Reflect on Today's Job

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Ms. I, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Sep 23, 2008

    Let's start a thread where we can talk randomly about our day's job, whether it's to vent, reflect, etc.

    Today, I was expecting to have a free day, but I got called at the last minute this morning to work a 1/2 day, which I accepted the assignment. It's for a speech class, as in language, speech, & hearing, which are the types of classes I LOVE to do! (I'm actually a speech pathology student currently.)

    It turns out that the speech pathologist wants me to be her regular sub 2 days a wk from now on! This is great!
     
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  3. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Sep 23, 2008

    I'm not a sub, but I wanted to just congratulate you! What a great way to gain experience!
     
  4. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Why thank you Peachyness! :D Yes, every job is a learning experience. I've actually been a long-time sub for my district where RSP & Speech is all I ever really sub for. I've done numerous long-term assignments & it looks like I've gotten another one.

    I taught RSP for the 2006 school yr & I'm in the very beginning stages to ultimately get a 2nd Masters degree. This time in the speech pathology field.
     
  5. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I don't want to hijack from your orginal post, but I just wanted to say that being a speech teacher must be a really neat job. Good luck!
     
  6. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    I subbed in a third grade classroom today. The morning was crazy/easy! First thing, we had an all-school assembly with a ventriloquist. Afterwards, the students had a spelling worksheet and then I took them to music for forty minutes. Then they did a little social studies work before I had to take them to lunch/recess. (I didn't have any duties.)

    The afternoon was busier with math, reading, and language. The students were good throughout the day, so I had a pleasant time.

    PLUS, I had subbed for four days in this district a few weeks ago (for a middle school history teacher and a high school vocational agriculture teacher). Since it was pay day and I was working in the district, the principal handed me my PAYCHECK today!! They always do this to save postage.
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 23, 2008

    That's great news, Ms. I!!
     
  8. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Thanks! When one does it being a sub, it's easy money. Of course once you're the actual speech pathologist, there's of course more involved.

    Thanks stg!
     
  9. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    GlendaLL, that's great! Isn't it nice to have those super easy money days! I certainly have my share of them when I sub for speech & RSP.
     
  10. JadeCrane

    JadeCrane Comrade

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    Sep 23, 2008

    Yesterday and today I subbed in the Autism room. I enjoy these kids and had two great days - in fact I have really liked every assignment I have had so far. They have all been special ed or enrichment (like computer). Tomorrow and Thursday I have my favorite room so far - this is my third time in this room since the beginning of the year. It is third grade pull-out resource. GREAT kids. My super-favorite. My first paycheck will be on 9/30. I SO can not wait!
     
  11. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    JadeCrane, glad to see you're enjoying your subbing days lately. I get paid on the 9th of the month.
     
  12. EZLN1

    EZLN1 Companion

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    Sep 24, 2008

    i'm actually in class right now. This is my 7th day subbing in this Spanish class. But, Wednesday is reserved for students to intern, so I have no classes to teach, and have 2 students in my homeroom looking for a place to intern right now. That's it. Most relaxed day ever as a sub. I'm just waiting for the word on whether or not they need me to sub for more days after this friday.

    Yesterday was one of the better days so far too. My first 2 classes were actually studying for their irregular verb test, especially since I told them I was moving it up on thursday (friday is picnic day for the whole school:D). And I ended up showing the film, bus 174, to one of the classes and my advanced class and had some pretty good conversations on social marginalization as it pertains to youth. My advanced class went as smooth as could be, considering the first 2 times I taught the class I felt :( after the class.
     
  13. JLW

    JLW Rookie

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    I taught at a completely different middle school than I usually do today; in fact it's the second time I've been there, ever, and the last time was summer school.

    It's a whole 'nother world. The school population is, like, middle class. I told them to be quiet and they did. They sat quietly through a 30-minute movie and I swear to god, every single one of them took notes like they were supposed to. I gave them a two-page article to read and again, I swear to god every one of them read it in less than ten minutes.

