subbing in classes with limited knowledge of subject

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by dangerm0use, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. dangerm0use

    dangerm0use Rookie

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    Oct 31, 2005

    this is most likely in the high school level. what happens when you are in a class that you have very little to no knowledge about the subject? example is physics or pre calculus. it's been so long since i've been in high school and i'm totally lost with these subjects. how do subs deal with incidences such as these and still keep his/her head up about being "competent"? i dont want the teacher to come back one day and say the sub didnt teach the class anything blah blah blah. so any help on this area please share. thanks. :love:
     
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  3. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Nov 1, 2005

    I never subbed in a job I couldn't teach. I felt I'd be doing the kids a disservice. So I stuck to middleschool and elementary school and nothing above algebra or earth space science.
     
  4. mschristine23

    mschristine23 Rookie

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    Nov 1, 2005

    Hey

    I am the same way if I wasn't comfortable with it I don't sub in that area. I stick with grades to 5th when I sub. I know though when I am at my other job Sylvan I do get paired with middle and high school students for some math and SAT type stuff. In that case, I do call the director to help, but since subbing is different, I would defintely rethink if you should be in a classroom of a subject that you are not as familiar with. I am an early childhood/ elementary teacher certified that is all I teach.
     
  5. Hnana

    Hnana Rookie

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    Nov 1, 2005

    I accept jobs in most any subject. Those teachers need a day off too. They don't expect me to come in an actually teach the subject. They just want someone to monitor the kids for them. They will leave book work or study sheets. If it is an advanced class, I make no bones. I tell them that I am filling in and have no answers. The chemistry class thought that was funny, and they didn't give me any trouble.
    Next week, I will sub in an American Sign Language class. Before I accepted this job, I met the teacher and asked him what I would be doing since I do not know the subject. He assured me that there would be no problem and he would leave work for them to do on their own.
    In my experience, most high school teacher don't want you to teach ANYTHING! It is THEIR class. They will pick up the slack when they return. Your job is just to keep order. If I can possibly help out and help a student figure out an answer, I will do it. I look over the work before class and check the text books and read the material if possible.
    Don't be afraid to take a job because you are not an expert on the subject. It is not expected, believe me.
     
  6. mschristine23

    mschristine23 Rookie

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    Since, I have my degree in teaching EC/ELEM kids I am told to teach the lessons. In my district though, they only allow those with teaching degrees to do that. Otherwise, the sub just does fun sheets with kids.
     
  7. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    I agree with Hnana. High school teachers don't really expect a substitute teacher to come to the school and teach chemistry one day, calculus another, English lit a third day, and AP gov't a fourth. High schools would not have any substitute teachers if they expected the sub to be an "expert" in every field. If the teacher knows s/he is going to be out in advance, they'll leave busy work, reading, or worksheets to do. If it is an unexpected absence, the substitute will just do the best possible. If all else fails, have a study hall for that one period. It's not like the students are in one classroom all day.
     
  8. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Nov 1, 2005

    I don't know about other subs, but w/ the districts I sub for, usually if it's a large district, you have a say in what grade level/subjects you want to teach. But in a small district, you may have to do whatever type of class they tell you. That would be bad news for me since I only do speech & RSP. I don't even like general ed classes because the classes I prefer are so much easier & I'm getting paid the same $ so I might as well make it easier for myself. I don't get called everyday though & that's ok w/ me.

    So, I don't know if you're in a district where you have to do what they give you, but if you find that 50% of the time, it's classes you have no knowledge in, I'd talk to the sub caller & tell him/her to try to assign you in certain classes OR cut down on the days per week you're available & work for another disctrict that gives you a choice of what you want to teach. (I'd do the latter if I were you).
     
  9. MamaOfCalvin

    MamaOfCalvin Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2005

    I will be subbing next week at a private jr. & sr. high school. I talked to the teacher I will be subbing for on the phone and he asked if I wanted him to leave a video for each class to watch. :eek: How boring! I told him, "No, thank you. I would like to lecture and discuss with the students." The classes are history and geography (my favorites!) and I just brushing up on the topics they will be going over. Since it is a week-long position, I feel it is necessary to teach, not just allow a study hall or nap time. :) The teacher told me they sometimes have parents come in to sub who, as he put it, know that "George Washington is on the dollar bill, and that's about it!" LOL
     
  10. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    I teach 3rd grade now. I HATE to be out and have a sub. Every day is to precious to have it wasted by worksheets that don't mean a thing. The subs we have in our school are ok but they aren't education majors. I had to be out a week for training early in the school year and I was so upset. It was a wasted week for my kids. the sub let kids run wild and didn't do anything I had asked her to do.
     
  11. gloria15

    gloria15 New Member

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    Nov 3, 2005

    What has been your most memorable teaching lesson and/or tip for math?
    Thanks,
    Gloria
     
  12. daysy_may

    daysy_may Groupie

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    Nov 4, 2005

    I have my education degree, and the teachers where I sub know that, so they just say pretty much, here's the teachers books, take it from there. I also started out the year on a maternity leave for a teacher there, so I am really familiar with the curriculum too though.
     
  13. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Nov 4, 2005

    I have my certification in Elem. but I sub at all levels. For the most part when I am subbing pre-k to 8th grade I am expected to teach if thats what the teacher wants. At high school level Im only there to make sure the kids stay out of trouble. I watched the same movie 3 times today. Ask me about Gingus Kahn and the rest of the Asian history in the 13th and 14th century and i could probably tell you . hahahah I did get to teach a small lesson on grammer and read chapter 5 and 6 in a novel about WWII today when I covered a class on my conference period. As for telling the kids what I do or don't know. I'm the first one to admit I know nothing about math or the higher sciences. I usually get one of the kids to explain something I don't. Peer tutoring can sometimes be better than a teacher who knows NOTHING about High school math.
     
  14. Kabookie

    Kabookie Rookie

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    Nov 6, 2005

    I agree with txmomteacher2. I've only been a sub since October 25th. I did a 7th grade Science and 8th grade History last week. I was able to help the students with most of the Science - about atoms - but there was a part of one worksheet that I had no clue about. I asked the "smartest" kids, and they were stumped as well, so I let their teacher know about that part and did everything else. The History was just reading aloud from the book, but I did try to engage them in some discussion about the material. I kept order in the classes by letting them know that I'm a clown and promised that I would show them a trick if they were quiet and did their work for me. I was thrilled that it worked! I juggled for them and did some silly juggling tricks, and I let the ones who knew how to juggle show the class. They all applauded their classmates. One class had nearly 10 minutes after finishing their work, so I passed around my beanbags and let them all toss the bags a bit. I think they liked it, because I asked them who they wanted to sub next time and they all called out my name, lol, to which I put my hand over my heart and said, "Ah, I love to hear my name spoken by so many voices at one time!" ;) BTW, I was a Music Ed. major. I didn't get to any of my professional teaching classes, so I'm just flying by the seat of my pants, following lesson plans and trying to do my best for the absent teacher. ;)
     

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