"Reprimanded" for writing referrals too often...

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by longtimesub, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. longtimesub

    longtimesub Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 13, 2007

    Have you ever been "reprimanded" by an administrator for writing referrals to the office too often? That's what happened to me on Friday...For the first time in my "subbing career"...I have been subbing since 1997.

    Starting with 2004-2005 school year, I have been working in this high school very frequently. This particular administrator began working at school, starting with 2006-2007 school year.

    He came to see me during period 2 for a brief chat. He said that he noticed that I send students to him for discipline problems frequently. He questioned whether I am really capable of working on the high school level...He said that I should try to keep students in class. He concluded his talk by saying that, if I want, I could see him in his office to discuss classroom management strategies.

    I became somewhat nervous all day long. What if there is a really disruptive or disrespectful student today? Do I want to send him/her to that administator after that "chat"? Fortunately, I did not really have any student who had to be sent out.

    I didn't argue with that administrator. I would not have "won" the argument anyway. I don't think that I give referrals to students for frivolous reasons...Sometimes giving out a referral is the only way to settle down a class...

    Would you go back to a school after the administrator told you basically that you are "incompetent"?

    I don't think that I would go back to this high school any time soon. Not as long as that administrator still worked there...I don't want to know how he would react if I still send students to him "too frequently". I cannot act indecisively in the classroom, worried about writing referrals.

    I frankly was surprised. I thought that administrators, on the high school level, were more "understanding" on the discipline matter...
    I know that elementary school and middle school administrators really dislike subs sending students to them for discipline...
    That is one reason I am reluctant to work in elementary and middle schools.
     
  2.  
  3. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 13, 2007

    Oh, I have been through this many times! Most of the principals I have taught under say that if you send too many students to the office it is a sign that you have no control in your classroom. Usually I have had to meet with everyone of them and plead each and every case!
    I love my new principal. If I say they need a detention he gives them a detention no questions asked.
     
  4. annafish

    annafish Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 13, 2007

    I'm sorry, but sending students to the office all the time does show that you lack classroom control. There are of course situations where it may be necessary, but I think those are few and far between.
     
  5. Roswenth

    Roswenth Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 13, 2007

    I disagree with the above poster that the situation is that cut-and-dried. The original poster is a sub, and classroom management often takes weeks for a regular teacher. Kids see a sub as a way to take advantage of a situation, and even kids who are ordinarily well-behaved will act out with a sub. The ones who act out normally find worse ways to act out. Also, the original poster didn't say she sent students to the office 'all the time'. She said she sends them when she feels the situation merits it. The principal may also consider "too much" to be even one time.

    I think schools should support their substitutes, and be at least a little sympathetic with their situation. The pay is not always great, subs are hard to find, and kids do their best to terrorize substitutes. If at least schools can't pay more, they should back up their substitutes in the discipline department.
     
  6. UCLACareerChngr

    UCLACareerChngr Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 13, 2007

    Of course classroom management is different for a sub than it would be for the regular classroom teacher. I only subbed for a year, but in my experience I never sent a student out. Now, I definitely had bad experiences and could have sent students out. But, I always expected that the students would be trying to take advantage and so I always tried to start my classes strictly and set the tone. If I had problems I also always wrote a lengthy note for the teacher, assuming that they would better be able to handle any discipline issues. But, you have much more subbing experience than I did - so please don't let me come off as telling you how to do your job.

    From your original post, it didn't necessarily sound like the admin was questioning your competence - but of course body language and tone of voice probably tell you more than you're able to project in written words. I would take him up on his offer and go to him for his idea of classroom management strategies - at the very least if you try to implement what he's advising and it doesn't work, you can say that you have tried his methods and they don't appear to work.

    Good luck!
     
  7. annafish

    annafish Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 13, 2007

    I know what it is like to sub, I did for over a year. I know how hard it is and I never sent a student to the office. Administrators are very busy and I think this one is telling you that he doesn't have the time to deal with all the referrals. Sometimes you may have to send someone down to the office, if they are threatening others or something, but you can use some positive reinforcement, maybe some small awards to help behavior problems in the classroom. It sounds like he is willing to work with you, which is great, good luck.
     
  8. longtimesub

    longtimesub Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 14, 2007

    You are probably right about this administrator probably being too busy to deal with my referrals...
    Many high schools have a suspension room for students who need a "time-out"...This school does not have one. I have worked at schools with suspension rooms...In those schools, I sent the students directly to the suspension room. The administrator was not involved...

    What happened a few weeks ago must have really annoyed this administrator...
    It was a special ed math class, consisting of 10th graders. There were about 12 in the class...There was no paraeducator helping me.

