Opinions wanted from a sub. Do you agree I should have been reported?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by oldstudent, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Mar 13, 2014

    I am curious to know if the following five violations of which I was accused warrant the resulted write up I received that was reported from the teacher, to the school administrator, and finally to the superintendent.

    When I spoke with the superintendent, she did not mention any of these five points, but when I e mailed the teacher to apologize and to ask for more details about what I did wrong, she said the following five things stood out.
    I will now list these five, mostly using her exact words.

    1. I specifically asked you NOT to write down the day's work on the board, yet when I walked in, there was a list of assignments. As I said, and wrote in the lesson plan please do not do this this. You did not follow my instruction.

    This is something I never do unless I am asked, so I must have missed the word NOT in the lesson plan, and thought she wanted me to do this.

    2. It was explained to me that when you were working with my students on finding a rate-for each for math that you said, "Well
    I personally wouldn't work the math that far out." I am sorry Mr. -------, but that is NOT the attitude I expect another professional to have when working with math. My students, as those across the district, are expected to work their math problems to completion, and even able to create scenarios where the lesson would be applicable. The fact that my students, my classroom aide, and the Education Specialist all made comment about your statement, was of note, as the students started to get frustrated on " why do we.. when HE said..."so that , in reality created more work for me.


    I have no recollection of this, so I guess I plead guilty. I was probably trying to simplify the math for the students. Maybe I eliminated what I thought was an unnecessary step.
    I find it strange that this one sentence created so much controversy.

    3. You left the key in the door lock. I realize the door is difficult to open, but leaving the key stuck in the door was irresponsible. Just because you were not able to remove it does not mean that someone with smaller hands could not ( trust me on this one).
    It was still in the lock past 8:30.

    I do not plead guilty here.

    I tried for five minutes to pull that key out, and there were no smaller hands around.
    I told the office secretary that I could not get the key out, and to please let the janitor know. It was the office secretary who let me down.

    4. The students who needed your help the most, who were listed in the lesson plan received little, if any assistance on their work.

    I plead guilty here. I suppose I spent so much time with direct instruction that I over looked the ones who needed the most help.

    5. Lastly, your comment about common core state standards stood out: " So what are uncommon core standards?" Might I suggest that comments like that be kept to places outside the educational setting? We are in a time of change, and for the better I expect, with regard to student learning AND teaching.

    Edit: I made this statement in the teachers' lounge, not the classroom.

    I do not know if this exact quote is accurate, but in my poor attempt at humor, and to obtain valid information, I have asked how these differ than the uncommon core standards. Again I plead guilty.

    So how bad are these violations. Did they warrant an official write up to the highest level?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I wouldn't have complained about most of those issues. The key issue would really bother me, but I don't really think that's your fault. If that had happened to me, I would have been upset about the issue and I would have raised it to the appropriate people, but I would certainly say so if I knew that you had let the office staff know so that they could fix it.

    One trend I do see among these is maybe a lack of attention to detail. An error here and there is one thing, but if you are consistently making errors due to lack of attention, that can be a problem.

    In general, this teacher sounds like she would be difficult to work with. Have you subbed for her before?
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I'm thinking I do not think you should have been reported to the superintendent. The key issue really bothers me...you did exactly what you should have done. You have ZERO fault there. In general, this teacher sounds high-strung.
     
  5. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    5 is just silly; I would not have said anything about that. Between 1-4 though, any one of them may have irked me a bit, but wouldn't have caused me to do anything. All four of them in one day though, I definitely would have mentioned my frustration to an administrator.
     
  6. MsB2012

    MsB2012 Companion

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    Wowza. While the things you say you're accused of aren't great, I don't see why they warranted such repercussions from the classroom teacher. When I leave sub plans, I don't expect them to be followed to a T because we're two different people, and the sub is not used to working with my students. As for the one about the key--the teacher's rant about that is idiotic. No one would just leave the key there if they could help it.

