Questions Regarding Subbing & Criminal Background

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Subtastic, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. Subtastic

    Subtastic New Member

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    Apr 14, 2010

    Hello, I recently passed the CBEST here in CA in the hopes of turning my English degree into a subbing career until I can land my dream job. I am filling out form 414 to apply as a 30 day emergency substitute, and the form is asking me to disclose ALL misdemeanor/felony convictions, even ones that happened over ten years ago.

    I got a DUI when I was 17 in 2001, a false information to a police offer in 2004, a DUI when I was 21 in 2005, 2 driving on suspended licenses in 2007, a public intoxication in 2008, and recently got a driving on suspended in 2010 dropped to driving without a valid license because I DO have my drivers license now. Yes, I have made some very stupid decisions in the past, and nearly all subsequent run-ins with the law are direct results of those stupid decisions. I am definitely done living life like that.

    I am just wondering if the commission is going to look at my rap sheet and laugh, even though I have no felonies. I just don't think its fair to lump these lesser crimes in with felonies, and want your opinion - do I have a chance at subbing? The application also says to write a full explanation , should I try to defend myself and give an account of all the different occurrences? In my opinion, that seems like making excuses, the charges are pretty self-explanatory. I don't think it makes sense to write 'I had too much to drink and got pulled over' as an explanation for my DUI ... What do you guys think?
     
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  3. MissSkippyjonJones

    MissSkippyjonJones Comrade

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    Apr 14, 2010

    You have to be honest and disclose everything they ask for because you will get fingerprinted and a background check will be done prior to employment. When writing the explanation don't make excuses, be succinct and tell what you were charged with and why. They may choose to disregard your application, they may not. You won't know until you try, but they WILL turn you away if you don't give them information that will show up on your background check. Best of luck.
     
  4. waffles

    waffles Companion

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    Apr 14, 2010

    I agree. When the find out about this is going to make a big difference. If they find it themselves then you have no shot. If you let them know about it then you do.
     
  5. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Apr 14, 2010

    To be perfectly honest, I think you will have a hard time convincing the school board you've finally learned from your mistakes, since your most recent conviction was less than 3 months ago. If you were wanting to be a teacher, I would say you're chances are slim, at best. However, since you are just wanting to substitute, I think your past errors will be less of a factor (although it is still gonna take a lot of explaining, I think).

    You're best bet is to be as honest and objective about the incidents as possible. You're absolutely right you do NOT want to try justifying what happened, because that does sound like you're making excuses and haven't really accepted the severity of your mistakes. The DUI's are fairly self-explanatory, but you might add something like "Was driving home from a club" (or whatever the circumstances were). Don't try to justify what you did, just list where you had been and where you were going.

    Keep it as brief as possible and just include the basic facts. The add something like "Will discuss in more detail if necessary". That illustrates "ownership" of your mistakes and a willingness to discuss them openly. I think that will be far more effective than trying to write down the circumstance behind each charge. That would take several pages of description added to the application. An employer sees THAT much extra reading and (s)he will likely toss your application aside automatically.
     
  6. Subtastic

    Subtastic New Member

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    Does anyone know where they draw the line? I'm sure there are teachers out there with DUI's..
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think the line depends on who else is applying for the job.

    If you're a Physics teacher, and they desperately need a Physics teacher, and there are no other applicants as qualified as you, I'm guessing they would be willing to try to overlook it.

    But if you're elementary ed, and there are 1,200 other applicants for the job, they're probably going to be less forgiving.
     
  8. waffles

    waffles Companion

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    The question is, are there teachers with DUIs from when they weren't legally allowed to drink, followed by another DUI, with some other stuff thrown in there.
     
  9. ms.

    ms. Comrade

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    Apr 14, 2010

    I know that the school districts I'm in right now are very picky about emergency subs. (There are a lot of fully certified subs out there, or even teachers who were laid off and have sub priority.) If it were just the first conviction you might have a better chance, however the districts I'm in wouldn't make an exception to allow someone with recent convictions into the schools. (This might not be the case everywhere.)

    If your considering going into an education program as well make sure you mention your convictions. I had a fellow student teacher not given his certification because he had a few felony convictions that had been missed before.
     
  10. ms.

    ms. Comrade

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    Apr 14, 2010

    I think that his area is English. Which I know is very competitive in the states I teach in.
     
  11. Mrs Ski

    Mrs Ski Companion

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    Apr 14, 2010

    But you can always try if it is important for you. Instead could you go to a temp agency and do reception or office work somewhere? Could you help/ tutor college students in English/writing. Good luck.
     
