Substitutes and planning time

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by gr3teacher, Oct 20, 2014.

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  1. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    When you have a substitute, do you leave stuff for them to do during your planning time? I always leave fairly mundane stuff (changing bulletin boards, stuffing folders, etc). Typically, it's all stuff that wouldn't actually take my whole planning time, so the sub would still have time to use the bathroom, take a break, etc.

    Today, I found out that my sub did absolutely nothing during my planning time. I had left probably thirty minutes worth of work for an hour long planning time, so they would have still gotten thirty minutes off (while being paid still, mind you). I'm pretty annoyed by that, because it's stuff that I'm going to have to do on my own time now (since I have actual planning to do during my regular planning time). I've had a couple people tell me I shouldn't be upset though, because the sub shouldn't have to do anything during my planning time unless they want to.

    The way I see it though... because I lose an hour of sick time for my planning time, and my sub still gets paid for that hour, then I should expect them to do work during that time if I leave work to do and explicit directions. From my perspective, I paid her for that hour. Is that really unreasonable? It's not like I asked her to work during my lunch time or anything, and I left plenty of "personal needs" time.

    Granted, I'm annoyed at the sub anyway, because apparently one of my teammates had to take over my class for a half hour because she was just sitting in the back praying rather than teaching. But still... I don't think asking somebody to work during my paid planning time is unreasonable.
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Yes, I leave stuff for that time, and when I was a sub, I expected to be left something to do, or I would actively seek out someone else to help unless I knew of something I could proactively help out with.

    As the regular classroom teachers, we have built in times specifically for our lunch and break(s) (whether we actually eat lunch or take a break during those times is a different story ;)), and those are the same time subs get. They should be using the prep time as time to help you prep materials or whatever you chose to leave behind, and if not, I don't think they are doing their job.
     
  4. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Why would I leave my personal classroom tasks for the sub to compete during their break? I have NEVER heard of any teacher doing this to a sub. Personally, I find this to be very rude and presumptive on your part.

    You're upset that the sub didn't complete your personal classroom tasks for you when their only responsibility is to watch your kids - not file your papers and stuff your folders because you didn't come to work that day?
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    No....I don't leave my stuff for a sub to do. I don't want them doing my BBs, correcting papers, etc...they won't do it how I'd do it anyway... I'd rather they go get a cup of coffee, check in at the office and get themselves ready for when the kids get back.
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    It's not a break. It's planning time. They get a lunch break, and I don't leave work for that time. They get an hour planning time.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Subs don't plan. Let it go.
     
  8. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I'm with you. I get a sub because I need someone to cover my classes, not complete my busy work. Plus, subs get pretty crap pay. I don't feel the need to begrudge them the one extra period they're getting paid for that I'm losing in sick leave. If I were there, I'd have made nearly 3x what they did that day.
     
  9. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I'm not sure which of the two posts this was directed two, but
    a) It technically is not a break. It's a plan period. Outside of the plan period, there has to be at least one or two other breaks and a lunch - those are the breaks.
    b) I have found it common practice among 100% of the sub jobs that I have had (4 years worth) and in the school I am teaching in right now that subs use the plan periods to either:
    --Help another teacher in another classroom (extra body to help out)
    --Make copies/administrative tasks that aren't related to preparing the curriculum

    I think in most districts, subs are expected to do more than just "watch the kids".
     
  10. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Exactly. I would say more but I honestly can't believe some of the things I read on here.
     
  11. Pashtun

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    my planning time, which is 30 minutes before school starts is used for planning, so no, the sub cannot plan anything for my class.
     
  12. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    If so, that should be the school/district assigning those extra tasks. It shouldn't be personal work for the teacher.
     
  13. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    Thinking back, quite honestly, during the five years I subbed, I can't remember a teacher ever leaving me work to complete during a planning period. I did, however, frequently use the time to grade any 'routine' work so that the teacher didn't come back to a pile of busy work. Now I really don't leave work for the planning period because the sub may be pulled in and asked to sub for another class during my planning period - and in my district it just wouldn't be considered acceptable.
     