    Is that all that is happening to you discipline wise? I mean, did this write-up ruin other sub jobs for you to take, or does it affect anything else? Did you respond to the email already?
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Although for what it's worth, I'm guessing the teacher is not aware that the school secretary is the one who dropped the ball for the key thing.
     
  8. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    I do have a learning disability which I confess results in forgetfulness sometimes, but since it took over 14 years for me to receive an official complaint, I don't think this is a major problem with me.

    I do not think that I have subbed for her before.

    Also of note is that this was part one of a double complaint. The second part was one I received in a special ed class at the same school about three weeks later.
    I knew in this 2nd class that one of the aides did not like me. This aide even yelled at me.

    I work in many special ed classes, and I am one of the most requested subs in the district for special ed.
    This makes this 2nd complaint even more mysterious.

    Do I dare write to apologize to this teacher?
     
  9. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Here is my opinion. Run, dont walk away from this district or at least working at this school or this teacher again. Here is why:
    1. People make mistakes. You didn't see the word NOT, and who knows if it was really in the plans. I know many times I have not written something in the plans and thought it was in there. Or Vice versa. I wrote something in there and I didn't mean to because I got distracted while I was writing the plans.
    2. Are you a certified math teacher? If not then, this could explain why you didn't explain the math the way she wanted it done. For those of us who don't teach math it is very difficult to teach it. I really hated subbing for math teachers, because I am in no way a math teacher. I can do the basics, this is the reason why I teach kindergarten.
    3. Leaving a key in a door is not worth even discussing. Especially since she knew that it was hard to get out. And was that 8:30 am or 8:30 pm. If in the morning how the heck does she know, she wasn't there?
    4. This goes back to are you a certified teacher and have you ever had your own classroom. For those who have never had a classroom it is very difficult to know when to let the kids do their independent work. She is the expert of her classroom, not you.
    5. Although funny, in a classroom full of students is not a place for that kind of humor.
    All in all I don't think that you did anything wrong. After all you are a substitute teacher. Don't take that the wrong way please. All I mean is you are you and not her. I don't ever expect my subs to teach the class the exact same way I do. When I first started subbing I wanted to know how the teacher did everything. As I got more confident in my subbing and teaching skills I would do it my way. If a teacher ever got mad at me I don't know but I subbed for a lot of years for a lot of teachers so I am guessing not. Remember this is just one person's opinion so take it or leave it.
     
  10. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    I e-mailed this teacher after I met with the superintendent. The main issue was the special ed class. This one was secondary.

    I received a complaint two years ago which I will not rehash here, but it is utterly ridiculous.

    I now have two strikes against me. The superintendent said I could be released if I get one more.

    I have worked for an estimated 1500 different teachers.

    I can't make everyone happy, and the laws of averages are catching up to me.
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Mar 13, 2014

    You mentioned it was fourteen years before your first official complaint. Was that this one, or the other one you don't want to rehash? You're right, though...can't please everyone. I am curious about the first incident. I've had crappy subs but I never considered going to the superintendent.
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    The key issue aside, I see a trend here-most of these complaints deal with someone else telling the teacher what you said or did.

    This could mean a variety of things. If you received a complaint a few weeks ago, you could be under observation and therefore increased scrutiny.

    Or, this could just be one of those schools with those teachers.

    Either way, I think I would avoid this school. If what you say about yourself is true, then it doesn't seem like this school respects subs very much. Is that a place you want to work?
     
  13. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    This was one of my favorite schools, but not anymore obviously.

    The superintendent even quoted them as saying " I am a nice man"
    and " They would like to offer me a second chance.

    I told her I did not think I would be wise to take it, even though I met with her before I e mailed the teacher and received the five points.

    Going back now would be somewhat embarrassing, and would no doubt get me written up again if I return to this special ed class.

    The aide would go ballistic inside if she saw me.

    If I wasn't nice, I could file a complaint against her for yelling at me.

    I told the superintendent exactly what she said, but I doubt she made any official note of it.
     