    I looked at their handwriting and all of it was legible. And I had four periods of 8th grade science, so this was over a hundred kids. Unbelievable. Oh! I gave them a paper and every one of them instantly wrote their name, the date, and the class period on the header without being told to do it. Incredible.

    During a study period they all actually studied! Except for a few, who had all their homework done, and then they read books, which were of age-appropriate levels, and I watched them turn the pages every few minutes, so I know they were actually reading.

    In the last period a few of the kids started talking and acting up, and when I threatened to report their behavior to their teacher, they quit immediately.

    I'm in shock. I have never, ever before had a day like this. Not one. I'm trying to figure out what the differences between this place and my usual haunts are.

    I'm also coming to the unsettling conclusion that, since after the first period I really felt kind of useless and that I was wasting both my time and theirs, that perhaps I am best used in the nasty, brutish classrooms no-one else wants to teach in. I finished the day and felt... somehow empty, like I had made no difference at all. These kids were so together they simply didn't need me to live their lives. They took direction, did everything they were supposed to do, and, ultimately, did not ask me for anything. None of them were desperate, despondent, angry, or messed up.

    I'm not sure I know what to do with students like that.

    Anyway, I'm sure my stint tomorrow will be back to normal, and I won't feel so irrelevant.

    :)
     
  14. stepka

    stepka Comrade

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    Sep 24, 2008

    JLW, you can figure that in a school like that, the administration really has it together--how refreshing to hear that--there really are some schools like that out there.

    My last couple of days have been great--it's the only school so far that I would drop subbing for a full time job there; the people were so nice. The school right before that drove me crazy. I started to overheat when I was sitting in a teacher's classroom watching her teach 3rd grade and she introduced compound words-- one child asked if "corridor" is a compound word and she said yes and wrote it on the board as "coridoor". It was a spelling word! As soon as her back was turned I fixed it, but some of the kids already had it on their list. (She lets them choose their own words for the spelling list.) This was a school in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city. Watching her teach "Investigations" math really bothered me too--not her, the program. That's math?!
     
  15. Emma1

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    Sep 24, 2008

    JLW,

    Glad you had a great day! I wish I had too:eek: I usually go to classes like you mentioned in your post. Kids listen and follow directions at all times. TOday, I had a horrible experience. The kids were talking non-stop and they wouldn't work or follow directions. I tried positive reinforcement, reminders, consequences. They were relentless. I felt awful. I managed to make it though the day and tried to learn their names and make a connection and help the students, firm, fair etc. This was a fifth grade.

    Just needed a vent. What would you do? yesterday was good though. I really want to know how one deals with super chatty:mad:classroom. I am at the end of the rope here. Help.:dizzy:
    Thanks,
    Emma
     
  16. JadeCrane

    JadeCrane Comrade

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    Sep 24, 2008

    Just throwing an idea out there... Fifth graders are pretty social beings. What if you legalized the behavior you are trying to stop? What if you tell them that you understand it is important to them to talk with their friends. Sometimes you want to talk to your friends too. Offer them five minutes to talk to each other. Then when time is up the talking will stop and you will get busy and get some work done. This maybe will make you their ally (not the same as friend). You acknowledge their needs and this may make them more cooperative for you?
     
  17. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Today I was in a second grade classroom that is in a poor city district. I was saddened to see how low their skills are.

    My big problem of the day was - the kids wanted to go to the restroom ALL DAY LONG! The teacher scheduled many RR breaks, but that wasn't enough for this bunch. And, if I did let one kid go, immediately - they all had to go. Ugh!
     
  18. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Sep 25, 2008

    EZLN1, JLW, & stepka, glad to see you had some nice days.

    Emma1 & GlendaLL, sorry you had rough days.

    It can almost be guaranteed that once one kid has to go to the bathroom, more kids will have to go too.
     
  19. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Sep 26, 2008

    Yesterday I was supposed to "float" - covering for different teachers throughout the day, as they attended IEP meetings. When I arrived, there was no secretary in the office, so I waited and waited.

    Finally, I saw the guidance counselor and asked her if someone had my schedule for the day. She didn't know anything about it. Then, a little later, she told me, "We don't have any IEP meetings today."