  14. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I'm wondering if this might be a regional thing. I'm curious, and might have to ask around to some of my colleagues and friends in the area, to see what their experience is. I'm just shocked to see the polar opposite (i.e. black to my white) of what I have experienced every single time.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I have never left this sort of work for a sub. It's just not part of my school culture. I can see how it might be appropriate at other schools, though.
     
  16. Go Blue!

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    But, the teacher is not using the sub to plan their lessons, he is using the sub to do his classroom tasks. Not to mention, the sub should not be planning for the teacher.

    To me, it's like the people who ask you to babysit and then expect you to cook, clean and wash their clothes since you're there.
     
  17. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I'm wondering this too... my first principal would actually demand that substitutes go to the library and shelve books if they weren't eating or working with kids, and during my time as a substitute, elementary classroom teachers always left basic "take this off the board, put this on the board" type work. My colleagues and I always do the same (usually with a note to ask Mr/Ms So-and-So if they have any extra work to do)... and the idea of a substitute just not doing it seemed foreign. Maybe it's not that unusual though.
     
  18. agdamity

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    The only time I ever leave something during planning is if I know beforehand the sub I'm having is the lady who retired from teaching my grade level at my school. She is amazing, and I know she would rather have something to do because she tells us to leave her stuff. Otherwise, no, I do not leave work.
     
  19. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    This is accurate to what happens here. There's no true "planning" taking place, and I agree, the sub should not be planning. It's all "prep" work of sorts, whether copying, sharpening pencils, even labeling books.

    Maybe I'm just a workaholic, or have grown up with this kind of culture in this region, but I can't imagine not doing anything during the planning time!
     
  20. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    If my sub works during my prep time s/he gets paid for that additional hour. The daily rate is just for working my schedule.
     
  21. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I see your two examples as completely different. I've absolutely seen substitutes asked by the SCHOOL to do something during the planning period. Ours often work as hall monitors, fill out tardy passes, etc.

    That's completely different to me than ME leaving instructions for a sub to clean my room, change my boards, make my copies, etc. That feels exactly like the image Go Blue used above. And I would never do it.
     
  22. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    The second example is literally exactly what I left.
     
  23. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    And the second example is the one that feels off to me. I suppose it's just the different ways that subs are viewed.
     
  24. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm extremely thankful for subs who follow my plans for student contact time, manage my kids in a positive manner, leave me notes and the room is left organized as I left it. Subs don't make enough money to do my clerical, administrative tasks.
     
  25. 2ndTimeAround

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    I subbed for several years before getting my own room. Except when I was doing a long-term job, I was never given tasks to do during my planning time. With the exception of prepping for when the students got back. For example, I might have to cut out teddy bears while the kids are at music so they can have them for a project when they returned. Never, never, never was I asked to do things like bulletin boards. The idea is silly to me.

    I teach high school. It is assumed that the subs are there during your class periods only. If you have duty during your planning period, they'll cover it. Otherwise they are available to cover a different teacher's room if needed.
     
  26. Miz_Jay

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    As a sub, I have always used a teacher's planning time, no matter when it falls during the day to prepare for the rest of the day. As weird as it sounds in the morning, I only look at the lesson plans up to the first break whether that be for specials or for lunch. At that break, I look at the plans for the rest of the day and prepare for that.

    When that's finished, I start composing my sub note since at most of the schools I sub in, there are still students in the room at the end of contract time and I don't have the time nor the desire to write a full note then.

    My district also has SafeSchools training that subs are required to complete. We're supposed to do that during planning time.

    With the exception of one teacher, I've never had any teacher I've subbed for leave me busy work to do during the day.
     
  27. YoungTeacherGuy

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    I agree wholeheartedly with this!!! :2cents:
     
  28. Jerseygirlteach

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    It has never occurred to me to leave work for my sub during my prep. When I used to sub, no teacher ever left me work to do during prep time either. I have, however, been pulled for extra work by the admin because one of the schools I subbed for didn't want subs having a free period.
     
  29. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Out of curiosity, where do you live? (even extremely generic region i.e. southwest US)
     
  30. melnm

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    I was never asked to do any extra teacher work when I subbed years ago and I wouldn't think to leave my work for a sub to do. That is my job, not theirs. They are there to teach the lessons I leave for them and make the day run as smoothly as possible for my students while I am out.
     
