Notes for the teacher

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by ArsPoetica, May 4, 2006.

  1. ArsPoetica

    ArsPoetica Rookie

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    May 4, 2006

    Hello everyone,
    I know this may be a simple question but what should a sub write in a note for the teacher? Also, how long should it be? I subbed for the first time today and left a short paragraph about each class, mainly about how their behavior was and which students had trouble or who was helpful, etc. I also made a few short notes on how the students handled the class work. Is there much else I should be writing?
    Thanks,
    Poe
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    May 5, 2006

    This sounds great. When I return I want to know:
    - what work was completed and what wasn't. If certain lessons or activities weren't done, why not (ran out of time, didn't understand the work, etc)
    - what did you assign for homework?
    - how was the general behaviour of the students? Are they any incidents I need to follow up with today?
    - if students handed in notes, homework, assignments, etc. where did you put them?
    - any concerns you had

    I really dislike it when my supply doesn't leave a note. It's important for the continuity of the classroom to know what has happened in my absence.
     
  4. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    May 5, 2006

    I always leave a note, and I always always, always, put a positve, if not a few, in the letter. All my expereinces have been positive as far as subbing goes. As Mrs. C states all the above should be addressed at the end of the day. If someone was very good, be specific, mention why.. the child will be thankful the next day. Same goes for anything that goes on be specific, but professional. When in doubt, put it on paper is my motto. It's better to tell the teacher than not to. It only makes you appear professional and observant. You want to be noticed as a teacher, and not just somebody killing time . I always try to put myself in the teacher's shoes for the day and think what I would want to know.
     
  5. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    May 5, 2006

    I just adore when I get notes from subs! :)

    Most of the time I don't - and it's hard to come back into the room and not know what happened when I was gone.

    I want to know:

    - good
    - bad
    - what lessons were taught
    - what lessons the sub brough to teach (if they did)
    - anything else that happened that I might need to know about (fights, notes from parents, fire drills, etc...)

    Kelly :)
     
  6. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I just don't understand how a sub( who wants a teaching job one day) doesn't leave a note... that's crazy
     
  7. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    Well, at my school, sadly, the subs normally only last one or two days before they move on to "better" schools.

    :(

    Kelly :)
     
  8. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    May 5, 2006

    Subbing is THE best way to impress a school. I was just chatting with another teacher this morning and the subject of subs came up. Unfortunately, a sub that is strongly disliked by the staff was recently hired on full time here, which I find interesting because this individual also coaches several sports. It is unfortunate for the students, but the only consolation for the rest of us is at least he won't be subbing anymore.

    I HATE it when I get a note from a sub that says "Everything was great! Thanks!" I want to know exactly what happened, so I can pick up the next day with no confusion. I had one sub who did nothing in my plans, let my students leave 15 MINUTES early from school, and passed out candy and toys as "rewards" (which I spent the next day collecting in my desk drawer). Then, you guessed it, the note said "They were great!" Of course they were! But they did no math! (or reading, or writing, or science, or social studies!)

    Err on the side of more is better than less!
    kcjo
     
  9. ArsPoetica

    ArsPoetica Rookie

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    May 5, 2006

    Thank you all for your responses!
    Before I went in to sub I made up a form on the computer that says "Sub's Notes" on the top and then put lines for which period it was and also some lines to write messages on. Because all the students had to do was watch a video, I just wrote notes on who had trouble and who was willing to help me out. So when I have a class where there is work to do or to be taught I'll be sure to leave a note for that. I do want to make a good impression because I would like to teach in this district eventually and leaving good notes (I believe) as a sub will help the district get to know me (I hope). :)
    Thanks again,
    Poe
     
  10. NELNaples

    NELNaples Rookie

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    May 5, 2006

    I made up a little form I use. I email it to the teacher when I get home. I also have a little half sheet of paper with the teacher, class, day, etc.. on it and I explain that I will email it to the teacher. Since I don't know their emails normally, I figured out how they construct the email names.

    Also, I saved the Sub Report as a template so everytime it opens and I don't have to worry about it.

    I find that after a little break I remember soooooo much more. I also type quite a bit faster than I write so it just makes it easier for me. I also save them so when a Teacher asks me back, I look and see the report. I have been in over 90 classes since December so it helps.

    I am actually doing a report right now!
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2006
  11. NELNaples

    NELNaples Rookie

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    Oh - I have a huge notebook that I keep my grad school stuff in but I put sheet protectors so I have maps of all the schools. I also have a notebook that I keep the seating charts I make in. At the bottom I put the seating chart, the very top has teacher, grade, school. I look at the seating chart when I write up the notes.

    Also, I tend to get much more feed back from the teachers this way. They just have to hit reply. I have found that teachers call me now quite a bit. Also, having the seating chart means I don't have to yell. I can say - Chris, I need you to take your seat. At K level they are so funny - they can never figure out how I know their names!!
     
