Subs getting planning periods?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by 2ndTimeAround, Nov 18, 2014.

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  1. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    No, not quite. If you truly think all there is to teaching is taking roll, popping in a video and passing out papers, you have a very low opinion of the profession.
     
  2. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    This is how it is at my school. If a teachers has a lot of prep time that day, a regular sub may go to another teacher's classroom and ask if they can help with something. I usually leave simple prep work, such as cutting something out, or pulling apart a Scholastic book order packet, but if the sub doesn't get to it, I don't worry about it.

    I think subs need a break, too, though. They need to use the bathroom, ask other teachers for clarification on lesson plans, get materials ready, look over plans, etc. We never pull subs to cover other duties.
     
  3. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    But it's ok for regular teachers - or at least some - to have a very low opinion of subs (as seen throughout this thread). :rolleyes:

    One of the reasons I decided to take a break from this site was the condescending attitudes I saw from certain members. Sadly, I'm not really surprised to see that hasn't changed.
     
  4. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    I hope that very few people think that's all there is to teaching -- often that's all teachers leave for subs to do, especially in secondary education. I'm not saying that there aren't bad subs who don't really care, but I also don't think it's fair to criticize subs for wanting breaks when we're covering a class that might be insane just because the regular teacher is gone. Sometimes a movie is the only way to maintain sanity for a short amount of time.
     
  5. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Ours only have to be high school graduates.

    And it shows.
     
  6. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    So a substitute teacher could never create lesson plans of their own or teach the next section of lessons without detailed instructions from the regular teacher???

    Maybe not EVERY sub could, but some certainly ARE capable of actually taking control of the class and leading instruction on the next unit when necessary.

    My very first sub assignment was for a middle school math teacher who had a family member become gravely ill unexpectedly. She had to leave immediately on a Monday morning to go out of town and I was called in to teach her classes while she was gone. She taught math for all 3 grades.

    When I arrived, she already had the entire week planned out on the board for each class, despite having to leave so suddenly. That worked great for the rest of the week.

    Unfortunately, her family member passed away, requiring her to stay out of town longer than she expected. At the end of the week, I called her to ask what she wanted me to do with the classes until she returned. She said "Just turn to the "Extra Practice pages in the back and assign those". I said, "I can do that, if you want, OR I could go ahead and begin teaching the next unit for you, so that the classes aren't too far behind when you return."

    She was both surprised and grateful that I would offer to do that and said it was fine with her, as long as I felt comfortable doing that.

    So I did create NEW lesson plans for the next unit AND begin instructing all 3 grade levels on the new material.

    Now, granted, middle school math was the same area I was working on my certification for, so I felt very comfortable creating the plans and administering them, but even when it was a subject I was NOT certified in, I still always did my best to find ways to make the material relevant to the students.

    When I subbed for a middle school science class, the teacher had left an assignment for them to read a certain section of the chapter discussing water and craters on the moon. The book mentioned that many of the craters are more than 100 miles in diameter. The kids read that, but I could tell they didn't really think about just how large an area that was. Our small town is a little over 100 miles north of Atlanta, Georgia, so I said, "That means that Murphy AND Atlanta would fit inside ONE of those craters! We would be on one side and Atlanta would be on another. THAT gave the students a lot more perspective on what they were reading.

    Even when I've just been given a movie or DVD for the class to watch, I would often stop the film at key points to ask the students what is happening in the movie or how is this specific point relevant to current events.


    Oh, and some substitute teachers ARE also certified teachers as well. ;-)
     
  7. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Nov 19, 2014

    Substitute teachers are generally called to cover the classes and duties for a specific teacher, so they don't have to justify getting the same break and lunch time as the teacher they are subbing for. :cool:
     
  8. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I would be a little annoyed if a sub stopped my movie to talk about it. If the kids were extremely confused, then maybe. Though with the movies I show, I'd find that unlikely. I'm a bit of a control freak, so I'd prefer the other English teachers to give some plans if I had an unexpected absence. They know my units almost as well as I do.

    Our subs are great but very few are licensed teachers. Most haven't read what I teach since high school, if they had to read it then. I had a sub who I told to give out a grammar worksheet and collect. She decided to go over the answers with them. Except they were all incorrect answers because she didn't understand the concept. I then had to spend double the time on the lesson. Since then I've been a little burned.
     
  9. gr3teacher

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    Teachers don't get breaks, other than lunch. Planning periods are not breaks.
     
  10. 2ndTimeAround

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    I don't have a low opinion of subs. Again, I was a sub for 7 years. I loved it. But, with the exception of long-term assignments, I didn't consider myself a teacher.

    I have a low opinion of people that are lazy and entitled. Subs and teachers.
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

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    :yeahthat:
    exactly.

