Substitute discipline

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by gypsy, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. gypsy

    gypsy Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2010

    I have read a number of different posts about classroom behavior when there is a sub. I understand all the ways a sub can start off on the right foot and from what I've read it sounds like most students will treat the day as if the regular classroom teacher is there. However, suppose there is that one student who refuses to focus or do the assignments because he or she would rather disrupt the lesson and disrespect the substitute. Is it really okay to send the child to the office (after three 'strikes' and an act of discipline) or is that heavily frowned upon? Is that something you can, or should, even ask the office staff or neighboring teacher about? I guess I'm preparing myself for the worst case scenario, because the last thing I want to do is waste time in a 'power struggle' when all I want is to have as much of a productive day as possible.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 10, 2010

    It might depend on the school climate somewhat. At my school it would be perfectly acceptable for a sub to send a student to the deans' office if that student chose to behave inappropriately and didn't fix his or her behavior when directed to. I wouldn't even expect a sub to give the student three different chances....The students know what's okay and what's not okay. Depending on the offense, I would hope that a sub would ship a student out immediately. For example, if the student swears at the sub, that should be an immediate dismissal to the office.

    Don't be afraid to ask neighboring teachers about what's appropriate at that particular school. They might prefer that you send students to another classroom for a cooling off or something.
     
  4. pjlmom

    pjlmom Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2010

    sending students out

    I sub for high school classes. I usually give three strikes. I tell them how I handle behavior up front in the beginning of class. First warning, I may move their seat. second warning, I fill the referral out and put it on their desk. If the bell rings and they still have not been given third warning, they can rip up the referral. Third warning, they are out the door visiting the dean. Make sure they made it to the deans office, because they my just cut. There have been times I have just sent them out. If they disrespect you, or threaten you or students send them out. Our classrooms have emergency buttons for help.
     
  5. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Sep 10, 2010

    At the elementary school level, I think it's most effective to introduce yourself a neighboring teacher before the start of the school day. Most of the time they'll offer to take disruptive students off your hands. Sometimes the absent teacher will leave you a note telling you who will take disruptive students. Once you send out the ringleader, the followers usually quiet down.
     
  6. Anne wmcosuvamu

    Anne wmcosuvamu Companion

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    Sep 13, 2010

    I sub at the secondary level. In the schools where I sub, I know the administration totally supports substitutes sending kids to the office for behavior. The regular teachers, however, I think are more expected to have a handle on things. :lol: I've sent very few kids to the office (2 -- and one of those was when I subbed in the ISS room on a Friday --- aaaaahh!), but I've had APs drop by frequently just to check on things. They always say, "Call me if you have any problems!"
     
  7. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Sep 28, 2010

    I agree it would be helpful to know the circumstances of your work situation (grade level, suburban, etc.). In my 8 years of subbing, I think I've sent just one kid to the office. In my original orientation, a principal from one of the schools came and talked to us, and told us that HE (when he first started in education, as a sub) never sent a kid to the office... reasoning that as a teacher, you should be able to handle it.

    I do not agree with that... and I think sending a kid to the office is a legitimate option, even if I don't personally do it (one time in 8 years).
     
  8. waffles

    waffles Companion

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    Sep 29, 2010

    I'm quick to send people out. Part of that is because when I first went to the middle and high schools I was told in the office to just send the kids over if they have me any sort of trouble and they'd take care of it.

    Seriously, once one kid is sent out everyone else magically behaves. It's amazing.
     
  9. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Sep 29, 2010

    At our school, I would prefer that the child be sent to another room or SPED teacher. My teammates are awesome, and are willing to take on any behavior problems. They know who my frequent offenders are, so they wouldn't be too surprised if the sub asked for them to take a time out in their room.

    I have one student this year that is easily set off and has frequent meltdowns, and I leave a specific course of action for how to deal with him, along with the SPED teacher's extension in case he needs to be removed from the room.
     
  10. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Sep 29, 2010

    While it does depend on the school and/or district, I think it is perfectly acceptable to send a kid to the office if you feel it is necessary. I've done this twice (well, actually 3 times, but the third time the P came to the room and I told him I was having trouble with 3 students, so he took the main instigator with him).