  14. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

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    my suggestion is not to go back to that classroom or any of the special ed classrooms in that school. we've had some bad subs but i don't think anyone has filed a complaint about them. I believe that the students will have to take some responsibility for their actions. It may be a different standard since you are talking about special ed classes. However, since I teach high school science I expect my students to know how to behave whether I'm present or not.

    You can try and modify your words and not make jokes (most of the time the students don't appreciate the humor and it is often misunderstood if heard by others). I would not email and ask the teacher what is wrong. Personally I would expect my teacher assistant to step up and lead the class.

    I've substituted before and I tend to act as a teacher assistant and allow them to be the "teacher" because they know the students. They should be helping you know what is expected and the teacher should have trained them to know what to do. For example, writing the lesson on the board: why did the teacher assistant not say anything?

    I would look for another job, so that if the superintendent doesn't realize how lucky he/she is to have a sub that cares you can take your talents else where.

    our school often lacks substitutes of any type which makes it harder on all the other teachers because we are asked to fill in for that class during our planning period.
     
  15. aba183

    aba183 New Member

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    Mar 13, 2014

    Please see my post in the substitute teacher forum. Now you will see why I compare subbing to being in a police state. It's long but you will see why. Where. I am, you can be blocked from a site and never even be told why.
     
  16. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    At my school, in my district for that matter, this teacher would have been the laughingstock of the school for writing such a complaint.

    I'm sorry, but EVERY SINGLE ONE of those complaints is absolute complete chicken dookie.

    You wrote the assignments on the board. In other words, you did what most good teachers do every day and what nearly authority on classroom management suggests as a best practice. If I was a sub and saw "Do not write the lessons on the board" I would probably write them on the board. On purpose, because not doing so would be stupid.

    So frigging what if you let students use a math shortcut. Is that teacher's classroom control so bad that that he or she cannot make the kids write out their work anymore if they have been shown a shortcut?

    Key in the door lock? Stuck! NOT YOUR FAULT! At my school, the regular classroom teacher would be apologizing to you for not having placed a work order to have the lock fixed. Seriously. I'd probably have a note in my box "Sarge, get that **** lock fixed so the next time you're out, the poor sub doesn't get the key stuck in the lock"

    Did the students who needed help the most actually ever ask for it? There were aides in the room. What were they doing? I have lots of students who need help, but if I look at them and it appears they are succeeding at what I need them to do at that point in time, I leave them alone.

    And finally, you told a joke. How dare a teacher use humor in a classroom. And wordplay nonetheless! The irony is that I'll bet you could actually find a common core standard for which your joke would be a perfect intro to the lesson on that standard.

    Bottom line: That teacher is an idiot and any administrator who takes him or her seriously is too ignorant to have anything to do with the education of children or household pets.
     
  17. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    I don't think you should have been written up! Most of these probably wouldn't have even been brought up in my district.

    Sounds like this teacher has an incredibly high standard for subs...meaning...they expect the sub to do exactly what they would in the classroom. However, it's not the sub's classroom and you cannot expect perfection from someone who is stepping in short term. When writing sub plans I always tell myself that it is open to interpretation by the sub. You cannot expect a sub to do things the same way that you would!
     
  18. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Just to clarify, the statement about "uncommon core was made in the teacher's lounge, not in front of the students.

    This district is one of three, and gives me 65-70% of my work.

    For some reason, this aide disliked me immediately, She must have remembered me from two years ago in the same class.

    I have worked in dozens of special ed classes over 16 years in four districts, and have never had any problem with any aides until this one.

    I also forgot to mention that this five point e mail was from a sixth grade classroom that preceded the special ed classroom by three weeks.
    The aide who has disdain for me was one of the two special ed aides in that class.
     
  19. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Mar 14, 2014

    I 100% agree with Sarge.

    I'm pretty happy if I come back from a day out and my room is still in order and I don't have a list of complaints from the sub. I consider myself lucky that people will step into my shoes when I'm gone-I leave them chocolate, a Diet Coke and a bag of jelly beans to pass out like dog treats. Let's just get through the day, people. There's no time for snips like this when you're in survival mode.