    At first, I thought they were going to send me home, but eventually they put me to work - copying, hole punching, and placing papers into binders. I did that in the morning and subbed for a first grade teacher in the afternoon. She planned easy stuff, so that went fine.
     
  20. JLW

    JLW Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2008

    Ahhh... that's better!

    Yesterday I had a 4th grade Special Ed class in one of the really rough neighborhoods here. You know, it kind of makes me mad when I make the effort to ride my bicycle to work and there are no bike racks or anywhere to put my ride, and be told by the administration they do not install bike racks because the bikes just get stolen.

    So the day began with rounding up the maintenance guy to put my bike in the (locked) boiler room.

    The class itself was loud, raucous, jumping around, etc. with constant arguments and gossip amongst the girls and tough talk by the boys.

    (I feel obligated for purposes of description to point out the class of 26 was: 21 Black, 4 Hispanic (two of whom spoke no english), one White girl, and all POOR.This is a typical class for the school.)

    The regular teacher was in the building but in meetings all day, and was a tremendously nice, larger Black woman, about 50 years old, with a very ugly scar starting at her throat from some form of open-chest surgery. I liked her a lot. She's cool. By the way, argue if you will, and find this offensive, but I've come to the conclusion that in many cases here, the only people that can consistently control the Black kids are Black women. I'm serious as a heart attack. I've gone into classrooms that totally erupted on me, and had older female Black teachers walk in and quell the riot with a single look in the door. This happened again yesterday, twice, and not with the regular teacher. Two of the Black female staff walked in, looked around, and those kids welded themselves to their seats and were instantly quiet.

    In my informal polls of the students here, among the Black kids it's rare to find anyone with the consistent presence of a male parent/guardian/whatever in their lives. These households are run by the women almost exclusively. I really believe that a lot of these kids, and possibly the majority, can't wrap their heads around any authority figure other than a Black woman. I'm not kidding. This isn't some vague, prejudiced statement, either; this has been my experience here. Serious. Oh, I'm a White hippie-looking guy, 40-ish.

    Anyway, what I do when faced with these classes, is openly buddy up to the Black women and show the kids I'm friends with them, or at least know them. I make it a deliberate point to approach the Black female teachers in the presence of the kids and chat, talk, etc. specifically in environments where the kids can see me do it. It may be cynical, but it does make my life noticeably easier. "Ooooh, he friends with Ms. Smith!" "Yes I am, and if you misbehave I'm telling her about it!"

    The class was rowdy, rowdy, rowdy. The girls were the worst. Insulting, backbiting, gossiping, future harpies of the streets. I hate that behavior, and told them so. They can do better than this Jerry Springer crap. They're better, smarter than that.

    Spent most of the morning insisting the kids write their name at the top of the page of their work, and forcing them to hang onto their pencils instead of throwing them, breaking them, or dropping them off their desks.

    Read a story about an Inuit boy, which they had good recollection of. Most kids in these urban environments have excellent verbal recollection skills, and nearly zero reading recollection skills. You say something to them, they'll remember it for the rest of their lives, but the things they read are gone in minutes.

    Called for 'quiet' for the 57th time. This is another point: when calling for quiet, you gotta find some other way of getting their attention. A simple wind chime strung in the room works well; a voice, even the teacher's, is lost in the cacophony. The majority of the kids are so surrounded by racket, specifically voices and banging, for so much of their lives they don't hear it any more, and you have to select an appropriate sound to get their attention. Forgive the comparison, but it's Pavlov's dog(s). Yell and they ignore you; ring a bell and it gets their attention, as it's a different sound they don't normally hear.

    One girl fell asleep without my noticing, and woke up screaming from a nightmare (in class!) and then wet her pants in fear. Apparently this happens fairly often, and another girl led her to the bathroom to clean up and change her clothes. :unsure:

    A girl knocked over her chair, and when I inquired if she tipped over or threw furniture at home, she replied, "Yes, I do! and we have five dogs, and they p--- and s--- all over the house, and my momma make me clean it up! So I break chairs and my momma punish me. And when her boyfriend come over he drink and break stuff too!"