    I don't get a break and I work longer hours than subs do. Still not understanding why a sub would need one at my school.
     
  12. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Nov 19, 2014

    PREACH!
     
  13. Go Blue!

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    Depends on how you use it. I use my plan to plan, but I also use it to take a break to eat my lunch, catch up on emails, surf the web, whatever. I sometimes even run to the nearby Target if I need pick up something; at my school, teachers run out during their plan all the time. Admin does not mind as long as we don't have something else to do like cover a class or attend a meeting. Basically, as long as I get done what I need to do for my job, I spend the rest of my plan taking a break.

    But, apparently, I'm the only one that takes a break during their plan ... :rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  14. gr3teacher

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    My admin would write me up on the spot if I left campus during my planning for any reason unless it was pre-approved and I had filled out a leave slip, and if I did it enough, they'd try to work on termination with cause.

    Putting that aside... I find lesson planning (plus maintaining grading for five different subjects and maintaining regular parent communication) to be far too intensive to cut that time short. Any time I spend surfing the web is time that I'll have to spend off-contract doing the work I procrastinated on.
     
  15. 2ndTimeAround

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    You seem to be very fortunate.

    I need my planning period. Every second of it. When I teach, I TEACH. I am walking around the room helping students with problems, lecturing up front or watching students as they take assessments. Some teachers will show videos and sit down and grade. I don't so I need my planning period to do that. I never get everything checked off of my to-do list and conversations I have with coworkers revolve around students or the curriculum.

    Today during my planning period (90 minutes) I: completed an evaluation for a student's psychologist, prepped for a lab, copied tomorrow's worksheets, unjammed the copier, graded makeup work, had two parent phone conferences, prepared individualized tutoring packets for three students, prepared makeup work for eight students, sent an email to all of my students' parents, helped a coworker with her website, input grades to our grading system, created tomorrow's quiz, wrote lesson plans and worked on my club's roster.

    Can anyone here really tell me that it would be better that I cover another teacher's class and not get any of that done just so a substitute can read the paper and run out to Starbucks? That a sub deserves a break but I don't?
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I didn't say that. I said they vary drastically in skills.

    I'm sorry you don't like my comment, but the reality in my district is that a very many subs don't teach when they sub. The few that are quality are hired every day they want to be hired. They typically are like you were - on their way to credential. However, that is not the norm in my district.

    I don't look down on subs, but the reality in my district, most aren't credentialed, a small number are going to school to be a teacher, and a very many are people that like the idea of working during school hours so they can take care of their children or grandchildren. They are all needed, and I appreciate the job they do because there are qualities to the job that are more difficult than being the regular teacher. Most of the time, they aren't teaching in my district, especially when it gets to MS and HS. Not saying that some can't.
     
  17. Go Blue!

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    Well, I know my Admin won't write me up so I have no worries there and I don't abuse the privilege.

    In regards to how YOU choose to use YOUR planning period; I don't judge how others utilize their time - whatever works for you is great.
     
  18. DrivingPigeon

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    I would consider my planning period a "break" in some sense. It's a break from the kids to get some work done. Subs have to look over lessons and get things ready for the rest of the day.
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    This. :thumb:


    I write detailed sub plans as well. It is ultimately MY RESPONSIBILITY to ensure my kids are learning and are engaged in meaningful work that supports that learning whether I am in the classroom or not. Since I don't always knw hat sub will be in my room and knowing abilities, skills, education and experience vary from sub to sub, I leave very little to chance.
    That said, I don't schedule anything for my sub to do during my planning period. As a matter of fact for those time periods my plans read along the lines of '10:10- walk kids to art(whatever special). Break for you! Pick up at 10:50'
     
  20. John Lee

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    Teaching is purported to be a PROFESSIONAL profession. Subs... are expected to act at all times, in a PROFESSIONAL manner.

    Subs where I work, earn an hourly wage of $15-20/hour. That is NOT a professional wage. In an era when the cost of living has gone UP, the sub wage has actually fallen (since I last recall).

    Asking a sub to (regularly) work during their prep periods is a SLAP IN THE FACE.
     
  21. geoteacher

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    I spent five years subbing, and after that experience, I don't begrudge subs a planning period or two. My experience is that students don't always behave the same way for the sub as they do for the regular teacher, so the sub may actually need the break. Subs may also use the prep periods to regroup, to write me a summary of what happened during the day, or to supervise students who come into the room during their study hall period. Although my district pays well for my area, we have such a substitute shortage that it would not be wise for us to do anything that would case subs to stop subbing in our district. Assigning subs to work all periods of the day might just drive some subs away.
     
  22. Mamacita

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    A 90-minute planning period? Holy cow! Mine was 40 minutes on the days I actually got one! 90 minutes! I'm blown away.
     