    The first time I sent a kid out, it was a student I not only know, but happen to live near. I had subbed in his classroom before and knew he could either be great or he could go out of his way to disrupt the class - depending on his mood. He loved attention and would do whatever he needed to get it. On this day, he came in from PE still wearing his gym shorts. While the class was settling in their seats and I was taking attendance, he stood up, put one leg up in his seat and began scratching himself for everyone to see. I told him to sit down and he yelled "But I'm ITCHING MAN" and began scratching himself more vigorously. I just sent him straight to the office because it was obvious there would be no getting through to him that day.

    The second time, I actually felt a little sorry for the kid. There was one group of student that had 4 kids that were horrible together. Two ringleaders and two wannabe followers. They were difficult for even the regular teachers to deal with. I had them last period of the day. They came in and one of the wannabe's got a case of the giggles. He kept looking at his chosen ringleader and giggling and snickering as I was trying to take role and give the class their instructions. I told him to settle down twice. He would just look at his leader and start giggling even more. Finally, I said "Ok, go to the office until you can calm yourself down". I only meant to give the kid a short "timeout". Just remove him from the situation for a few minutes until he could stop laughing. Unfortunately, the P was having an especially bad day (for several reasons) and this kid coming in the office was the final straw. The boy came back to class and told me he got 2 days of ISS for misbehaving. I told him I'm sorry that happened, but if he had stopped giggling when I told him to, it would never have come up.

    I always worried the P's would think I was unable to handle the class as well if I sent kids to the office, but that has never been an issue. Like other posters said, all the principals I've worked with have said up front "If you have ANY trouble with the kids, send them to me and I'll take care of it." I don't abuse the privilege, but I take advantage of it when necessary.
     
  11. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Sep 29, 2010


    Just curious....did the principal ask you in front of the class, or was it a private convo in a corner? I always hear that the middle schoolers hate being made an example in front of their peers, yet the troublemakers always want to stand out. I'm just wondering if it appeared to the kids like the Principal already knew what was going on, or if it was a bigger thing.
     
  12. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Sep 29, 2010

    This was at our alternative school. There were only 6 kids in the class total and 3 of them were in a constant verbal battle (2 vs 1), so there really wasn't an issue of confronting them in front of their peers.

    The class was supposed to be taking a test and I was becoming especially frustrated with the 2, because I had had both of them in my class before (ironically, 1 was the leader Giggle Boy was trying to impress and the other was the one with the uncontrollable urge to scratch). I kept telling all 3 of them there could be NO TALKING because they were supposed to be taking a test. The 2 did actually stop a couple of times, but the 1 (instigator) always had to make just one more comment to get it started again. I had the door open to the hallway and was standing there when I saw the counselor and P both in the hall. I motioned for the counselor, who came to the door and asked if everything was alright. I said "No, not really. This group is supposed to be taking a test and I can NOT get these three to stop talking back and forth. She told them to settle down, but the instigator kept on making comments, so she got the P, he came to the door, pointed at the boy and said "Get all of your books and come with me". Once he left the room, the rest of the kids were fine - including the 2.

    At the end of class, I told all the boys (yes, the class was all boys) I wanted their attention for a minute. I told the 3 kids that had been quiet the whole time that I appreciated them doing that. I also said "You three don't know me very well, but these 2 do". I then looked at the 2 and said "Haven't I always treated both of you with respect every time you were in my class". They both looked at their shoes and agreed I had. I said "I expect you to treat me with that same respect. I understand the other guy was taunting you two, but you two know me and you know I expect you to act better than that in my class". I also told them the other kids looked up to them and looked to them for how to act in class. I reminded them they needed to be good models for their peers.

    The boys apologized and I told them everything was cool. I understand how hard it is to ignore someone who is bound and determined to get a rise out of them and the other boy just would NOT let up on them. I wasn't angry or upset with them, I was just disappointed in how they reacted. Even though these are "rough kids", I do think they took at least some of the message to heart. Respect is a HUGE issue with the students at that school because most of them feel they have been DIS-respected all or most of their lives. I just reminded them I had always treated them with respect before and would continue to do that, but they had to do the same for me.
     
