Refusing to go back into bad class-WWYD?

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by sub&mom, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. sub&mom

    sub&mom Companion

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    Feb 22, 2007

    Hello everyone! I hope everyone is having a better day than I am. I am subbing at a middle school in my district today. I took the job of 7th grade health for today and tomorrow...however, when I arrived here the secretary informed me that they had switched me to teach Choir for 6th, 7th, and 8th period. I just about had a nervous breakdown! Let me explain, I've subbed for both band and choir here on many occasions and it has ALWAYS been a horrible experience. There are so many reasons why I can't even list them all, but it starts with the fact that there are 60-80 students in the band and choir classes with no seating chart, list of names, lesson plans, no discipline plan, etc. The last time I had to teach band, I was actually in tears. Not soft tears...full out shaking, crying, thinking "I never want to sub EVER again" I actually didn't think I could finish out the day...but, I did, by the grace of God.

    Here at this middle school, during the prep time for the class that you are sent here to teach for, they will often send you to different classes to cover for other teachers. I don't know if it's to save money, or because they can't find enough subs...probably both. HOwever, that is a huge deterrent to accepting a job at this school for me. Basically, the only classes I have a problem with are band and choir. After my last experience I called my "gatekeeper" and asked her what would happen if I said no to going to band or choir during the prep of the teacher I was subbing for. She basically told me that I could say no. She said, "Tell them you came here to sub for Health and you will not do choir, and if they have a problem with that, tell them to call me."

    And so...I came here to sub for 7th grade health and low and behold there was a sticky note on my sub folder that said, "We also need for you to cover 6th, 7th, and 8th grade choir this afternoon."

    I said, "I'm sorry, but, I can't do choir. I have had horrible experiences with both band and choir and I've called Natalie (gatekeeper) to ask her to take band and choir off my list of classes I will sub for."

    Well, this obviously did not make the secretary happy. She looks at me disgusted and says, "YOu have to! There are no other subs in the building and we absolutely need those classes covered!"

    So, me, being the problem solver, say, "The teacher that you were sending to Health for my class probably knows the students muck better than I and would be able to handle teaching a class w/o a seating chart, or list of students...Can he go to cover choir and I'll stay and teach the class I accepted this morning?"

    She disregards my comment and says to me, "I am going to have to talk with Mrs. ***** (principal) and see what she says about this."

    I have a good track record as a sub in my district. I have been subbing for 3 years and I'm requested by alot of teachers. The principal at this school asks me to come in when I don't have a job subbing to help out around the office. I am worried that this incident today is going to give me a bad reputation. I am thinking about talking to the principal myself about it. I'm needing advice! Everyone here in a to z has been so helpful in the past! It's so nice to have a place to turn to talk! Please HELP! :) :confused: :love:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2007
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  3. sub&mom

    sub&mom Companion

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    Feb 23, 2007

    Everything worked out for the best! The fill in secretary apologized for how she treated me and the principal actually came into the classroom I was teaching in and told me she completely understood and that she wants me here as often as I possibly can be. She said something like...it's not even a blib on my radar...not sure what that means, but I think it's good. Anyway, even though I got no replies it helped to even just vent here. I thought I"d post the happy ending to my story anyway!
     
  4. sub&mom

    sub&mom Companion

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    Feb 23, 2007

    PS- I never have to do band or choir again...and they have decided to turn them into study halls if the regular teacher is absent per my suggestion!!! :)
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Feb 23, 2007

    See. You were right and stuck to your guns. It wasn't your problem that they didn't have a good policy for coverage for choir and band. If they want a sub, they should make sure that it is at least a tolerable situation (roster, seating, etc.)
     
  6. GatorGal

    GatorGal Cohort

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    Feb 23, 2007

    You were definitely right!
    I have the worst time telling people no, so that would have been horrifying for me.
    Although, subbing for a huge class without a seating chart would have been equally horrible.:D
     
  7. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Feb 23, 2007

    I did the same thing you did. I refused to sub for middle school music classes. They were horrible!
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Feb 23, 2007

    I think more teachers should stand up for themselves and what is right. Maybe there would be better treatment if we didn't just always 'try to do our best' like good little students.....
     
  9. sub&mom

    sub&mom Companion

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    Feb 23, 2007

    I agree! I don't know why it's so hard to stand up for ourselves. I was on such a high after I did, and stood my ground. I am proud of myself and have a new found love for my job! Thanks for all the pats on my back. I was getting a bit worried when There were no responses yesterday!!! teehee. :)
     
  10. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Feb 27, 2007

    Yeah for standing up for you!

    I sub'd for middle school band one Friday afternoon. Yep...I made sure that my cooridnator had a firm understanding that it takes a very special person to make it through a day of subbing band class, and I'd rather not be considered that special for those "angels" who decide to live their lives in band class.
     
  11. smilingteacher

    smilingteacher Rookie

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    Feb 27, 2007

    Band is very hard to deal with. I tried it once. The real problem is I can not conduct and so another student has to do it. Many times they will make demeaning comments about each other. Study hall is the best answer when the regular teacher is gone.
     
  12. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Feb 27, 2007

    That's probably why when my band director in HS was out, we either had the orchestra teacher or the band director's wife sub, or we'd end up with "small ensemble practice." Too hard for someone without music background to do. :)
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Feb 28, 2007

    Our students have instrumental music beginning in grade 5. When our music teacher is out, she usually leaves some theory practice sheets or a video with music-related follow-up.
     
  14. Mr. ISB

    Mr. ISB Rookie

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    Feb 28, 2007

    Sorry to hear about your problems. I too am a sub. I also have a masters degree and been on a few interviews for teaching positions in FL. I can be a little picky. I am not grandstanding, just giving you background. It sounds to me that your schools administration is using your choir and band classes as a dumping ground. They don't have enough teachers and/or classroom space for those students. My suggestion to you is stop substituting at that school. You are there doormat.
     
  15. sub&mom

    sub&mom Companion

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    Mar 1, 2007

    Mr. ISB,
    Luckily, now that I have stood my ground and made my preference known about band and choir they told me I do not have to go back into either. I actually love the school, most of the time! Half of my jobs come from that school at the moment. If I was forced to go back into the band or choir class, I certainly would have not gone back to the school. I am glad I don't have to make that decision. They have actually treated me better at the school since this day. I still get asked to cover different classes during the prep period of the teacher I am covering for, but, the difference is, now they ASK me! It is nice to be treated with consideration. I would have liked to have been treated that way from the start, but at least I feel that now I have gained respect. Good luck to you in your search for a teaching position. Being picky is not a fault, you know what you want, that is a good thing! Take care.:)
     

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