Showing the occasional video

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by cali*teacher, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    Feb 27, 2011

    Hello to all. Haven't posted on here in awhile. I'm past the half way mark in getting a credential, and also started subbing recently. I wanted to ask you elementary teachers your opinions about something that happened to me last week that hurt my feelings. I was in a substitute assignment, and found that the teacher had been out for a few days with no lesson plans, which I understand will happen and I need to be prepared for those kind of things. This had happened to me a couple weeks prior, and I had a double whammy of not only trying to muddle through the lessons with missing materials that the other really nice teachers in the grade level had helped me to come up with but just a very badly behaved class that took everything out of me with classroom management. A nightmare sub day is all I can say, the worst.
    When I came into this other classroom and saw things could possibly be the same, I was like nope, I need to come up with plan B until I can get some further information from the office, etc. This with it being President's Day that Monday I thought maybe it would be good to show a neat video about that subject to the kids, because it seems that now days with all the testing and standards and such, sometimes there just isn't a whole lot of time for these types of things, and personally I thought it would be a good educational thing to do. I know when I was in elementary school I always enjoyed the occasional educational video. Now let me reiterate I am NOT a person that would just show videos or use them as a crutch, I'm there to teach, it was just the circumstances. I was told by my faculty when subbing to deal with these situations on my own and not go to other teachers, etc.-- I found out at this school it's just the opposite, very team oriented, and very by that team's plan, which is fine, but I didn't know that when I'm a sub and new to the school, etc. It was almost like I'd done a faux pas by not going to them first. How was I to know that, when I was going on my faculty's advice to not do that. Like I said, I was told do not go and bother other teachers as a sub so I figured showing a President's Day video the kids would enjoy until I could find out what lessons to teach might be a decent idea. Boy was I WRONG! I go to the library before school starts to ask about it and it's not a librarian at the desk it's a school teacher who promptly informed that I should NEVER show a video as a sub and acted as if I'd just commited some serious crime. I was extremely apologetic. Heck, I'm new to all this, I'm learning. I just didn't want to have the same nightmare situation I did the other day and be off guard about lessons for the day that the teacher wants. What is so wrong with showing an educational video here or there? Kids usually love them if they're interesting enough, I always get something out of them myself. Believe me, I won't ever do it again, but I was kind of hurt how she jumped down my throat almost about it. I felt rather sheepish about it. :eek:
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Feb 27, 2011

    The librarian probably didn't understand the situation- that you had no plans from the teacher. I would assume that she misunderstood you and thought that you were asking for a video to show instead of teaching what the teacher had asked you to-which obviously would be a mistake! Did you tell her that you were looking for something because the teacher had not left plans?
     
  4. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    No, as I said, it wasn't a librarian it was another teacher in another grade level. No, I told her the situation exactly, that I had no lesson plans and wanted a good President's Day video until I could get a good lesson plan for the day from someone, whether the regular classroom teacher or someone else. Is what I did that wrong? I thought it would be okay. I guess there are new philosophies, or at least in certain schools where that is not acceptable. Sometimes I try to think as a child, what they would like but still learn from, and educational videos are something I used to like so I just thought to do that, just thinking on my toes.
     
  5. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Feb 27, 2011

    She absolutely shouldn't have spoken to you like that but I know at our school we have to have to permission to show a video and be able to connect it to the curriculum. Maybe it was more of a subs shouldn't do that because they didn't follow a chain of command or don't know the specific policies surrounding it.

    I play clips from Brainpop and Discovery Education on a daily basis-I find especially for Social Studies and Science a visual is much more easy for the website to show them than for me to try and explain.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 27, 2011

    This.
     
  7. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    Then I am later telling the team of teachers for the class I'm subbing when they're in the room showing me what to teach the class before the day begins, about wanting to show a video last week to another class I subbed. You know with these computers hooked up to the Hovercam things in the classroom? They are so handy! I had recently seen on an online teacher resource about a very neat lesson related to a video about the chocolate factory on the Hershey chocolate factory website. Interesting for kids to watch. I had been at another school subbing a second grade class, the teacher had wanted me to read them "Curious George goes to a Chocolate Factory". I had done their related lesson activity with them after reading the book and had all this time left over. It would have been a perfect time to show them that Hershey chocolate factory video if I had that same computer Hovercam set up, since it seemed to connect with the book I had just read to them. I was telling them teachers how I wished I had had that computer set to use to show a video to a class I subbed the previous week at another school, but I somehow left off all my reasoning I am explaining here when telling them, I was nervous, lol. I probably made it a ton worse inadvertently since videos are a no no at this school, at least for subs.
     
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Feb 27, 2011

    If I was out with no lesson plan and found out my sub went to library and got a video to show, that sub would go to the top of my list for who to call.

    As far as I'm concerned, when there are no lesson plans, all bets are off and the sub does whatever they have to do to keep the class in order. If that means showing a video, so be it.
     
  9. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    Are you serious? Well, that makes me feel tons better. I felt absolutely horrible.
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I agree with the others who say maybe it's a policy thing. I don't see what else it could be. If there were no plans, then you have to do something. Not knowing anything about what they are doing or learning, you would definitely not be able to whip up a lesson right on the spot. Like Sarge is alluding to, improvising is a wonderful skill for a sub. Once, my plans ended up getting buried under folders on my desk (the janitor cleaned my desk for me) and my sub had to improvise her whole way through the day. Bless her heart! I was mortified when I learned she hadn't had plans, but very thankful that she pulled it off with a happy heart. It sounds like that's all you were trying to do, so I wouldn't beat myself up over it.
     