  13. Subber

    Subber Companion

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    Oct 7, 2010

    In my experience, it's considered extra load of the school and so unless it is really impossible to handle. I wouldn't send the kids to office anymore. But I know that it's easier said than one. I got lucky that one district where I sub, only one HS calls me. That district, a small one, is not well run. A very few kids who misbehave in elementary are usually hard to manage - call me prejudiced but all of us know that a lot have to do with their way of life in their home environment - and so I am glad that I got more calls by the HS.
     
  14. Subber

    Subber Companion

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    Oct 11, 2010

    Some schools said that for a reason. There are kids with some special condition but we subs are not told in detail. For example, some kids just can't cope with change (of someone other than their teacher). There was one such kid last year in a middle school grade. Even though they're middle schoolers, I decided that instead of forcing them (the one who are not in their assigned seats) to sit in their assigned seat, I told the class that I have drawn a diagram of the seating in this room and that as I called their names, I'd be writing their names (or the number that appear next to their names on the roster given to me) for the seat they are sitting in. I raised my paper and showed to the class. A few kids moved. But there was this one kid, sitting in a chair that's not a part of a seat. He just would not move even after I finished taking the attendance. On top of that, he started getting loud, totally ignoring my warning. I had to call the office. When they sent someone, it seemed to me that he was happy that he'd be going to the office while the lady was quite gentle with him.

    I had him again this year. he improved quite a bit but didn't last the whole period and had to be sent to a teacher next door.

    That reminds me about an experience last academic year. It was in the last period of at a middle school. Sixth graders and mostly girls. A couple of girls would just not remove their ipod with one putting it on the speaker while there were a few wanting to act up like them. Finally, I had to make them stand just outside the room while the office is ending someone. They're just too rowdy to be kept inside the room since they're trying to recruit the class, even saying things like music of for everybody, etc. As I put them outside, I realized that it was pretty cold outside compared to just over an hour ago, outside,. As soon as I closed the door, I told the class, "It's cold outside, how smart is that (to misbehave)?" All the would-be trouble makers girls just quit whatever they're planning to do.

    It wasn't in the middle of winter but I sure was glad that it was a cold enough to not be comfortable to be standing outside that day since no one was wearing the right kinds of clothes for it since it wasn't expected to become cold that way.


    I did feel sorry for the girls (about the cold) but aside from these girls deserving to be outside the class, I also knew that if I let them in, I'd not be able to control the other would-be trouble makers.
     
  15. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Oct 11, 2010



    :yeahthat: I don't feel as much like they are thinking I can't handle anymore like I did at the first yr of subbing. This is my 4th yr btw!!
     
  16. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Oct 11, 2010

    It's rare that I have to send anyone out. Maybe 4 times in my 5 years of subbing in predominately inner-city schools that have a hard time keeping subs; and each time has been very recently. When a child (thankfully he was a small Kindergartener because I'm very small myself) is trying to attack his classmates and I have to hold him with one hand, and take the book he's trying to throw and stop him from jumping on his classmates, he needs to go.

    Or the time the 4th grader, which is as big as me, lunged at me as if he were going to attack me. Yep, he needed to go as well.

    The other 2 boys were sent out at the very end of the day.They weren't violent, but they were extremely difficult and I had suffered with them more than enough. All these kids were extremely difficult for their regular teachers as well.

    As a sub, you don't know what you're dealing with, what sets them off, how violent they can be, what's their story etc. They don't know or trust you...so it's very very difficult and can be an unsafe job at times.

    I don't recommend suffering with a defiant student who is getting out of control if none of your interventions are working, and you haven't been given a warning or instructions on how to handle that particular student. Some teachers give a heads up, most don't. And I think they all should.

    When I had my own classroom, even if I had a meeting for just 2 hours, I would remove my most difficult (2) students that are beyond "challenging" and would give anybody complete misery and grief. I didn't want a sub to suffer through that type of behavior.
     

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