    Ooookaaay... "Well, let's treat the school as the place where things like that don't happen, and things are clean and neat and smell good, okay? Okay, Deniesha?" (Long pause with suspicious look) "...okay."

    I'm laughing, writing this up. What a trip. But hey, these kids NEED stuff! Come on! I can't sit in a classroom with a bunch of overachieving middle-class kids who flatly don't need me, if I can do some good over here.

    Anyway, oddly I had a far better time yesterday than the day before. I told the staff I had a good time and they looked at me as though I were insane.

    After the morning session I got called to the high school to babysit a computer class, and when the seniors started acting up I commented, "I spent the morning in 4th grade Special Ed at H., and I'm not seeing a lot of difference here". They found this insulting and said so, to which I responded, "Well, straighten up and shut up, then".

    I'm not very patient with 16- and 17-year-olds.

    :)
     
  21. JadeCrane

    JadeCrane Comrade

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    Sep 26, 2008

    JLW - fourth grade special ed (I am assuming since you pointed out special ed that this was a self-contained room) Just one teacher and one para?? Or no para? Uhm - In what state is that? Seems horribly wrong to me. Like - illegal even...
     
  22. EZLN1

    EZLN1 Companion

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    Sep 26, 2008

    Wow, I feel bad even posting this after reading JLW's post

    But today was absolutely AWESOME! We headed out to Golden gate park for senior picnic day (each grade level headed out to different parks throughout the city). PERFECT weather, plentiful food, and my advisory dominated all of the games including a thrilling kickball victory, and tug of war. The only bad thing is that I further sprained my bad ankle in a 3 legged race.

    Also, I got my sub gig extended for one more week, and got a email from a middle school teacher requesting a day in late October. I look forward to it as I have never subbed out of high school.
     
  23. Emma1

    Emma1 Companion

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    Sep 26, 2008

    thanks

    Jade crane and Mrs.I ,
    Thanks for the support. I will try that next time. The LA group was some what ok and I let them pair share and discuss before writing paragraphs.

    Today was a good day though. :D
    Emma1
     
  24. JadeCrane

    JadeCrane Comrade

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    I had a 4th grade half-day resource gig scheduled for today (teacher called me directly to set schedule me). I showed up and the reg ed teacher in the room and the spec ed teacher approached me and said: "The sub service wasn't able to get a sub for RegEdTeacher - we need you to do the whole thing." Holy Heck! I was so not mentally prepared... but I am happy to say that I pulled it off without a hitch. They are chatty this group and I gave them a lot of leeway, but when we were lining up for lunch and they were loud I just waited. Didn't say a word. When they started to notice that we were late (about 2 minutes) I said I was simply waiting for the line to get quiet. I was not about to have them embarrass me walking through the hall as noisy as they were and I was prepared to wait until they were ready. They were quiet instantly. :D
     
  25. merigold78

    merigold78 Cohort

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    Sep 27, 2008

    i subbed yesterday in a 3rd grade classroom. unfortunately there were no sub. plans, & the first teacher i approached (for help) was not very helpful :(. finally i figured out what i was doing & the day started off pretty smooth. the kids had an early special (thank goodness!! :)), & we took A LOT of tests afterwards. i actually started to feel bad at how many tests i was giving them :( - but that's what was in 'the plans!!'

    the highlight of my day was eating lunch w/several of the other teachers. they were so nice & welcoming :) :) :) - one mentioned she was glad to have found such a "fine" (as in, really good!) sub. she also said that she, & the other teacher, would request me the next time they were out. HOORAY!!

    have a great weekend, everyone!!


    Meri
     
  26. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Sep 27, 2008

    Lunch line idea ... Brilliant :thumb:
     
  27. JadeCrane

    JadeCrane Comrade

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    TY Special-T - I am always a little amazed when something I do works as well as that did... I secretly feel like I got away with something, LOL...
     
  28. JadeCrane

    JadeCrane Comrade

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    Sep 30, 2008

    Scared to death...