  31. Danny'sNanny

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    I leave it as a request- "if you have time during specials I'd love if you could do x and y." Usually they do, sometimes they don't. But, for example, if I'm out on a Friday the sub gets 1.5 hours of specials. I really need homework folders unstuffed and sorted so my para (that I get for 20-30) min, can fill them for the next week. If the sub doesn't unstuff the folders, they don't get stuffed- and I have NO prep time on Mondays, so no chance to do it myself. I don't think it's unreasonable at all to ask a sub to spend 15 min out of 90 on basic essential tasks!
     
  32. Peregrin5

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    I've never asked a sub to do work during my planning. I've never even thought of it. During my planning I usually like to sit around, eat, and take a much needed break anyway. I wouldn't want to deprive my sub of that.
     
  33. Ms.Blank

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    As a sub, I LOVE it when teachers leave me stuff to do...I hate just sitting doing nothing! Usually teachers will leave me photocopying to do...that seems to be the most popular thing to leave (probably because it is so easy to do, plus it is usually needed). Now, I notice people are talking about stuff that is left during the planning period. Maybe it's just my district, but I am supposed to be there a half hour early (I use this to go over the plans for the day) and I stay a half hour after school gets out. This last half hour is the one that teachers expect me to get their tasks done. Never have I been expected to do tasks on my breaks. I'm not sure when the official planning time is for elementary, but when I sub middle schools, I always get a planning period, and teachers just tell me to take a break! I can get the tasks done that they leave me after school.

    In my district, all schools have Wednesday minimum days (get out at 12:30), but if I sub the whole day, I am still expected to stay until 3, since I am getting paid until then. I REALLY don't like when teachers don't leave me things to do...I'm uncomfortable with just sitting for two and a half hours getting paid. I understand that I don't get paid much to begin with, but I just don't feel right sitting and reading a book, playing on my phone, etc., like I know some subs do (I've talked to other subs in the lounge...it seems my mindset isn't necessarily shared by all).
     
  34. jojo808

    jojo808 Comrade

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    Let it go.

    I have left work for subs a few times: "need to make copies for period 6" or "If you feel like it, can you make copies of X?" I do not expect them to do any more that that.

    I am curious though, why was the sub praying and someone had to cover for her? Was it scheduled ahead of time? I can understand if she is Muslim, but that would only take 5-10 minutes.
     
  35. YoungTeacherGuy

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    I would never consider asking a sub to make copies, grade papers, or do any other administrative tasks. Like someone else mentioned, though--maybe it's a regional thing. I've most definitely never heard of it happening in my district, though.

    Side note: I have already subbed FIVE full days this year due to a sub shortage (they've either cancelled at the last minute or the vacancy was never filled).
     
  36. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    No, it wasn't arranged. I share a wall with one of my teammates who heard loud noise and came and checked what was happening. She left her class with an IA, and took over for my own.
     
  37. Jerseygirlteach

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    My name kinda gives it away. ;) I'm in NJ. :)
     
  38. TeacherNY

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    Haha I've been asked where I lived also so I put it in my info eventually :rolleyes:

    I never had anything to do during plan time when I subbed. I straightened up papers or things in the room but that only took 2-3 minutes.
     
  39. TeacherNY

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    You don't have to sit and do nothing. Bring books/magazines to the teacher's lounge! I never subbed without a book in my bag. I would have gone nuts.
     
  40. greendream

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    I'd put it in the category of unreasonable. I have never heard of teachers leaving stuff for subs to do during planning, and the fact that you seem to be holding a grudge about it is kind of strange to me.
     
  41. MissCeliaB

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    When we were on a block schedule, subs were expected to report to the office for additional duties during planning time. Now that we only get 52 minutes, I will leave a few things for a sub to do (mostly papers to staple, etc.) with the clear indication that they are only to do them if they have time and want to, as I know things can come up during a school day. Our subs get 30 minutes for lunch, as we do, and are expected to take 30 minutes during our planning time as a break, and work the rest of the day.
     
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