    Once the bell rang, I asked them to do the assigned work...No luck. All I heard were a bunch of disrespectful comments...
    A bunch of guys insisted on sitting where they want to sit, refusing to follow my direction to return to their assigned seats...One of them told me to take some "pills" and calm down...
    My feeling was that the situation was getting out of control fast...
    I called the office and asked for a campus security officer. I had three guys escorted out...

    One of the guys came up very close to me, invading my "personal space". He asked me in a threatening voice why I called the office. (I did have him escorted out...)

    I spoke with the regular teacher about this particular class...I told him what I did. He said that referrals are very handy in such a case. (That's all he said...)

    I know the regular teacher...He's a very nice guy. But, I would never sub for his classes again...
     
  9. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 14, 2007

    It may be that when you send the kids for a referral the P is hearing a different side than your own and wondering what the big deal was. So a handy thing may be to follow up, in person, to discuss if he would have suggested you do anything different for future reference. Then you will show him that not only do you respect his opinion to ask how to improve yourself but also show him that your referrals are not as frivlous as he may be thinking.

    Personally I can look at this and offer suggestions but I would be a wimp and too nervous to teach there for a while.
     
  10. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    Messages:
    3,013
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 14, 2007

    There are two issues here.
    One is the classroom management comment- the admin is TELLING YOU, you are not doing well and he is willing to ASSIST you with strategies. That is not an admin that sounds like he is unapproachable or should be avoided. Even if you NEVER sub there again AFTER you meet with him for HIS strategies, I would STILL strongly suggest you go to the meeting to SOAK up every bit of advice he has to offer. You wouldnt be writting referrals on a daily basis if you had another strategy.

    The second issue is the abuse of referrals. A referral is a document true. BUT, it is a document that remains in the student folder AND is on computer. Its not that you are giving the principal additional work to complete after your referral but you should consider the referral for those students who have committed such an act/or behavior that warrants it ''on the record"
     
  11. Roswenth

    Roswenth Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 14, 2007

    Are the caps really necessary? You just sound rude.

    Like I said before, we don't know the whole story. We don't know the reasons she sent the kids to the principal, nor the actual number. It could have been twice. They both could have been for fighting or something really extreme. Heck, he could have been lumping her in with other subs they have and just using her for a scapegoat. Until the original poster clarifies, you all seem to be arguing against things she didn't actually say.

    And I worked in a school where referrals were simply that...a referral to someone else. They didn't go on a permanent record.
     
  12. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2001
    Messages:
    3,245
    Likes Received:
    100

    Oct 15, 2007

    Caps can be for emphasis... Let's give people the benefit of the doubt before jumping on them, okay?

    Mommaruthie has been a member here for more than 5 years and has more than 2,800 posts. If you follow her posts, you would know that she is a kind person who is just trying to be helpful.
     
  13. longtimesub

    longtimesub Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 16, 2007

    OK...I think that it would be "silly" for a day-to-day sub to write up referrals for following reasons:
    Applying making up in class, chewing gum, eating in class, sleeping in class, not doing the classwork(but not preventing others from doing work).

    I have never written referrals for any of above reasons...

    But, defiance is something else...My definition of defiance is when a student refuses to follow my direction after I asked him/her "several times". I believe in providing an immediate consequence for such a student...A referral...I could tell students all day that I will write down names for the teacher...But, talk is cheap. Many students dismiss my talk as an "empty rhetoric". But, once I take an "action", by sending out a student, the rest of the class usually settles down.
    However, if I let the student stay in class and act up, there is a tendency for other students to act up as well...

    "I will write your name down..." That works in elementary schools...In some middle schools...However, in high schools, that talk is not too effective in most cases. OK...I still say that in high schools, hoping that students will be afraid of the consequence from the regular teacher...But, I think that is a wishful thinking in most cases...

    I must tell you that, during my 10 years working as a sub, I have dealt with many "challenging" classes without calling the office or sending students out with referrals...That happened most of time.
    I worked in juvenile detention facilities, alone in the classroom, without the help of a paraeducator. I have managed to work with juvenile offenders, without calling for help every few minutes.

    Following is a true story...Once I subbed for a high school PE teacher. (The school is in a "barrio".) He was a veteran teacher. On his desk, I found stacks of referrals that he has written...I was surprised that he wrote up so many...Many of them were for students not dressing...The teacher wrote down following as a reason for sending one student to his counselor: "He is wasting my time". By the way, he retired several years ago.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 229 (members: 2, guests: 209, robots: 18)
test