    I, perfectly happy and content in resource/special ed rooms, have just been called to sub for a reg ed sixth grade class today and, frankly, I am scared out of my mind.
    :help:
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2008
  29. EZLN1

    EZLN1 Companion

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    Sep 30, 2008

    So my Spanish gig is over:(
    Well, there's a slight chance that they might need me on Thursday, but it's unlikely. Their actually replacing the teacher, so most students are bummed about that.

    I ended up teaching my own lesson plan today. It went well, and a lot of different students joined in on the discussions.
    Back to the waiting game.
     
  30. JadeCrane

    JadeCrane Comrade

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    Bummer EZLN1!

    The sub service actually made a mistake this morning - it was actually for a 5th grade resource teacher - well within my comfort zone, LOL! So I dodged a bullet!
     
  31. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I'm w/ you! I've been a sub for several yrs & I used to like kinder, even P.E., & did other grades sometimes, but after a while, all I started doing were RSP & LSH (speech) classes because subbing for them is so much easier! I haven' been in a gen ed class since who knows when. I mean you're getting paid the same money a day, so why not mk it easier on yourself.

    Fortunately, I work for a lg district, so I have a choice & can be picky. Tiny districts that have only 3-5 schools need you to sub for any type of class they want you to do.
     
  32. JadeCrane

    JadeCrane Comrade

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    You are right - I have my preferences and to be honest, considering this is my first year subbing, the fact that yesterday was the first time I have been called in the morning says to me that I must be doing something right, LOL! The sub service knows of my preferences but to be honest, they are completely inept - even to the point where they once sent a sub for a position that I was already assigned to. I can't say no - I mean - I CAN say no but I am terrible at it. I hate to disappoint anyone... I think I need therapy, LOL!
     
  33. EZLN1

    EZLN1 Companion

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    I got called for another sub gig tomorrow!
    Science, at the same school I just finished subbing for.
    I'm doing my best to try to get ready for tomorrow because I woke up feeling absolutely crappy, and had a runny nose last night. Now, I just feel slightly congested, but should be OK come tomorrow morning.
    Am I the only one who wont sub for SPED classes? I've had 2 chances so far to sub in such a class, but declined because I did not know what I would be getting myself into.
    I'm guessing such classes are usually smaller in size, right?
     
  34. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Oct 1, 2008

    EZLN-I'm a little hesitant to work in SPED classes as well because you never know if it will be a resource room, life skills, or a room with more profound disabilities. I just don't know how comfortable I'd be in a room with those profound disabilities.
     
  35. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oct 2, 2008

    At my dist, special ed classes are either RSP, which I've acutally taught before. It's a pull-out method where a small grp of kids come frm their gen ed rm to my rm where they're there about 1-2 hrs OR it can be another type of special ed called SDC (special day class). This is a lg class of kids all day. SDC, I do NOT do, but RSP I do. There is an aide w/ both types of classes.

    Speech, the only other type I do is the pull-out method as well, but you only work w/ a sm grp for 30 min only. In a full day, I'll usually have 6-7 grps of kids.

    I guess the next easiest is kinder & PE because for my district, kinder is only 1/2 a day, there are kids for the AM class & another class for PM. If you sub for a teacher, they're either doing AM OR PM, so the other 1/2 of the day, you're just helping out the other kinder teacher.

    PE is easy because at my district, you're never alone. Every day of the wk, a grp of PE teachers travel to a diff school to work w/ ea gr level all day. They may trvel to 2 diff schools in a day. But if you sub for 1 of them, you just follow along what they do. So, if you don't mind being outdoors & wearing comfortable clothing, you're all set.

    But, I'm SO picky, yet I still manage to get a pretty good amt of assignments.
     
  36. always_learning

    always_learning Rookie

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    Oct 2, 2008

    I have had 2 sub jobs so far and they have both been half day. Yesterday was in middle school general music. I assumed it would be easy since the teacher has them watching The Fiddler on the Roof. Oh my goodness I was so naive! No one wanted to pay attention, I got winked at by some 8th grader and asked over and over how old I was (32). :unsure: Not quite sure I want to sub middle school again.
     