  12. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    To the "contract" teachers who replied:
    Thanks, for reinforcing what I have always thought should be done.(I even lay out the next day lessons and morning work if I can, for easier transitions.)
    I'd really love it if the teachers that I worked for WOULD reply to my emails or notes. Most Don't. Most delete them as junk mail. It is extremely frustrating to me, as a sub, to have worked hard all day to fulfill all of the lesson plans to the best of my ability and write up follow up notes. when:
    1] There is no lesson plan for a sub. What plans are there are in a personal shorthand that is nearly impossible to understand. OR the theachers next door have absolutely no clue as to what or where anything like the lesson plans are, or no emergency plans.
    2]No seating chart, no roster, no listed rules/proceedures for the day. No hints as to where the classroom teacher has kept the plan book, worksheets or teacher editions.
    3] I love it when the teacher has a plan where she tells me who is helpful.Who might be the trouble maker. Who may have medical needs, Where her plans are, emergency plans,helpful staff members/notso helpful staff members. A seating chart and a roster with class numbers is such a big big big thing for a stranger in your classroom. 4] Tel me your dismissal proceedure!! That is the most critical time of day for me. If you have a duty that day, TELL ME . I want to do it. I am there to be a part of the team, not the weakest link that causes problems! Do not think that I wouldn't want to do the duty, because most times I want to be made to feel welcome and not like a toleranted intruder. By allowing me to expereince your job, you are giving me valuable insight as to whether or not I would want to be a part of this school as a regular teacher. It makes me feel like the competent professional that I am.
    Finally, please, please stress to your students, that the time I spend in your class is valuable and my observations do matter and will affect them if they do / don't follow instructions that day. I am not "just the substitute", "she doesn't count,cause she won't be here tomorrow..."
    P.S. IF you have a criticism about my performance- TELLME, not your fellow staff members. Its MY performance that is being critiqued. Its my competence that is being judged. If I have done something wrong, then tell me so that I may learn. Don't spread rumors about me, or the job that I did. I can't change that which I know nothing about!! :eek: Remember the adage, Praise in public, chastise in private.:eek:
    On the other hand, if you like what I did, then tell me that too. Feel free to sing my praises to others in your school.Tell others too. Just like your students, I crave positive reinforcement. :D
     
  13. miss australia

    miss australia Rookie

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    May 7, 2006

    all the things that have been suggested are important to me when i return after having a relief teacher.

    i always leave detailed lesson plan etc and it is frustrating to return to school and have to try and question the kids about what they have done the previous day if no notes have been left. it also frustrates me if activities haven't been done with no explanation as to why.

    to all the relief (sub) teachers who are doing the right thing i say thank you. it makes leaving my class easier when i know they are in competent hands! ;)
     
  14. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    May 7, 2006

    We had a sub who heard an announcement in the classroom next door for the teacher to come to the office to pick up some b-day cupcakes. The teacher was not in her room, so she went to the office, picked them up and fed her to the class she was subbing for. When questioned (while her feet were up on the teacher desk while eating the evidence), she said she heard the announcement and went and got them and she said "sorry" with a big smile on her face. After school she had a great time blowing bubbles while her class threw paper airplanes at each other.

    My school gave her another chance by asking her to sub for a parapro. (the teacher was in the room) she showed no initiative and had to be spoon fed everything, such as get up and walk around while the students are working, if you see someone's hand raised go see what they want....

    We could not figure out what she expected to do when she was asked to sub, especially since she knew that my school was looking to hire 6 new teachers. We have 18 year olds substitute teachers who could run circles around her. Needless to say she will not be asked back.
     
  15. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    that's amazing.. do you know how many people would just die for a chance to shine in a district w/ 6 openings... so frustrating to the rest of us.
     
  16. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    May 7, 2006

    I have a form that I leave for the sub that lists the three science classes and then my home room. It has spaces for good/bad kids work gotten to, problems, and what I could have done to make it better for the sub. I still have some that don't fill them out. Our subs are not trying to get teaching jobs. They don't have to have a degree to sub in our area. Our subs are SAHM and such that are just picking up a little extra money.
     
