OK for subs to rearrange desks?

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by teachnfl, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. teachnfl

    teachnfl Rookie

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    As a sub, I was wondering what you other subs do especially during multiple day assignments. I know I have thought to myself in some classes that a different arrangement would help the class focus more or I would be able to better monitor the class. :)
    • QUESTION: Subs, how would you feel about rearranging desks if you think another layout would be more effective while you are in charge?
    • REGULAR TEACHERS: How would you feel about a sub rearranging your class layout?
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    If I thought that it would make the day go by better for me as far as management went, I wouldn't have a problem rearranging the desks; however, I would make sure that I had the students put the desks back at the end of day so I wouldn't leave it for the regular teacher. I would then write what I did and why in my report to the teacher. I've never done this though.
     
  4. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    I probably wouldn't welcome a sub rearranging my classroom, to be honest. I have my kids seated specifically where they are for varying reasons, from very talkative students to emotional issues to kids that are very volatile when seated together. I would worry that a sub would inadvertantly place students together who will cause even more problems, or who I've promised the parents won't be seated by each other, or some other thing....and I don't want to be held accountable for that.
     
  5. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Not only those reasons, but some kids have seating requirements written into their IEPs or 504 plans.

    Moving kids around for a day because they're getting too chatty and because it'll make your life easier is one thing, but I definitely wouldn't want to come back to my room being set up differently than when I left.
     
  6. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I would be quite upset if a sub rearranged my seating.

    I have students with IEPs requiring certain seating accomodations. A sub wouldn't be privy to that information. Moving those children could violate their legal rights.

    I also have students who have been moved apart from each other because they don't get along. I have two that I have PROMISED the parents will not be seated together because of a past incident that was VERY serious. A sub certainly wouldn't be privy to that information, either.

    A sub probably wouldn't know that I put child A next to child B because she is a struggling reading, and child B will not tease her. A sub will not know that I put child C close to the board because she often forgets her glasses and can't see well without them.

    While a sub would know that one of my students is autistic, she wouldn't know that he is seated facing a wall so he doesn't get over-stimulated, and so his constant rocking and noise-making doesn't bother other students. If a sub moved him, she (or he) would quickly find out that the over-stimulation of facing classmates would led to an extreme melt-down.

    If a sub rearranged my room, I would be concerned about her judgement. It is just common sense that a multi-day sub would not know all of each student's IEP requirements.

    If I found out that a sub rearranged my room, I certainly would not request that sub again. I would probably go to the principal and ask that she be removed from our sub list.
     
  7. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    If a sub moved a student or two temporarily, that would be fine. If they rearranged a lot of things, that would bother me. Like others have said, a lot goes into seating arrangements that the sub may not be aware of.
     
  8. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I have had a sub that thought that he had the right to rearrange my room, clean off and out my desk, and to call a child's parent about a discipline problem. Needless to say that sub was black balled from our district. He was working about two to three times a week. When he question the clerk about not being called again, the clerk stated that our rooms are our property during the school year, and our students are our responsibility--he over stepped his bounds. (Other teachers had complained prior, but my student was the first that he had called the parent of.)

    I had a sub that felt that recess was too long, so she blew the whistle and sent the children in early. Other teachers where not in their rooms yet, and their children were not supervised. A child was hurt, and our principal made a written request to the board not to use her again. If only she didn't take it upon her self to "question" my ability.
     
  9. lincro44

    lincro44 Rookie

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    I totally agree that rearranging desks or cleaning off a desk is not part of the job. But there are teachers who leave no work space on their desk too. Also it is the responsiblity of the teacher to point out any children who need special care or have issues with others in the class. It is very frustrating to go into a classroom and find out after the fact.
    I recently subbed at an alternative school (oklahoma doesn't have any that i know of or we just don't call them that) where the entire class had a variety of issues, children in 4th and 5th grade who were starting fights,etc. I was told about one.

    Please be sensitive to subs who are sometimes blind sided by things they are not expecting or forwarned about.

    Used to live in oklahoma and 3 of my sons were schooled there.
     
  10. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I leave a note with a list of which children need to go to the nurse for inhalers and such, but legally, I can't leave a note stating that little Johnny needs to take his ADHD meds, and if his mother has sent him to school without them again, he will be a holy terror.

    (As per my guidance counselor and principal) I can't tell you that, last year, one of my 7 year old girls was repeatedly raped by her brother, and so she freaks out if you put her in a work group with any boys in it. (The judge sealed the case.) I can only hope that the sub follows my note saying which children should work in which groups, and doesn't take it upon himself/herself to change it.

