Subbing Day from You Know Where!!!!!

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by mom2sands, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    Feb 7, 2008

    Today's experience practically put me in tears. I will never, never ever sub for this class again. The kids in this class were absolutely the most challenging group of 3rd graders I've ever encountered. This was an inclusion class, but those kids weren't the problem. There were 5 inclusion plus several non-inclusion with IEPs. There were three students who were violently aggressive, one that I'm sure is ODD. I sent that particular one to the office with a referral for lunging at another student ready to fight him. I had to grab him to keep him off the other student and he responded with, ""Don't touch me!" At recess two girls fought on the ground and were sent to the office at the end of the day. Bubblegum in the teacher's desk was stolen. I had intermittent support. There were 24 students. Not a fun day, but I did feel better when another teacher told me this class was the worst of all the classes in the school! Never again! I can't imagine what these kids will be like in 5th grade! OMG!
     
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  3. Oregon Sub Girl

    Oregon Sub Girl Rookie

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    Feb 7, 2008

    I subbed for a while before I started teaching, and I have to say that in some ways I find it harder than teaching. It's so hard to come into a class and not know their backgrounds, family or educational. It sounds like you did the best with what you were given and I'm impressed you survived! It's definitely harder as a substitute to establish yourself as an authority. Keep at it. Your profile says that you are soon to be a teacher and it gets better. Even with the most difficult students, when they are in your class every day, you learn to understand them and what sets them off. You are able to perfect what techniques work for that particular child. Good luck, and keep going!
     
  4. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Feb 8, 2008

    There have been days when I actually have gone home in tears! So, I know what you mean! :hugs:

    As a sub, at least we know that we have the option to never return. Imagine being the regular classroom teacher that has to go back again and again and again......:eek:
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 8, 2008

    mom2sands, we have all had days like this. I think you handled it well. What I do is make a list of classes that I have been in and mark them with a yes or no. I've been lucky in this district that I haven't had any classes where I've put a no. At the last district I subbed in before moving, there were a couple that had NOs beside it. I feel for the teachers that have to go back day after day to these classes.

    Abracadabra, going from a sub to a classroom teacher back to a sub, I can say that it is much easier to be a full time classroom teacher. The students know you, and you have a personal connection to them. Though as a sub, they normally want to do good for you (in elementary at least) and you get to pick and choose your own days to work.
     
  6. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Feb 8, 2008

    It's probably obvious to everyone else...... but what is an "inclusion class?"

    Major..:)
     
  7. Oregon Sub Girl

    Oregon Sub Girl Rookie

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    Feb 8, 2008

    Inclusion means that students with specials needs are taught in regular education classrooms. It sounds like this inclusion class, however, has MANY special needs. Some inclusion classes only have one or two.

    Smalltowngirl, I totally agree with you. I've had a few elementary kids who didn't really want to please the sub, but I've just threatened to leave a note for the teacher and they pretty much shape right up. And picking your own days to work is incredible! Plus, when you are a sub, you don't have to write sub plans on the days you don't work. But, being the regular teacher has so many other advantages.
     
  8. TxHopeful

    TxHopeful Rookie

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    Feb 8, 2008

    We've all had days like this. I even had a middle school student turn in his assignment with (misspelled) verbal threats directed towards me complete with stick figure illustrations. It seems he was upset that the teacher left instructions for them to complete an assignment in the first 10 minutes of class with no talking even though they were permitted to work in groups and talk quietly talk for the rest of the 2 period block.:rolleyes:

    That was a very difficult situation that required a lot of follow up. But I made it through and so will you. Be strong and good luck!
     
  9. Graduating '08!

    Graduating '08! Rookie

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    Feb 8, 2008

    I was in a 2nd grade class today and in the morning they were fine. One kid didn't want to go to recess because he wanted to stay inside with me and play on the computer. I said that was fine and he was sweet as can be. After, recess...COMPLETELY different child, I swear. He went crazy. He was playing on the ground, hanging on his chair, crawling all over. I was in the middle of reprimanding him when another student asked me something, so I looked away for a quick second and next thing I know he's knocked the desk over and (somehow) it landed on his head. He then scooted on the floor into the bathroom and screamed hysterically. He had to be taken out in a wheelchair just in case...altho he came back fine later. Ohhh what a day!
     
  10. Mrs LC

    Mrs LC Comrade

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    Feb 8, 2008

    Thanks for asking this Major - I wasn't sure either.

    Turns out I teach an inclusion class (as do most of my colleagues!).:)
     
  11. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Me too!!:):)
     
  12. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Feb 8, 2008

    A principal much wiser than myself gave my advice I will never forget after I experienced a day subbing K class. Kids were taking games off shelves and throwing around room, running and tag, screaming, crying, pulling, pushing, crawling -- a zoo. I didn't know what to do. At end of day I was in office and principal said, "Okay, we need you back tomorrow." I replied, "No thanks. I can't handle those kids. I'm not coming back." Principal, "Yes you are, and I'll tell you why. You may get a class like this some day. What are you going to do, quit?" I want you to go home tonight, think of all the things that went wrong today and how you are going to fix them tomorrow." Anyway, I did show up next day armed and ready. Day actually went pretty well.
     
  13. AnthonyA

    AnthonyA Rookie

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    Feb 9, 2008

    On days like those, I just remind myself that the class is only temporary. ;)

    Don't let it get to you. :)
     
  14. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Feb 9, 2008

    Yep, just be glad that they aren't yours for the year. :D
     
  15. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    Feb 10, 2008

    Loomistrout, my mom said the same thing. I need to think of how I might do things differently. Of course I thought that I had pulled out all the stops with the exception of giving candy as a reward which is considered a no-no in our district. I dealt out so many consequences that I failed to reward all of those who deserved it. I gave out positive comments to those who were working well and keeping quiet, but in this type of class a more concrete reward (can we say bribe?) might work. I know that teachers use ticket systems. I've had some teachers to leave them for me, but this one did not. Maybe I should have my own ticket system ready to go for sub days. Perhaps an index card where stickers can be added for good behavior and turned in at the end of the day for some sort of reward might work. Honestly, I don't think that this would have even worked for this particular class!
     
