Substitutes are teacher too!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Anonymousteach, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Anonymousteach

    Anonymousteach Companion

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    Feb 12, 2012

    I'm sorry if this seems like I am rambling, but I really need to get this thing off my chest.

    Do any other subs out here find it insulting when people tell you, "you're just a sub?" While I love my job, I really get tired of the automatic assumption that we are a subsitute teacher, therefore, we are incompetent idiots. I am going to school for teacher certification, and within the next year or so I will be a certified teacher, so when people say that, I find it insulting! Whenever we try to do something to help the kids, we get criticized for thinking we are actually teachers! Just because we're "just subs" doesn't mean we don't care about the kids or want to help out as much as the teachers do!

    As a substitute, I do the best I can to follow the lesson plans, keep the students in line, and at the end of the day, I email sub reports to the teachers I cover for. In addition, I even try to go to school events on evenings and weekends if it works into my schedule, yet I still get told to stop thinking I am actually a teacher, and that "you're just a sub."

    Sorry for the rant, like I said, this really upsets me, and I just want to get this out of my system. Do any other subs run into this feeling too? Am I overstepping my boundaries as a sub? I would really be interested to hear what others have to say.

    Like I said, I really do love my job, but I get tired of people who think all subs are stupid. I really can't wait to be a ceritified teacher and actually receive some respect.
     
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  3. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    When I did sub, I felt respected in the schools I subbed at. I do know, however, that some older kids (MS & HS) perceived me as just a sub, and not a teacher. I was fortunate to have pretty good subbing experiences and feel appreciated.
     
  4. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    I can completely understand your view point. I have seen that there are subs out there who literally are just a warm body to have in the room. Those are people who are 'just subs'. They do the bare minimum to get paid. All professions have people like that unfortunately.

    It sounds like you are of the second sort of substitutes. Those who care and are just as much teachers as everyone else who is working at the school. Good job to you for making sure that you make a difference to those kids while you are there!
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Feb 12, 2012

    When I subbed, I was treated well by the teachers in the schools where I worked. I was young, but I did have my teaching certification Nobody ever referred to me as "just a sub". I think that how you are treated varies with where you are, too. Some places are just nicer than others.

    Now, we do have our share of "incompetent idiots", too. Some college students who are majoring in education, and some are in other fields. Some have degrees in education, and some don't. No matter what, there are still some who are very little more than a warm body in the room.
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Most students usually just look at subs as "just a sub". Some of them think that we're doing it for free; most of them are surprised to find out that we must have a 4 year degree (at least in this area). And are definitely surprised to hear if you have a teaching credential. My explanation often was: I'm a teacher, I'm just not your regular teacher.

    Teachers usually act different if they know you are in a teaching credential program, or you already got your papers.
    But I know their - often justifiable - attitude comes from the fact that a lot of subs are doing it until they get something better, and just want to do the minimum.

    But let me confess: I subbed about 1 day / week for a few months early in my teaching credential program, before I student taught. It was middle school, and my first time in front of students. I was HORRIBLE. After my student teaching (and receiving my cred.) I was liked everywhere, because I WAS much better.
     
  7. Anonymousteach

    Anonymousteach Companion

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    Thanks for the responses so far! I think that my state should join others in requiring substitutes to be either certified teachers or enrolled in a teacher ed. program.
     
  8. Anonymousteach

    Anonymousteach Companion

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    Feb 12, 2012

    By the way my headline should say "teachers" instead of "teacher."
     
  9. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Feb 12, 2012

    It's the subtle things that get to me nowadays. The asking "who are you today?" Well...I'm me, but I'm covering for X. Or completely ignoring me instead of just a simple smile and hello that you would extend to any stranger. There is one school where I work where the teachers really could use some courtesy lessons.

    Generally, I find that most teachers ask who I'm there for, tell me who they are or where to find them and ask if I need anyting. Some will tell me if the class has a reputation of being really good or having some problems and I've had some teachers tell me if I need to send anyone out of the room for a while, I can send the student to his/her room.