  12. azure

    azure Companion

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    I'm afraid if I had to make the call, I'd want to see a much longer stretch of time with NO arrests or convictions before I'd believe you've really turned over a new leaf. . . like a few years.
     
  13. Subtastic

    Subtastic New Member

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    Apr 14, 2010

    hey guys, I appreciate all the responses, the offense in 2010 was dropped to an infraction because the judge recognized that I have taken the necessary steps to get back my license. So, I won't have to report that one on my application. So basically I have almost two years without any trouble, and that is the way I plan to keep it.

    I am just going to go for it and see what happens. I have another question, what is the hiring process like, I still talk with a few of my teachers and my old baseball coach is now the principal at my old high school, I know he would hire me if possible - if I get denied by the commission, is there a way to appeal, or how long before you can re-apply?
     
  14. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I know nothing about where they draw the line as you say, but it doesn't look good at all. Unfortunately, being young & doing things like this will haunt you yrs later.

    If you're denied, which I wouldn't be surprised, I don't know how long you'll have to wait to reapply.
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    How did I miss that?? (Answer: I had an 11 year old breathing down my neck wanting the computer.)

    Around here, secondary English is very competitive. I don't think your background would make you a particularly attractive candidate in a tight market, especially since the violations are still fairly recent.
     
  16. WhatchaDoin?

    WhatchaDoin? Comrade

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    Apr 14, 2010

    Also, if you do get get in, you really want to be certain to walk the straight and narrow. Once the board has your fingerprints, they will be made aware of any future issues with the law.
     
  17. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Apr 14, 2010

    Since you're straightening your life out, you may want to try to have your convictions expunged by the court (if you haven't already done so). Do this before you start filling out applications for school districts that will become part of your permanent file.

    You can also have a professional run a background check on you to see what comes up on your record.

    FYI: You don't have to report expunged convictions unless the job application asks you if you've ever been arrested (vs. have you ever been convicted).
     
  18. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Apr 14, 2010

    Just be honest and if YOU are meant to be a substitute/teacher, then it will happen. If they see it as a problem then it's time to look into another profession/career.
    Good luck,
    Rebel1
     
  19. ms.

    ms. Comrade

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    It might be a good idea to call or email someone about that, because in some states you would still have to report it, unless it's been expunged. The reason I would be careful, is because it might hurt you if it shows up in the background check.
     
  20. Subber

    Subber Companion

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    With a recent "driving on suspended licnese" combined with an established pattern of DUI, it'd be tough but depending on the distric location, you might get a chance. Without the recent one, I would assume that it was in younger days but not with the recent one. If you can't follow rules, how can you make the kids follow?

    You might want to right your age next to your explanation, rather than the year that happened for the older ones. And lying to the office was not good but age might give you a break.
     
  21. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    I have 3 friends with DUI's 1 is a teacher at a private school, 1 is a sub and 1 is not a teacher at all but her fingerprints were on file with NYC schools bc she did volunteer tutoring when she went to college. 2 days after her arrest which was years after she did the tutoring she got a letter from NYC stating that she was not eligable to work or volunteer in NYC schools. (She blew a .08 1 month after they changed the limit from .10 to .08- not an excuse, Im just stating how strict they are.

    My friend that is a sub was not able to work during the time her license was suspended bc the district would not write a letter stating her hours and days of employment bc it was always changing.

    The friend that works at a private school did not have any problems that I know of (though we are not as close as I am with the others)

    I guess it really depends on where you are.
     
  22. collteach

    collteach Comrade

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    Apr 26, 2010

    When I was in college in PA, if we got a DUI or drug offense, we would be denied our teaching certification. I knew several people who, in their senior year of college, got into trouble and were stuck with a Bachelors in Education, but were not able to be certified. Many systems will NOT take on the liability of an employee with a pattern of issues with alcohol or drugs. My guess is that, if you are in an area where subbing is competitive, you will not be hired.
     
  23. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    I'd be interested in the general hiring practice for subs these days too. As said, I'm sure there are plenty teachers with DUI (singular) on their record. Multiple though? I would suspect that you better be a helluva interviewee.

    Back in my day, it was:
    -pass CBEST
    -respond to job posting (I'm not sure many districts are actively looking for subs but I could be wrong)
    -go to a mass interview session (very general, not intense)
    -you're in
     
  24. gelflingirl

    gelflingirl New Member

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    I can tell you that CA is not very good about being kind to current teachers with NO criminal background so I would not hold high hopes for them to clear you for a sub credential with multiple problems. Sorry but I just have to be honest with you. The bureaucracy at the CCTC is really just not easy to work with when you do have your stuff together.
     

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