    While I agree it would be nice to share all of that information, I could leave a 10 page note, and not delve into all of the issues some of these students face. (I have a behavior disordered inclusion class.)
     
  11. lincro44

    lincro44 Rookie

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    I do understand confidentiality, and i wasn't saying give me the dirt. But perhaps a heads up that some children may require specialize attention. You don't have to tell us the details just a warning and what we can do about it. Kids who have those issues shouldn't also have to worry that we know everything about them too. Also, some sub-systems should perhaps state challenging assignments (such as alternative schools). Many do not. the one i had didn't so i was blind-sided.
     
  12. SoReady2Teach

    SoReady2Teach Comrade

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    I had to rearrange some seats today because the kids were taking a benchmark test. However, another grade level teacher told me it would be fine plus I made sure to have the students put their desks back exactly as they were when everyone was finished. I always try to leave the room exactly as I came in during the morning. I always straighten up at the end of the day, I guess it just comes from being a clean freak.
    I know I wouldn't like it if something in my room or home for that matter was rearranged. I keep that in mind when I'm in another teacher's classroom.
     
  13. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I know in many areas the subs have to have degrees, be trained, etc. Here they don't. They have to have a high school degree and that's it. When I subbed I was in high demand because I had a teaching degree. Honestly, no offense intended to anyone, when I have sub my goal is: the kids are kept busy, the simple plans I leave are followed, and the room isn't destroyed. That's it. I don't leave lessons to be taught, or projects to be done. I leave practice or review work in skills we have already covered. On that same note, though, I spend HOURS getting ready for a sub. Many teachers do, so the sub should work really hard to follow the teacher's plans as close as possible. As for cleaning the desk, I tell them to feel free to pile stuff anywhere and everywhere.
     
  14. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Since I never leave my desk dirty, I have a problem with items being thrown away, moved, or rearranged. I rarely have a sub that has anything beyond a high school degree. So I never leave anything that is new to my children.
     
  15. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    Maybe it's just the class that I'm in or my personality, but I have tables and I rearrange the nametags every single week anyways. If a sub needed to move students around or let them all switch, well I guess when the children come running to me saying they got new seats the next day-they got new seats then! She's in charge (along with my para-pro) if I'm not here, and I have to trust her judgement. I also don't have students on IEP's etc (with RTI this year I don't think I'll ever get any of my children the help they'll need)
     
  16. purplecrazy21

    purplecrazy21 Comrade

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    Question for GoehringTeaches

    Goehring,
    This is a slight tangent, but I have a question for you. If you rearrange nametags every week, how do you do this with tables? How do you attach the nametags to the table?
    My problem is that I would like to move my class frequently, but if I don't attach the nametags they pick them up and start flinging them around. If I do attach them, they're a pain to move frequently. I was just wondering what you do. :)
    Thanks!
     
  17. Mldouglas

    Mldouglas Comrade

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    Nov 8, 2007

    I don't think it is okay!

    I don't think that it is ever okay for a sub to move students desks around. As several posters have pointed out the regular classroom teacher has the students arranged for what works best for them. As a sub I would never have the nerve to rearrange the students. Plus in some rooms I am so busy dealing with other things that I have a hard time getting through all of the materials left for me.

    Mldouglas
     
  18. teach2heart

    teach2heart Rookie

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    I don't think it is ok to "permanently" move anything. We are just there temporarily and it is the lead teacher who knows what works best for him/her as well as if any students need to sit in the front due to hearing problems, etc. That being said, I can understand temporarily moving desks due to a standardized test or if a student is being disruptive. However, at the end of the day I would definitely have them move their desks back to where the teacher left them! When I was student teaching, a substitute came in and cleaned off the lead teachers shelf while I was teaching as well as made suggestions about moving desks & the rug set-up (first-grade). I thought that was a bit much!!
     
  19. teachnfl

    teachnfl Rookie

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    I would have to agree. It seems maybe like a better idea to just move the student to a different seat if they are disruptive or may have a standardized test, etc. I think the message should be that if a sub does move desks around (perhaps for groupwork, discussion, etc) then everything should be moved back just the way it was found. Like others have said, the students are arranged in a particular way for a REASON----so that needs to be taken into account before even moving anything. :)
     
  20. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    We had a sub in our building last week who, among other things, rearranged the position of the teacher's desk because she didn't like the set up of the room.