  17. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Christy, what is SAHM mean?
    Why would anyone who didn't want to be in teaching submit themselves to this kind of work load???? That is if you do this job as if you really care about education! Heck, working McDonalds' drive through at midnight with drunks is easier than some of the classes I have had.:p
    Then longer I sub, the less I see as far as teacher prepping for a sub. It used to be par for course that everysingle classroom had a sub file, and an emergency file in the front office. And the receptionist/office person would hand you this material as you signed in, walk you to the room and help settle you in by turning lights on etc.... now, noone can seem to be bothered to even look up and grunt when I come by to introduce myself. Seeing the office personnel in the morning??? no, I usually have to chase down a student and beg them to bring me a key to get into the room, and pray they get back by the time the class is ready to go in the door.
    Sorry for the ranting ya'll. Its been a tough 6 -9 weeks.:sorry:
    Christy could you post what one of those forms look like? or maybe make a suggestion of where to get one.
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm so sorry to hear that...I couldn't imagine leaving my class for a day without plans in place. I usually spend hours preparing for a supply teacher...often moaning about the fact that it takes so long to prepare to not be at school. I leave a lot of work for the students when I'm away...the busier they are the less trouble they will be. If it is a planned absence (mine usually are), I leave a note for the students on the whiteboard explaining that I am at a workshop and that the work and homework they are expected to do has been assigned by me. Leaving detailed plans and lots of work helps to make it easier for me to return to my classroom.
     
  19. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    May 9, 2006

    Sorry, Munchkin! SAHM - stay at home mom. :) I don't know if I have the form on my computer here, if not, I'll put it on at school.
     
  20. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I didn't have it here, but I remember what's on it, so here's the report I use. To answer your other question about the subs. I live and teach in a tiny town. We are at least an hour away from any university. Every once in a while we'll get one of our high school kids back to sub that has finished college, or is at least on a break, but we've never had certified teachers for subs (except me!:D)
     
  21. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Thanks Christy. Hope you don't mind, I am gonna keep that one for future use. One of the districts I work for, will only take certified teachers, unless you are grandfathered in. Some only take the parents from that particular school, and others... well, I am not sure what their criteria is.:p
    I am certified, experienced and want my own classroom.... really really badly. Currently, I have a summer job 8=5 and will try to resend my resumes again asap. How bout you?
    Munchkin
     
  22. kermy

    kermy Companion

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    May 29, 2006

    I"m trying to sub in a district that is hard to get in. I just started b/c i just finished school but i really like the other teachers and the distict. I'm just going to try to impress as much as i can. Do principal's know about subs or should we try and find them and introduce ourselves?
     
  23. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 29, 2006

    Let's see what the real experts have to say - but from my days as a parent volunteer, I'd have to say the answer to your question is Yes: good principals know about subs, but it wouldn't hurt to find the principal and introduce yourself as the sub for whoever the teacher is. That might also be a good opportunity to find out if the teacher you're subbing for has lunch duty or the like; if so, you can ask for a quick rundown of the protocol, and even if the principal decides to have someone else take that duty that day, you will at least have looked proactive and alert. You might be able to do this when you check in with the office, or perhaps you can catch up with the principal later.
     
  24. jd123

    jd123 Cohort

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    Our subs are not trying to get teaching jobs. They don't have to have a degree to sub in our area. Our subs are SAHM and such that are just picking up a little extra money.

    They don't have to have any degree??? In our district, subs have to have at least a BA/BS, plus take the CBEST (tests basic math, reading, comprehension, and writing skills).
     
  25. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    um, sorry for trying to unhijack you guys, ;), but I am a sub with a question about leaving notes for the teacher (which, btw, I always do, unless the teacher is a personal friend whom I know I will talk to afterwards)

    Would you, "real" teachers, think it out of bounds for a substitute to comment on the academic levels of students? I would, except that in one math class I was teaching, I noticed that while a certain 7-year-old was managing to slide along pretty well, she didn't know the basic numbering system. (didn't know that 40 comes after 39, e.g.) I would hope that the teacher noticed this herself, but after all it was already the end of April and this was a bright kid who just needed it explained! My guess is the teacher just took it for granted that the kids knew how to count and just went straight to math.

    I did mention the problem in the note. There were actually 2 (and a half!) kids with the same problem. If my advice was unsolicited, well that's just tough. But now, what do you think?
     
  26. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    May 29, 2006

    I think if you word it as "Seems like Sarah and Rachel had a lot of trouble with this lesson because they don't appear to have a firm grasp of the numbering system" or whatever it wold be OK... The teacher might have known it, but it also shows that you really paid attention to what you were teaching... it also alerts herto students that might not have understood what you tought them.

    I wouldn't word it as an all-out concern, though, because you don't know the full story of those kids. ;)
     
  27. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Thanks. that's basically what I did, but I felt like I was probably being too intrusive anyway.
     
  28. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    No Bored, you did the right thing. I would be happy if a sub paid was as consicientous as you. I agree with Clarnets response.
     
  29. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    May 29, 2006

    I think it's definitely fine to comment on things like certain children having trouble with specific things. I would think that meant you were really paying attention to the kids and making sure that they were on task and working. It would also tell me kids with problems, OR kids who just sat back and did nothing. I think the more communication that exists between teachers and subs only makes things better.
     

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