Substitutes and planning time

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

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  1. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Oct 21, 2014

    Many of our subs will go to the office during the teacher's prep time to see if there is another class where they can help out. This gesture goes a long way, but is far from expected. Just as my prep/plan time is mine to do with as I wish, I wouldn't tell my sub how they should fill that time.
     
  2. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    I would leave things for a sub to do. I teach high school and have 90 minutes of planning every day. Further, I teach honors/AP juniors, and I usually give them reading or writing or practice tests to do while I have a sub. They generally only require minimal supervision. Our school has subject area specific subs. If I know him, I will ask him to grade multiple choice quizzes and independent reading journals. If it's a random sub, I won't leave anything.
     
  3. P Chang

    P Chang Companion

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    I'm somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to completing certain tasks and would much rather do them myself than have someone else do them the way they *think* it should be done and then me having to redo what they initially did. So, filing or any other "busy" work will certainly not be left by me for anyone else to do.

    I hope to start substitute teaching soon, and if a teacher needs me to do something for him or her along those lines, I probably would not have a problem with it depending on what it is for.

    For example, if it is something they need done for the following day (obviously they're not at school to do it themselves), then I will gladly help out so they are stressed the next morning trying to get it done. But if it's something that does not have a time restriction as to when it needs to be completed, I'd wonder why they think I'm suddenly their secretary.

    As for what I'd like to do during a free period, or planning period, or whatever, I'd ask a teacher in a nearby classroom if I could observe his or her class, as that is an educational experience that would benefit me, the teachers I sub for, and the students in those future classes.
     
  4. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    Teachers have never left me anything to do during planning time. If they did, I would do my best to do it, but honestly, it's nice to have the time to snack, read, or just relax. Subbing is not without its stresses and even with good plans, there's an element of flying by the seat of our pants because we don't know the kids. Thirty minutes to decompress is often much needed. I also often use the break times to familiarize myself with the material I'm supposed be teaching the rest of the day and how it's been taught so far. Even if the teacher leaves review material of some sort, I'm going to get questions about it and I like to be able to actually provide a helpful answer. Some stuff is pretty straight forward, of course, but when you might be surprised how much you lose of certain subjects when you're not teaching it all the time.
     
  5. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    WOW, I'm really surprised by the responses! Sometimes I have over an hour of planning time, so you betcha I leave stuff for my sub to do. At my school we know our subs well-most of them are retired teachers. I'm out at least a dozen times this year for meetings, workshops, etc., and I have the same sub scheduled for every absence. She asks me to leave her things to do, otherwise she gets bored. In fact, when she's subbing for other teachers, and they don't leave her things to do, she'll pop into other classrooms and ask if teachers have anything she can do to keep busy.

    The last time she subbed for me I had her take down some artwork from the hallway, and laminate and cut out a math game.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 21, 2014

    I sold my prep. Anyone who subs for me doesn't get time to decompress, have a snack, or read a book.
     
  7. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Oct 21, 2014

    You mean you get extra money to not have a planning period? If so, how much?
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    That's correct. It's an additional 20% of my salary or so.
     
  9. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Perhaps I skipped over it by accident, but were there any on the West Coast that responded? I'm noticing that most of the East Coast or at least Eastern side has experienced the opposite of what I and a couple others have experienced. Perhaps it's nothing, but being a math person, I love looking at trends.

    Doh! Sorry. I'm basically pulling 80% of my week in the classroom, 19% packing and cleaning in a different city to prepare to move, and the other 1% sleeping...should've seen that! :lol::dizzy:
     
  10. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    And that would be perfectly fine. I'm just pointing out that subs are not necessarily slacking off, even if stuff isn't left for them to do. Like I said, most days I'm usually flipping through textbooks and/or workbooks and making sure that I understand the material that I'm responsible for and have some idea what kind of knowledge the students already have. If a teacher left stuff for me, I would certainly do my best to do it. It's just never happened. So I happily enjoy some pretzels while cramming for a lesson in 5th grade math. :)

    I've also never subbed for a teacher who has really had that much planning time though so maybe that's part of it? I also do a lot of my subbing at a program where the staff are required to eat with the students (emotional and behavioral disturbances) so lunch isn't free time.
     
  11. greendream

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    An extra 20%? Hmmm. I think I'd jump on that too. Sorry to go off-topic, but I had never heard of this before.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It's fairly common in my district, where the schools are overcrowded and there is a teacher shortage.
     