  23. a2z

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    This is common in schools with block scheduling. Planning period is usually just one of the regular class periods where you don't have a class.
     
  24. Mamacita

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    We had block scheduling, but planning period was a piece of a block.
     
  25. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Try to keep in mind that it is also common for you to have hall duty during that "long prep period." So now you are sitting in a hallway, without your computer, or no place to plug it in, usually positioned by a door, so hot air or frigid air comes in with every person coming through the door, you have no phone to use to reach out to parents, but you can grade papers and direct those students who are trying to ditch class to get back where they belong, or, using your trusty walkie talkie, you can call security. Usually this would be twice a week, and once a week you would lose lunch to be on lunch duty. Subs are pretty much expected to fill these gaps, with no increase in pay. If they are lucky enough to hit on a day without the bonus activities, I would never begrudge them the down time.
     
  26. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Cerek, you are right. I'm contracted this year, but I've subbed for the last five years, and the condescension on this site is overwhelming at times. On the other hand, it is wonderful that so many teachers are so perfect that anyone even making an attempt to help them fails by comparison. It must be fantastic to be so god-like at your profession.
     
  27. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Schools are so different. No hall duty. Full block for planning. Department heads get 2 blocks.


    So, what are you doing during the rest of the block, mamacita?
     
  28. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Really? You'd get annoyed if someone wanted to engage your students in critical thinking? This is where the problems lie and why anyone who is subbing is in a lose/lose situation. If they go beyond the lesson plans, they're doing something wrong. If they follow the lesson plans, they're not using any initiative or "teaching."
     
  29. dgpiaffeteach

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    I have some specific things I like to do with movies. Talking about certain scenes may taint those activities or their own opinions. We watch a movie in my one class about a topic that's considered controversial. I like them to watch the movie, write an opinion about it, and then and only then discuss it. I like to see their opinions first because often their opinions change or refocus based on the discussion we have. It's a really cool thing for them to think about. For other movies, too much stopping can set us back a day in our schedule, which is also problematic. This is especially true right now. We already lost a day this week for a snow day. I don't have an extra day of wiggle room at this point.

    I've never begrudged my subs for not taking "initiative" or not "teaching". Any sub who follows my plans and follows them well earns my vote to be asked back. As I mentioned in another post, very few subs are certified teachers in my district. The one certified teacher I had was the one who taught them an incorrect grammar concept. Thus, if I say "play movie from x minute to y minute" that is what I expect to happen. If I say pass out article and have students read silently, I expect that to happen. I may be using it as a reading comp piece, so if a sub were to take it upon themselves to "teach" the article, it could taint the results. Subs aren't privy to my extended plans. That's why I expect the plans I leave to be followed.
     
  30. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    No. If a sub follows my plans, he's doing his job.

    Count me in the group of people who doesn't want my sub to stray from my plans. There are many reasons for this preference of mine.

    First, I am familiar with the policies of my school and district. I know that my principal would be unhappy if he learned that certain hot-button topics were being discussed in my classroom, where things were uncontrolled, students weren't prepped about how to engage in appropriate discourse, and such topics do not pertain to the standards. Imagine my surprise when I return from a planned absence to see my warm-up question erased from the board and replaced with a question about the Ferguson situation, clearly written by an adult. Considering that my principal has given us directives about this very topic ("The Grand Jury in the Ferguson case in Missouri may render a decision in the very near future. The decision may be a topic of interest for parents and students. If questions arise in class, use professional judgement and provide students with factual information only. Please refrain from initiating class discussions regarding the decision."), you can see how this might be problematic. I know that my warm-up question asking students to write about the difference between nonne and -ne questions in Latin might not seem like it's all about the critical thinking and whatnot, but it was a valid question in accordance with our standards and the skills we're currently working on; the Ferguson question is neither of those things.

    Second, a sub who decides to take the initiative and stray from my plans might end up ruining my opportunity to teach my favorite topic. This has happened to me. A sub decided to nix my plans and teach Roman numerals instead. This is my favorite thing to teach, so I was really bummed that someone beat me to the punch. Furthermore, the sub was WRONG. I had to reteach everything and it was a huge hassle. I requested that the sub not return to my classroom.

    I want a sub who can do what I ask. Just as some here are accusing teachers of having god complexes (really?), I think that some subs are mistaken about their scope of practice.
     
  31. Nietzsche

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    Possibly the reason you have a sub problem at your school is the way the subs are treated. I have one high school that keeps calling me and I rarely sub for them. The days I have been there, it seems they have three subs to cover for five teachers who are out. They move you around 3-4 times during the day covering classes that I typically don't choose to sub.
     
