatized and overly emotional leaps would make me question leaving you with children. Running around a parking lot, panicked, to the point that they ask you not to return? How would you react if you were running late on a field trip or late to a meeting?

    At the end of the day, it honestly doesn't sound like we even need to be part of this. You're so convinced that you've been wronged. Maybe you just need to be keeping a journal because it just seems that you want a place to write everything that's ever happened to you. Honestly, I don't think you're going to get the validation that you're seeking here.
     
  38. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    i'm absolutely fine about field trips or meetings. If you read my story of what happened that day, you would've seen that I did everything possible to prevent this situation, whereas the school staff was not helpful to me at all, even vise versa, telling me it's ok to park here, and then at the end of the day turns out it wasn't ok. All they said was a simple "sorry". and later, fiied a complain because I was emotional about it.


    believe me, this is a small portion of what I write! I keep 2 journals, online and paper one. I consider it my psychothearapy, getting my problems off my mind on the paper



    I'm not looking for validatoin. Looking for some help to understand certain situations
     
  39. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    Mar 29, 2015

    This is a long reply but you wanted perspective...

    You mention several situations. I'll address knitting and reading a book.

    Some of my students work very, very slowly. Completing a task, writing their name, or completing a worksheet can take a very, very, very long time. My students have disabilities and work far, far below grade level.

    I am the teacher. I have been known to sit adjacent to one or a group of students and do something such as paperwork (by hand not by laptop), prep activities, read a work related article or memo, or write a to-do-list while I silently supervise their work.

    I have staff in the room. They typically don't do any of the above, by their choice), although I have said they could, and sometimes they do one or several of those things.

    I have had subs in the room. They have read books, magazines, knitted, and crocheted. I have given them something else to do first things as soon as they start in the morning. I tell them that they will just sit with the child. Sometimes they do what they want anyway. I remind them again of what they can do.

    Why? You never know who will walk in the door or be on the sidelines watching - a parent, the principal, the district superintendent, etc.

    I maintain the standards for our (adult) behavior not out of paranoia of what might happen (someone walking in the room), but rather the fact that at all times we should be focused on the kids and/or maintain professionalism (parking lot episode). It's what we do. It is our job.

    I sometimes have a number of activities that aides and subs can do while they sit with the kids - coloring, cutting laminated pages, etc. That is not every day or week.

    It's a different situation when you are doing a non-school related activity (reading a book or knitting) in the classroom while students are working. When would it be okay to knit? If the students were watching a movie and you were knitting what would that model to them? They don't have to focus 100% on the move. So I can't think of an instance when you could knit outside of your break or lunch.

    Sometimes it does seem like we get paid to just sit and watch students. I see it as an opportunity to sit, relax, and reflect. My job keeps me on the go so it is a nice "break" from routine. You are getting paid to do it, so just do it.

    It is hard to be a sub when one "mistake" can cost you the job or future jobs. It doesn't seem fair but it is how it is. If there is someone to fill your place the district/school will do it. You can be replaced so anything you do to jeopardize that impacts your job security. Why? You never know who will walk in the door or be on the sidelines watching - a parent, the principal, the district superintendent, etc.

    Learn from the situations, gain perspective, and move on.

    Worry about what you can change.
     
  40. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Mar 29, 2015

    Anna, I don't know. Some of the things you are saying makes me think maybe education isn't for you. You can't fake "thinking" or your personality. You thinking differently than others is an excuse to justify your actions, which everyone that has posted so far as told you is wrong in regards to reading and knitting.

    Let me break down as to why that is. As a teacher in my state the only downtime we get is lunch, where we are free to leave the building and do as we please. We get one preparation period a day to prepare for our classes. That time is NOT downtime to knit or pleasure read. As a para, or sub para the schedule is the same except paras don't get a prep period. They are scheduled to be with a student/class all day exclusive of a lunch period. They are expected to assist at all times with various tasks.

    You have been "kicked out" of buildings asked to not return. In my experience it takes something really suspect for that to happen. In your case, it seems they don't like your behavior and lack of proactivity. You need to reevaluate whether or not education is for you honestly.

    I personally have been fired twice in my life, both times I understood why, learned from it and made changes. You were fired/kicked out, but you haven't learned from it yet, and maybe it's still too soon. But you weren't wronged, you were wrong, plain and simple. If you can't get past that you were wrong then this is not the field for you.

    Lastly, the incident at the daycare. You were not wrong in you initial reactions. There's nothing wrong with telling a parent their kid didn't eat a snack the parent constantly brings in. However, there is much to be said in how you say it. A simple "Hey, I noticed Emily doesnt eat her snack, and she told me she dislikes it. I just wanted to let you know." You never want to suggest to a parent how they should parent their child by saying get her a different snack.

    Also if you boss tells you that's the difficult parent, that's code word for don't do something to upset her because she might pull her kid from the daycare. As I have worked in a daycare setting, it's not like public school, the owners rely on every kids tuition to run their business. Unless of course it's a prestigious daycare with a waiting list miles long. So yeah you would need to be careful of that.

    You need to be mindful of workplace politics. If teaching was just about teaching the kids this job would be easy but it's not. To say you don't want to play into them either is a naive thing to say. You need income, you follow the rules to keep your job, whatever that may be.

    I do wish you luck, but encourage you to do some soul searching as to what your skill set is most useful in.
     
  41. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 29, 2015

    One dismissal for telling a parent that their kid didn't like a particular snack, two dismissals for knitting/reading, and one dismissal for crazy parking lot antics. Is that correct?

    I would gently advise you to do some serious reflection about each of these incidents and resolve to make some big changes. First, when admin warns you about a difficult parent, you don't open the door to parent complaints by raising an issue that is ultimately totally inconsequential. No admin wants to clean up your mess. Second, I find it pretty inappropriate that you would continue to read while monitoring students, even if you have to hide your book under your desk, when you have been dismissed twice for this very issue. This gives the impression that you don't learn from your mistakes, and that isn't the kind of impression you want to be giving. Finally, can you link to the parking lot story? I really am having a hard time understanding it. Is it possible that you came off as a legitimate lunatic, someone unable to keep calm in an unexpected situation? Let me tell you, there are always unexpected situations in teaching. Pretty much the only thing you can expect is that something unexpected will happen. Can admin trust you to stay calm and keep everyone under control when there is a lockdown or bees on campus?

    I think that you need to get over this idea that you "think differently" and so you are excused from having to follow the rules. That's not how this works. All teachers are required to, at an absolute minimum, supervise students. The only "free time" you should have is when you have a duty-free lunch or planning period without students. If you're with students, you don't get to decide that you can do what you want because you are bored. Sometimes teaching is boring, especially during standardized testing where we can do nothing but stand and watch students for hours and hours. You seem to have decided that your ADD or the fact that you think differently means that you can disregard your most basic job responsibility, and that means that you don't understand your role. The school was not built so that you could knit or read books. It was built so that students could learn. You are there, being paid for your time and expertise I might add, in order to facilitate that learning. Does your knitting help kids learn? If not, then you need to stop doing it during work time.

    Teachers have to work with both children and adults, and adults include coworkers, admin, and parents. It's not enough to be able to work well with just one of those groups. You're not going to get anywhere if you're going to view those adults as part of some hive mentality or something like that, where your feelings and opinions are so terribly different that you can't possibly conform. Trust me when I tell you that most of the people you work with also believe that they themselves think differently from everyone else.

    I hope that you can find a way to be successful at what you want to do.
     

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