  37. JadeCrane

    JadeCrane Comrade

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    Oct 2, 2008

    SPED classes are smaller and usually have at least one aid who knows the ropes... I love these kids and feel like I can really reach them so they are my specified preference... Don't be afraid - try one before you decide for sure...
     
  38. anewstart101

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    Oct 2, 2008

    Yeah that is what I thought:dizzy:

    I am LTS in an assignment where the teacher is really sick trying to work one or two days a week.

    Since I started the paraprofessional has been out the entire time.

    :woot:

    Two substitute the blind leading the blind no plans I talked to the teacher for an hour.

    I found out today the RSP teacher assigns homework. . .this is no where on her previous plans!~~~~!!!!!! :blush:

    I looked at what she did in the first two weeks in order to try to figure out what she does.

    I got her email today and emailed her!!!

    She has an IEP on Tuesday a TRI that I may have to go too :help:

    I a credentialed sped teacher but brand new out of my program and I have worked with the kid a week :eek:hmy:

    I'm figuring out this day by day it is so frustrating because I want to serve the students better ;)

    Advice, Asprin and guidance always welcomed !

    Occasionally I feel like this right now

    :beatdeadhorse:

    Did I tell you

    :atoz_love:
     
  39. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Oct 2, 2008

    I frequently sub at a small school district in a very small town - acutally, it's two small towns that form one school district.

    In August, they found that one of their buildings was structurally unsound. It was built in 1910, so it's not too surprising that it was ready to collapse!

    Anyway, they quickly had to do a lot of shifting around. The 8th grade moved from the middle school into one wing of the high school. The 6th grade moved from a large portable unit into the middle school. Then the classes in the unsafe building were moved into the large portable unit.

    So...on Tuesday and Thursday, I subbed for an 8th grade intervention teacher. ALL DAY LONG, I had to race back and forth between the middle school building and the high school building.

    1 - Check in at the middle school
    2 - Go to the high school for 8th grade LA
    3 - Go to the middle school for 6th grade remedial reading
    4 - Go to the high school for math, lunch, and remedial reading
    5 - Go to the middle school for study hall
    6 - Go to the high school for LA, academic support, and planning
    7 - Go to the middle school to sign out

    I wish that I had a bicycle to ride back and forth and back and forth!!
     
  40. EZLN1

    EZLN1 Companion

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    Oct 2, 2008

    Some general observations from my sub gig today

    1. School Assemblies are worthless
    2. School Assemblies are boring
    3.School Assemblies are worthless

    Aside from that, my gig went well. It was simply showing a film and having students answer the handout.
    I did miss out on 2 chances to sub next Friday....replied too late to emails. Oh well, you cant get them all (though I am trying my best to monopolize the sub game)

    And as some of you may know, I just finished subbing for a teacher for 2 1/2 weeks. That teacher was replaced (left to another job), and today was the new teacher's 1st day. Heard from various students that she ended up crying by the end of the 1st period. OUCH!
    I feel bad for her because she hasn't even been introduced to the Advanced class...they might make her rip up her contract by lunch. It WILL get ugly.
     
  41. JadeCrane

    JadeCrane Comrade

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    Oct 3, 2008

    anewstart101: I would expect that they would find someone else to go to the IEP - it is a legal document and could leave them vulnerable if it is found out that they sent a sub - credentialed or otherwise... Oh - and cut yourself some slack. You are being put in a position that is difficult and will require some adjusting. Just take a deep breath, relax and sort it out. You will be okay.

    EZLN1: LOL@ the school assembly thing... I have only been to one so far and it was actually a fun one... but generally that is what I remember - boring and a waste of time.

    It irks me when the sub service calls me when I am in school... dummies. I have decided that it is really up to me to make sure that I have a job every day. I have to market myself and call the sub service proactively. That is what I did yesterday for today - I also had them check the rest of the month, but I am already scheduled for the two days they needed help with. I am always gracious on the phone with them, but I think they are about as dumb as a box of rocks.

    Today - I am a first grade teacher. So far my impression of first grade is that they go to the bathroom ALL.DAY.LONG and it makes me insane, LOL...
     

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