    She will not be allowed back into our building.
     
  21. lincro44

    lincro44 Rookie

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    Too harsh

    While i agree that the sub should not have taken that action, i feel that by banning the sub you have not dealt with the problem. Perhaps your district needs to produce a substitute manual and teachers from the area should add do's and don'ts for new subs. To ban a sub for a desk is to harsh if it was for something dealing with a child that would be another thing. I always leave my number so that if there are any questions or concerns they can call me. You should look at NYC substitute manual they really tell subs what's expected of them. I wish i had gotten alot of that info. I don't rearrange anything in a room that i don't put back and would never move a teachers desk or clean it. Many people just can't help themselves and truly believe they are helping.
     
  22. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    I agree! And - I'll bet that school district gave no substitute teacher training or provided a substitute teacher's manual.:down:

    Does the school fire classroom teachers for matters this minor as well?:unsure:
     
  23. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Banning a sub for that alone would be too harsh, but if you reread my post, you'll notice I said she did that among other things. I just didn't give the details. (I was in a rush to get some hot chocolate!)
     
  24. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    And just to clarify... I'm just a peon in this process! I certainly don't have the authority to "ban" anyone from anything! LOL! Nor was I necessarily agreeing with the actions of the district... I was just commenting on the discussion.
     
  25. lincro44

    lincro44 Rookie

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    My point is still the same. I re-read your post but since you only stated one thing we assumed it was the worst. Even if your a peon i still would think about a sub-manual. Might bring you out of peon status...hehe
     
  26. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    I was a substitute teacher and I never moved a teacher's furniture around. The idea is just astounding to me. That takes nerve. That is like going to someone's house and rearranging things! If you were working a temporary job anywhere else would you do that? Worse, because as several teachers mentioned there are usually good (and sometimes legal) reasons for where the children are placed. It's just going over and above a guest teacher's authority or responsibility. Best thing to do if you really feel you need to move a student for a time is to have them sit for 15-20 minutes at a side table or desk until they calm down. That's it.
     
  27. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    I read her post and I didn't assume it was the worst thing. As for the sub manual, I honestly cannot imagine why they'd feel the need to put "don't move furniture" in a sub handbook! Truly.
     
  28. lincro44

    lincro44 Rookie

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    Because of incidents like these. That's why they need to make a common handbook for subs. I am not saying every problem should make the book but get a box have teachers from around the district put in things that bug them about subs. Then a group not teachers go through them and the ones that are common should go into the book. These could be ideas that teachers really want to know what happens in the classroom to problems with procedures. Or materials not being where they should be. etc.
    Yes it should be common sense, IT's not your room so hands off. But for the very young or for people who have a need to help and truly believe they are helping the teacher out, it is a must.
    Oh and my mother would rearrange my furniture. Because she would feel that she is helping. She used to come to my house when i wasn't home and plant things in my garden too.
     
  29. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Nov 10, 2007

    I rearrange daily it seems. I attach them to the backs of the chairs.
     
  30. purplecrazy21

    purplecrazy21 Comrade

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    Thanks Jamie Marie!
    How do you keep your kids in the spots that you put them? Do they ever feel the need to just randomly move their chair to a new spot? I ask because I have several very stubborn and free willed kids in my class. I am just predicting before it happens. :)
     
  31. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I only have one that likes to move his chair. I just tell him to move it back. If he argues I give him two choices move the chair back or go to the quiet table. I also ask him who the teacher is. He usually moves his chair back. Some times he does pick to go to the quiet table.
     
  32. GrandHighWitch

    GrandHighWitch Companion

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    I wouldn't mind if a sub changed the seating arrangement while I was gone. If it helped her manage the class and made her day easier, fine by me. :) I could always change it back when I got back.
     
  33. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I don't want subs moving my room arrangement around. Brush up on your behavior management skills- there are other ways to manage behaviors. Most teachers have their seating plans made for specific reasons. Moving seats in many classrooms would be disruptive and could actually cause more chatting/behavior issues as you may inadvertantly put kids together who should not be together!! Don't move my seats!!:down:
     
  34. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    There are some interesting comments on this topic!

    First off, as a former substitute teacher, I can honestly say that I NEVER changed anything in the classrooms I was in. My job was to follow lesson plans, not to rearrange someone else's space!