  11. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    I think you did wonderful, especially considering the disorganization you had to deal with. It was an overreaction on the part of the teacher. And no one should ever feel like a criminal for showing an educational video.
    It's pretty common in teaching (my experience) for no one to tell you any unspoken rules until you "break" them.
     
  12. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Feb 27, 2011

    Yeah, my take is that it was a personality issue with the teacher at the library - not all people are blessed with social skills :).

    The climate of most schools these days is that every second in the school day is sacred instructional time, and while I totally agree with that generally, there are just some times when that doesn't happen. I think it's funny, for example, that valentines day parties and the like are now forbidden in most schools because it eats instructional time, as if the 120 minutes lost cumulatively across the school year with such parties is a major loss, and not worth the community building that they contribute to the class.

    Most of the time, I've found that isolated days with subs are essentially washes anyway - not saying enriching and educating things can't be done, but those few sick days each year are of amazingly little consequence in the pursuit of important educational goals - not talking about long-term sub situations, but the occasional day. To me, it would be worth it to give the class a break, have fun, build community, avoid problematic behavior due to overly high expectations by an adult new to the kids, and come back refreshed the next day.

    Some adults (and kids) are rule followers to such a degree - so overly scripted - that they don't understand when the rules don't apply, or when a different "script" would work better for that particular day.

    Go on with your videos!
     
  13. cheer

    cheer Comrade

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    Feb 27, 2011

    :yeahthat:
     
  14. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    To make it worse, there were two other teachers there in the library conversing with her when I had come in there, so I got the harsh reaction from her, letting me know if the principal knew about me asking about or showing a video, President's Day or any kind of video, the principal would see to it I never came back to the school again, and then these two other teachers looking on at me. I felt awful, I was the roasted sub on a stick at that moment.

    Your all's responses are making me a LOT better. I felt horrible. I guess I need to keep it all in perspective. I've read before online that being a teacher at different schools can make it an entirely different experience.
     
  15. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    It is nice to know from other seasoned teachers on here I didn't do so horrible after all.

    EdEd I ditto your post, I agree from my observation of what is currently taking place in classrooms that there seems to be little time for community or "fun" in learning these days. It's a shame. The students did tell me later that day they had not talked about President's Day at all in class, which is also kind of a shame being it's a national day of recognition and they had been off that Monday for it.
     
  16. asianbeauty

    asianbeauty Rookie

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    Feb 27, 2011

    Do what I do...Notify the office immediately when there are no lesson plans left...Either the principal or her designee will come to provide you further direction...NEVER assume that it is okay to just pop in a video, unless it is specifically stated in the lesson plan...You may be erroneously perceived as being lazy, a slacker...I've heard of subs getting fired for doing this, but they were talking on their cell phones all the while.
     
  17. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    When I was subbing I always brought a few of my favorite children's pictures books to read in case there were no lesson plans or if I needed to fill time. If I didn't know the grade ahead of time I'd bring a book that was appropriate for all levels. I think that's a much better idea that showing a video, because you never know what the classroom teacher or school admin's opinions are about showing movies. I think your intentions were right but it does seem a little bit lazy. I would invest in some good read alouds to bring along, if you need more time to be filled you could always come up with activities based on the book.

    Also, I never came across another teacher when I was subbing that wasn't willing to help answer a question or provide a suggestion for a time filler. I would just ask next time, often teachers would leave the name or room # of teachers that taught on the same grade so I could go to them for advice.
     
  18. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Now that is HARSH, I wouldn't take it personally if I were you she just sounds like a miserable person. That doesn't sound like a school I'd even want to be teaching in. When I was subbing other teachers/admin were nothing but helpful and welcoming. You're better off going somewhere else!!!
     
  19. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    It WAS harsh, believe me. And personally I agree with you, as a regular teaching position I would never want to teach at that school. It's very nice to know from other teachers here that it wasn't such a bad idea after all.

    Iteachbox, yes, I have brought books before, and after that incident I'll make sure to bring them always in the future for this kind of situation. This was a fourth grade class. I have books of varying levels, and of course there's usually a good library of books in most classrooms. My reasoning is this, the kids now days are constantly doing their serious curriculum stuff, I wanted to think of something fun but educational for them while I found out what I needed to do for the class that day. I wasn't trying to be lazy. As I mentioned earlier, I always liked videos like that when I was in school and just thought it would be good for them to learn something about President's Day. I also was needing a time filler while I could get the plan together for the day, because I know how important it is for teachers to get the curriculum moving and taught even when they're not there for a day or so, in this day and age (at least in this particular school district, that's how it has seemed so far).
     
  20. Auter12

    Auter12 Comrade

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    Feb 27, 2011

    If you had the sense to try getting a video for a class you knew didn't have a lesson plan, then good for you.
    When I have extra time subbing, I teach my own lesson. Just Friday, in 4th grade, we "wrote a story" (actually just brainstormed a beginning, middle, and end with random plot, characters, and setting). A week ago, 3rd grade, we did a "conflict resolution" activity. They were Dr. Seuss's North and South going Zaks and had to come up with a win-win situation together to continue on their way. I always bring my "Tomorrow's Alphabet" book - any age (@ least through 8th) likes that book.
     
  21. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Feb 28, 2011

    This story infuriates me--especially the way the teachers acted when you tried to get a video. Ridiculous! :lol:

    When I'm absent (especially if I'm sick and trying to scramble to get sub plans ready) I often include a 30-minute or 60-minute video for the sub for the end of the day. I also tell the sub to take the kids out for P.E. (for about 30 minutes) prior to showing the video.

    You absolutely did the right thing--don't let those teachers get you down! You did the best with what you had and if anyone gets reprimanded or called into the principal's office regarding this matter, it should be the teacher who failed to leave you with plans!

    Keep your head up! Kudos to you for trying to make things work! :thumb:
     

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