    Hugs to you. This teacher obviously has issues in her life and needs total control over everything, even when she's gone.
     
  20. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    I will rehash briefly.

    In 2012, I entered a 2nd grade classroom with skeleton plans and no teachers edition of language arts, only an open student book.

    I therefore went to the other 2nd grade teacher and asked to look at his book for our unit so I could fill in the plans with relevant material.
    He told me he was finished with it and I could borrow it.

    I went to return his book after school , but he was gone, so when the teacher returned, she obviously found the other teacher's book that she SHOULD have left me.

    The teacher complained to the superintendent that I did not follow her lesson plans. I was only trying to fill in her crappy plans with relevant information.
    She also left extra work for students who finished . A boy asked me, " Do we need to do this extra work?' I told him if he had catch up work to do, he could do that instead.
    Therefore, I also got written up for not making the students do this work. I guess it wasn't extra work after all.
    I am banned from this school for life.
     
  21. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    I should add that this teacher was on campus, and came in a couple times. That is how she knows the horrible things I put on the board.
     
  22. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I find it odd that one of the pillars of the complaint is a comment you made in the teacher's lounge - not like there were any students in there.
     
  23. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    As a substitute teacher myself, I've worked in dozens of different rooms and settings, although not nearly as many as you. This gave me a good perspective on what to do - and to expect - when I got a classroom of my own and had to leave my own sub plans.

    Of all the issues you listed, the only I can see being worth mentioning is the key because that could present a security issue. However, you took the best action you could in the situation and reported it to the secretary, so the school officials WERE aware of the problem and of the fact the key was stuck in the door. That makes it their issue, not yours.

    As a math teacher, I can understand the complaint about telling students "Well, *I* wouldn't work all the way out like that." It's hard enough to convince students to show their work under the best of circumstances. Having a sub undermine that with this type of comment probably DID create even more resistance in her students, which then resulted in her having to reinforce the practice. Even so, it should only require MINIMAL effort to get the kids back on track, so it shouldn't have created nearly as much extra work as she is implying. When I subbed in math classes and the kids asked me "Do we have to show ALL of our work?", my response was "What does Mr./Mrs. Regular Teacher expect you to do? If he/she requires you to show ALL of your work, then that is what you need to do. Remember, Mr./Mrs. Regular Teacher will still be the one GRADING your work, so you need to do the work the way they expect it to be done."

    As for writing assignments on the board, I seriously can NOT imagine a teacher being upset about that. If anything, I might expect him/her to complain about NOT writing assignments on the board because many teachers require students to copy the assignments into their Daily Planners.

    As for the rest, I agree with the others that they weren't even worth mentioning.
     
  24. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    BTW, if this school provides 65-70% of your sub assignments, I wouldn't leave the school completely over this one complaint. I might take a few weeks off from accepting assignments there to let emotions "settle down" a bit, but if they are willing to give you a second chance, I wouldn't turn it down.
     
  25. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    That teacher sounds like a whackadoodle. Stay far away!!!
     
  26. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I'm happy when I come back to my room after a sub and nothing has been burned to the ground. Seriously, if the lesson is done at all I'm pretty dang impressed.
     
  27. willow129

    willow129 Comrade

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    This teacher has clearly never been a sub. When you come into an unfamiliar classroom there are so many hidden routines and implied directions that the teacher doesn't even know EXIST because he/she is just used to doing them, and you have to figure it all out to be able to do what they ask!! There is so much learning on the spot - students names, where things are, are kids allowed to sharpen the pencils, do they sign out for the bathroom....blah blah.

    I could totally see messing up some of the things you listed, and actually, I'm sure I DID mess up stuff like that!! And I always worked really hard to follow the directions, but I definitely misread or messed things up sometimes, for sure, but I think I was considered to be a pretty good sub. I have a job now in the school district I was subbing for so...

    Blech. Yeah I wouldn't sub for that teacher. And avoid that aid. I think that aid is where the problem lies.
     