  13. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Oct 21, 2014

    I never subbed in an elementary school so in the HS and Middle schools I guess I only had certain periods off such as preps and a lunch. In those schools subs only had students for 5 periods (out of an 8-9 period day). You were paid $100 or $20 a period. Anything over 5 class periods you got $20 more for each extra class (I got $20 extra for doing lunch duty during a prep periods a few times that's the only reason I knew).If they paid extra for subs working during planning periods I have no idea.
     
  14. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    So after looking through my school handbook, I saw that teachers are expected to provide work for a sub during planning periods of longer than a half hour, so at least I know I'm not crazy there.

    Apparently the problem yesterday is that my sub had minimal-at-best skills in English and couldn't understand what I left for her. From what my colleagues told me, yesterday was a lot of pantomiming and students reading the sub plans and figuring out what I wanted to have done. Oh well, luck of the draw.
     
  15. P Chang

    P Chang Companion

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    Oct 21, 2014

    My opinion, that I wrote about earlier, dealt with the kind of work left for a sub.

    But, more importantly, how is it that a teacher cannot speak English well enough to read a lesson plan? WTF is happening to the education system in America? :eek:hmy:
     
  16. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I'm not concerned about somebody's ability to take down work and put up new work. I'm not going to say there's no chance I'd have to redo it, but it's difficult to imagine.

    We get all sorts of subs. I've had some fabulous subs. When my dad passed in September, I put the job into the system and ended up with the best sub I've ever had. Perhaps not coincidentally... she is no longer available as a sub, because the district offered her a teaching job. On the other end of the spectrum, this is the third time I've had a sub with limited English skills, and there was one fun day where I had a sub who was completely illiterate. My teammate had a sub two years ago that did not interact with the children at all. She sat in the corner drinking coffee and reading the newspaper. When the noise got too unbearable for my kids to handle, I invited her kids into my class and asked the office to just send the sub home.
     
  17. Ms.Blank

    Ms.Blank Companion

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    Yep, I'm in CA.
     
  18. Ms.Blank

    Ms.Blank Companion

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    This is interesting to me...I'm not sure of the requirements in your state, but I'd assume there is a basic skills test of some kind and some college units...I wonder why the sub didn't have the skill set to perform the job correctly? :dizzy:
     
  19. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oct 21, 2014

    When I subbed, we were paid for 6 hours a day. If we subbed for a different class during the teacher's planning period, we were compensated for it. So technically subs would be working for free if they were expected to do something. If I collected a multiple choice/fill in the blank assignment, I'd grade it for them. If it was open ended, I left it.

    I also, as people previously mentioned, only studied the lesson plans up until a break. I'd go over the rest of them at the break. So I was usually busy prepping myself. Or I was writing notes to the teacher. I always left a very detailed note, often multiple pages. I'd include who struggled with a concept, who excelled, etc...
     
  20. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    We do have minimum requirements for college credits, but the DC area has a lot of foreign-born citizens... with college credits from foreign countries. A lot of substitutes have college degrees from foreign countries, but can't actually get jobs with them here, so they end up in our sub system. I don't doubt that my sub yesterday was very intelligent and educated, but that doesn't help much if you don't speak the same language as the children you're working with.
     
  21. Nietzsche

    Nietzsche Companion

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    Oct 21, 2014

    As a sub I often get calls to cover other classes during prep periods. If there are tests to correct, I will correct them. There are times I have made up an answer key to correct the tests. If the test have essays or short answer, I will not correct them.

    I recently spent my prep period reviewing Supreme Court cases to teach an AP Government class.

    If I have a prep period early in the day, I will use it to prepare for my classes for the remainder of the day. I had a comment today in a 10th grade English class that they learned more today than they had in the past couple weeks.

    If I had a teacher leave busy work with no explanation, I would probably do it, but they would get crossed off my list for future sub jobs.
     
  22. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I don't leave things for my subs to do. That 1/2 hour planning period is for them to get their bearings for the rest of the day. I had one sub a few years ago that's a good family friend of mine. She was always eager to do more and worked very quickly and efficiently so I would leave her tasks like laminating - she was super eager to help out.
     
  23. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I don't leave work for my subs. I don't feel comfortable telling someone else to make my copies or hang up things for my classroom. I think subs may often need that time to get ready for the rest of the day/get materials organized, or leave notes to the teacher.
     
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