    Now that I have a classroom of my own, I can truly say that I would NEVER want a substitute teacher to modify anything: classroom arrangement, lesson plans, daily schedule, behavior management system, etc. The substitute teacher is not there to do his/her "own thing." He or she is there to take over for the classroom teacher, and try to see that things run smoothly and "without a hitch."

    We've had some bad subs in my district; many of them are no longer with us...

    Words of wisdom to subs: Don't overstep your boundaries!
     
  35. lincro44

    lincro44 Rookie

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    Here's where guidelines come in play. I never do this stuff either but i also have teachers who don't tell me what the disipline procedure is. So this is a two way street you need us and we want to sub. Help us be better subs in your class.
     
  36. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    I think you have a good point about giving advice, Lincro, however the area I would have wanted more advice in as a new sub was classroom management techniques. I hope you can see the difference between your mother coming to visit and moving your furniture around (which I know I'm not going to do with my kids when they grow up) and being in a temporary position on the job and rearranging mueblas.

    In the district I subbed in I had to research (read books and ask teachers) for classroom management ideas. When I got a list together I gave it to the sub supervisor at human resources. She was very glad and it was incorporated in the sub handbooks.

    But one of the things I know was in the sub handbook were directions to follow the lesson plans at all times...
     
  37. lincro44

    lincro44 Rookie

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    That's a very good point. I have found so far that most teachers here leave a detailed lesson plan to follow but also i work with many students (special needs) who require that extra time to understand a specific step. I really would like a general sub book. Hints that teachers from all over the district/districts can contribute to and advise. Nothing is more annoying that a teacher who expects the class to behave for the sub the way they behave for the teacher. Especially in classrooms with behavioral issues. Most of the time there are tricks that a teacher uses and these vary considerably. i have found that most teachers here do not give the sub that info. I have only had to write two discipline slips and that was for tardies because the teacher told me specifically to do it.
     
  38. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Lincro, that's a great idea. Have you suggested it to your district's substitute supervisor?
     
  39. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    in fact, you could start a thread asking for suggestions, then you could just cut and paste and give it to your supervisor... :) I'll be sure to say, "please don't move the furniture..." :D
     
  40. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Nov 11, 2007

    I wouldn't mind if a sub had to move a student or two because of behavior, but I would want their desk back at the end of the day and an explanation.

    As for moving other things, I think I would be pretty mad. I put a lot of time and attention as to how I have my classroom set-up, and how the students are arranged. When I am gone I expect the students to behave for the guest teacher as they would for me. They know that, and they also know that the sub has access to me through my cell phone. I actually understand the messy desk syndrome that some teachers have. I have it as well, but I try to make sure it is neat before a sub comes. Actually, I'm hardly at my desk since I teach from several areas of the room. If someone drops of a stack of papers then they put them on my desk. It is out of the way there. My copies for the week, or the next week, often are placed on my desk. Sometimes emergencies happen and a teacher can't straighten like they would want to. Please be considerate of that. I've actually subbed for a couple of classrooms like this. One the teacher had to leave mid-day and didn't leave any plans. No sweat. I continued by her lesson plans from the office. I was in that room for 4 days with out plans. The other teachers were very helpful, and I survived.

    I leave detailed lessons plans (not only what to teach, but how to deal with behavior) which I expect to be followed. If for some reason the sub doesn't understand them, I give people he/she can go to for clarification. Things happen, and I understand. Sometimes the plans can't be completed because of unannounced things that happen. No big deal. Just leave me a note about it. I've been there too. What really gets me, however, is a sub throwing out my plans because they don't feel like teaching that when they are there.

    Our subs are required to go through substitute training, and follow the district substitute handbook. I hold them to the same expectations I would any other teacher. Our district is really good about training subs. I know that our school is a great school to sub in. Teachers are always ready to help out subs if needed, and to lend a supporting hand.
     
  41. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Nov 11, 2007

    I have moved desks as a substitute, and then moved them back at the end of the day (usually five minutes was enough to do the trick)

    You can tell me I need to brush up on my classroom management skills, but why isn't moving a student that is being disruptive to a spot where he is no longer disruptive not a classroom management technique? It's certainly one I would use in my classroom. Usually at the end of the lesson, the student is able to go back to their seat, with the knowledge that I will move him again if need be. I haven't ever had to move them a second time. Of course, I don't rearrange the classroom, or decide that the teacher's desk should go in a different place, everything gets put back the way it was. And then I leave a note to the teacher outlining the steps I took.
     

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