  28. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    This, exactly.

    Seriously, I've had subs for my paras that didn't speak English, broke equipment (accidentally), told me they couldn't understand the material (1st and 2nd grade level) enough to assist students, sat down in the back and spaced out, etc. I've had subs for myself that didn't even do half of my plans or misunderstood them enough to do almost the opposite of whatever I asked. I would never dream of reporting a sub for any of it. The ONLY reason I would report a sub is if I found out s/he did something really terrible like leave the kids alone for 10 minutes, or act in an inappropriate, abusive, or dangerous behavior with a child.

    You did absolutely nothing that would warrant being written up. Not even close.
     
  29. willow129

    willow129 Comrade

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    Along with Jerseygirl - the only time I've talked to my principal about a sub I had was when one of them told a kindergartener to shut up.

    He got a talking to ... but also I think there was a teacher at fault there too because the kindergarteners are supposed to come to specialist with an aid, and the teacher kept the aid - which I felt was taking advantage of the sub who didn't know that rule. And that's a REALLY tough class!!! So I can imagine it was out of control - he shouldn't have lost his temper. (As a side note, since the aid wasn't there to see anything that happened, we found out about the "shut up" from a parent who called the teacher that night.)
     
  30. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    Mar 14, 2014

    At my district, we have some BAD subs. One had some kind of horrible cold and my students complained that he had some green snot that he was spreading everywhere :eek:hmy: Another was falling asleep, signing up for auditions, and eating her breakfast... all when she was supposed to be teaching!! My complaint led to her being banned from working here again. On the whole, I try to be appreciative of subs, so I think the complaints you received are ridiculous. If I could change anything, I might've left a note explaining the key thing, so that she could see that you tried everything you could.
     
  31. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Fortunately, this district has many schools, so it should not effect getting work.
    Since two of three complaints( 2a, and 2b ), came from this one school, I feel I would be foolish to return. They would probably look for something to write me up about, and would likely find something.
    Then it is strike three and I am out.
     
  32. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Mar 14, 2014

    I also subbed for many years. This teacher, and the person in charge, are picky idiots. How rude. You aren't a teacher! You go in and fill in and do the best you can with what they leave you. I also wouldn't let their jerky attitudes change what and where you must go to earn a living. I would send a counter letter to explain your efforts to the person in charge. I have never heard of such rude and ridiculous charges about a sub. If a teacher is THAT PICKY, do not leave your class. EVER!!!
     
  33. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Exactly. All I expect a sub to do is keep the kids contained in the room, anything else is a bonus.
     
  34. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    Being reported all the way up to the superintendent for that? Must be a REALLY small district. Sorry, but that teacher sounds like a real b*tch. Sure you made some mistakes, but she acted like you should have washed her car too.

    My rule of thumb is, if you're THAT anal about someone doing things your way, don't take the **** day off.
     
  35. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Mar 15, 2014

    What I will say in this 6th grade teacher's defense is that I do not believe that she is responsible for reporting me to the superintendent; however, she did claim to have a discussion about me to her administrator. Her aide( not the mean one in special ed), and the education specialist, were also involved in the discussion.

    My poor evaluation in the special ed class three weeks later was the main issue responsible for the superintendent calling me. My poor evaluation in the 6th grade class was also mentioned, but briefly.

    I am still totally baffled by this poor special ed evaluation.

    I feel I was doomed from the start since it took all of five seconds for me to determine this aide did not want me there.

    This is why I want to e- mail the teacher, whom I have never met, to "apologize", and get details about what they said I did wrong.

    Conversely, I have only gotten positive greetings when other aides have seen me again. At worse, they have had no reaction. But I have received no observable animosity from any other aide, although I have probably worked with a couple hundred at least.
     
  36. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Mar 15, 2014

    I've had some "interesting" subs over the years. Only 2 of those have I complained about though. What you've posted all seem minor in my opinion. I may have been upset with it & complained but not to the point that I would have had you written up for it.
     

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