  32. Nietzsche

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    I have not subbed for elementary school this year because of some of the hectic days I encountered. I would often have bus duty and then have to go back to the classroom and write a note explaining what happened during the day. It would take me longer than five minutes to describe what happened in each class and also explain discipline issues such as the boy who stuffed paper towels in the toilet and caused it to overflow into the hall, or why a girl accused several other girls of bullying her and asked to report it to the guidance counselor. I often found myself as the last teacher in the building.
     
  33. gr3teacher

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    I don't need subs to show initiative. I don't really want them to show initiative. I want them to do what I've asked them to do. The problem with a sub that shows initiative is that they will often end up butting into the lesson that I've planned for the next day. As an example, I will be missing science with my homeroom tomorrow because of a meeting, and a building sub will be filling in. I am having the sub show a video while the students fill out a graphic organizer. If a well-intentioned sub decides to take the initiative to stop the video periodically to engage students in conversation, they will inadvertently affect my pacing (the video is almost exactly the length of the science class, and stopping to ask kids questions will mean they won't get through it all), and may cover material I plan on covering when I get back... except without my knowledge of what I'm planning on doing with the video. I want my sub to do just what I've left done, even if it isn't necessarily very fun.
     
  34. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Gr3...:thumb: I had a sub once decide my kids were ready to move onto measuring to 1/4 inch when the lesson was measuring to the inch.(she saw me in the office after school and told me she thought they were 'ready')..needless to say I had a lot of reteaching to do. Subs simply don't know what I've taught, what my overall plan for scope and sequence is, learning abilities of my students...nor do they have the ultimate accountability for student understanding. And she wasn't invited back.:2cents:

    Again, I don't begrudge a sub for getting a break period. I don't consider subbing an easy job and I greatly appreciate those who do this job well.
     
  35. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    DrivingPigeon already addressed this correctly. Planning is a "break" from regular classroom activities. BUT, since you insist on picking nits......


    A substitute teacher does not have to justify getting the same schedule - including planning and lunch - as the teacher they have been called to substitute for. :D
     
  36. Cerek

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    It's always amazing to see how quickly "regular" teachers will jump on any circumstance or mention of a sub doing something NOT written down in precise detail for them.

    Only problem is that, in all the years I subbed, I only had 2-3 teachers that actually left instructions that precise and detailed. Most were hastily scribbled or a quick email and some were just written on a scrap piece of paper.

    In a case like that, it IS important - as a sub - to be able to take some time to figure out what the teacher actually wants done and to *gasp* take some initiative to ensure that actually happens.

    As far as stopping films, the times I've done this have been when the kids had worksheets with questions pertaining to the film that they were supposed to fill out as they watched the film.

    After the 2nd or 3rd question, the kids would either whisper among themselves or just "tune out" from the film. So I also "followed along' on a worksheet I had kept for myself (after reading it BEFORE class so I would know what questions to listen for in the film) and if we came to a point in the film that was on the worksheet, but the kids didn't get it, I would stop the film, remind them they MIGHT want to pay attention to this part and run it again.
     
  37. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Regular teachers vary drastically in skills as well. :p

    I've seen it first hand in a number of schools where I've worked.
     
  38. gr3teacher

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    Calling it a break of any sort is a misnomer. Teachers work during their planning. The job of being a teacher involves much more than being in the same room as a small herd of children. Many of the essentials of that job can happen only when children are out of the room.

    A sub certainly doesn't need to apologize for having a lunch and planning block, and a teacher/school don't need to apologize for expecting the sub to work during the time they are getting paid to work.
     
  39. Mamacita

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    I would never, ever begrudge a sub the exact same prep time the teacher had. I've subbed in schools that considered a sub to be some kind of servant, sent there to fill in every possible spot that needed to be filled without hiring another sub, and I never went back. A sub is a sub for a particular teacher, not a principal's patsy to be used wherever he/she doesn't want to pay someone a nickel more to be. My point about prep was that 90 minutes was a really long prep. At the secondary level, we were not allowed to grade papers even during study hall; those with hall duty had to be alert at all times, too. Our students did not have "specials" where the gen ed teacher had a chance to catch up or grade. I had seven academic classes every single day, one 40-minute prep which the principal constantly tried to take away, and 23 minutes for lunch. That was it. No study hall. Nothing but academic classes. I don't miss it.
     
  40. gr3teacher

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    I'm sorry to hear that the teachers you've subbed for leave such substandard (no pun intended, honest!) plans. My plans for a full-day include two pages of "class management basics," (basic PBIS system, general rules, fire drill info, etc), about five pages of actual plans, and then a one page "cliff notes" version of the plans in a chart. I'm probably something of an overplanner, but for every subject that I want the subs leading a lesson, I always try to leave several "check-up" questions that they can use if needed.
     
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