  16. Mldouglas

    Mldouglas Comrade

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    Feb 10, 2008

    I had a few experiences like this recently!!

    I am sorry to hear about your bad day. I have had a few experiences like that recently. I don't go home and cry, but it does make me wonder if I am really a good sub or not.

    Mldouglas
     
  17. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Feb 10, 2008

    After 24 years teaching and two years subbing I can count on one hand the number of discipline problems that were not a direct result of something I did or didn't do. I've used kid bashing and class bashing to justify my own lack of skills. I've watched other teachers make a career out of "It's just those darn kids!". In any event, whether a class is "good" or "bad" will depend, for the most part, on the skills of the teacher.
     
  18. Oregon Sub Girl

    Oregon Sub Girl Rookie

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    Feb 10, 2008

    While that may be true in a lot of cases, there's only so much you can do as a sub. You come into a class, not knowing the students, their backgrounds, the classroom dynamic, the class routines, and in some cases the school routines (lunch, recess, dismissal, etc). You're just trying to get kids through the day following some lesson plan that someone you often don't know wrote for you. Some teachers are very prepared for the sub and others handwrite a one page sheet with a very basic schedule for the day. At least that's the way it is in my district. If the class is a great class, you are doing well to get them through the day maintaining the order that usually should have been set up through the classroom teacher. Now all that being said, of course a good sub can change whether a class is "good" or "bad" but it's a lot harder as a sub than the classroom teacher who knows to not let Billy sit next to Johnny. And, knows that Suzy freaks out when the routine isn't followed to a tee.

    In other words, some things may be the result of the teacher, but it doesn't sound to me like mom2sands could have been expected to step into this classroom and have it go any differently than it did. In fact, it sounds to me like she's lucky one of the kids didn't go home with a black eye!
     
  19. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Feb 10, 2008

    No argument from me regarding tough classes versus easy.
    Having subbed for two years in grades K-9 I know exactly what it is like to try to get a class up and running in milliseconds. And being male (no sexist intended) guess who got called for all the tough classes and ones other subs refused to take? When I started (green) I thought I could wing it with home remedies and just being bigger than them. Took me a while to come up with my own emergency day's activities kit when no lesson plan or in case of one teacher, a plan in hiding. Being a class A goof-off and behavior problem when I was in school allowed me to "been there, done that" so not much impressed nor shocked me. After some worthwhile training and experience in the schools of hard knocks I came to realize any class has potential to go either direction depending on the regular teacher or sub. This also speaks to Fred Jones' research in which a class of malcontents, worst of the worst, will act one way for teacher A then go next door and act completely different for teacher B.
     
  20. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Feb 11, 2008

    Now that is one cool principal!
     
  21. Oregon Sub Girl

    Oregon Sub Girl Rookie

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    Feb 11, 2008

    I can definitely agree with that. Some problems probably are solved just by you being male. It's nice when you've been subbing for a while and you know which classes you can go into with a "you're so cute and I know you'll do everything I ask" attitude vs. the ones that you have to go into with a little stricter mindset from the get-go. When you are the regular classroom teacher, it's much easier to set up your expectations and rules from the beginning. And I definitely agree that the teacher can change the whole dynamic of a class, for good or bad.
     
  22. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    The male thing is kind of funny to me. The teachers with the most behavior/management issues at our school are the males. They ask me what I do and how I do it but then they never follow through on the changes they know they have to make. It seems like to me that they expected, being male, that all they would have to do is yell and the kids would listen, which of course they don't.
     
  23. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    That doesn't say much for the five foot apple-cheeked granny who can transform a class of gangland 8th graders into college prep scholars nor the 6'5" football coach at a loss of what to do with the three kids hanging from the ceiling and the five taking showers in the sink. ;)
     
  24. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    I've never come across any research that proves because one is male disciplining others is a given. It's folklore. Kids can pick out a wimp male or female. :2cents:
     
  25. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    It's worse than that (being "wimps"). Their students start out the same mix as everyone else's. By this time of the year you can pick out their kids on the playground because they are fighting and yelling all over the place. In the classrooms, they are shouting out while the teacher talks and wandering around the room doing whatever they want. During team meetings, they talk about how their kids are going to be pregnant or in jail a few years from now and how there is nothing they can do about it. It makes me sick. I actually have to say, "Stop, please, can we not talk about our students like that?" ergh. I feel like these teachers' expectations are what is defining the way the students behave. And that is awful.
     
  26. Oregon Sub Girl

    Oregon Sub Girl Rookie

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    So, I guess we should stop stereotyping, right. :) I was judging by the fact that when my husband walks into a room the 5th grade boys are more likely to automatically respect him over me, even if I may be able to manage them better in the long run. What it comes down to is that I've seen Wonderful teachers who are males as well as Wonderful teachers who are females. I've also seen the opposite for both sexes. So, what it comes down to is the management ability and not necessarily the gender of the teacher. I just think that 1st impressions say a lot no matter what happens later.
     
  27. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Feb 11, 2008

    Again, that's (male walking in) a stereotype. It has more do to with the *way* a person walks or enters. Jones' research found 95% of meaning business was body language not gender. For example if the 6'5" football coach dances into the room humming the Barney song and right behind him comes 5' apple-cheeked granny, head back, shoulders back and square, purposeful steps, with the Queen Victoria look who on first impression will the students say, "We might have to get some work done for that one.":eek:
     

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