    The "just a sub" thing tends to come from students. With older kids I assure them that I am a "real teacher" have worked in every grade and know their tricks. Sometimes the younger kids truly need an explanation about what a substitute teacher is. I tell them that my job is the same as their regular teacher, except that I travel to all the schools and work in all the grades. They find that impressive. :)

    Who is it that you're getting this negative feedback from? Admin? Other teachers? Parents? Kids?
     
  10. Anonymousteach

    Anonymousteach Companion

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    Yes, I agree some teachers need courtesy lessons. It's not just the kids that need to be taught respect....


    It's mostly coming from the kids. I work mostly with high schoolers, and it came to my attention that some kid posted a comment online about how the subs at our school seriously think they're teachers. I know I shouldn't take it personally, but it still hurts me a little bit because I have a good rapport with these kids (Or at least I thought I did... :()
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I'll ask substitutes, "Who are you today?" I was asked that daily as a sub and never thought it to be rude for a moment.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Some of my school's BEST subs would be eliminated by such a requirement. :(


    ...that's a running joke with one of our most popular subs. She's in our school so much, it's like she's almost a full time staff member. In fact, she's the ONLY one I've heard anyone say that to...it's not meant to be rude...we're just glad to see her, want to know where she's covering for the day, if we'll overlap for lunch. In fact some days I'll see her in the hallway and she'll say "I'm you on Thursday!":D
     
  13. Anonymousteach

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    I don't find that insulting either, I actually see that as a friendly gesture. But some teachers are rather disrespectful to subs...I've had teachers roll their eyes at me just for walking into the room, or then there was one teacher who just gave me the silent treatment for no reason.
     
  14. Anonymousteach

    Anonymousteach Companion

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    On second thought, I guess an Associate's Degree minimum wouldn't be bad either.
     
  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I always thought this was funny, and never took it that it meant any harm.
    It actually emphasizes the point that subs must be able to adapt to any situation and content area. You have to act different with a first grade class, than with 8th grade or with high school.
    I think it's actually respectful, because it implies that I am the other teacher today: an actual teacher, capable of handling everything, just like they would be.
     
  16. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    I don't find the "who are you today" rude, so much as I find it perhaps a little bit patronizing, as if I'm playacting at being someone else. I'm not a child playing a game. I'm an adult doing a job.
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Well, please know that the majority of people who ask that are not patronizing you. Try to not look into that too deeply. :)
     
  18. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    Same thing here. We have a sub who's in for us so much we consider her the department sub and she has everything but a mailbox and a workroom key. It's just an easy way to start a conversation no condescension. Heck, I like her better than some of the teachers she subs for....

    While, I understand where you're coming from, in our state technically many of the subs aren't "real" teachers per say. They aren't certified to teach in any area and aren't even required to have a four year degree (there's a pay rate tied to education level. So much for hs diploma, so much for college diploma, so much for college diploma plus teacher certification). Plus, they're only there for one day as... placeholders. But I've had some non-certified subs who did an amazing job and some certified subs who were certified nuts.

    But anyway, ignore anyone who doesn't consider you a "real" teacher. They're probably the same ones who think "real" teachers are glorified babysitters...
     
  19. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 12, 2012

    My typical first conversation of the day:

    Student: Are you the sub?
    Me: A sub is a sandwich. I'm your special guest star for the day!

    :woot:

    Corny? Yup. Good ice breaker? Absolutely.
     
  20. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    Cute! I bequest thee with my presence! Be grateful and behave! Love it!

    If it makes you guys feel any better, I'm the official teacher and it takes a week for students to stop walking in and asking if I'm the sub (I'm an african american teaching Spanish and apparently am smashing paradigms while I'm at it.) Still through out the year office runners and subs ask if I'm the sub. No, sorry. Plain ol' me! :cool:
     
  21. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." ;)

    That said, I think it's incredibly rude for ANYONE to refer to a substitute teacher as 'just a sub.' :mad:

    A good sub is SO important to me. I want to know that when I come back to school my room will be in order, my assignments were carried out as I intended, my kids were safe and treated fairly, and my personal stuff is intact. I remember what it's like to sub- you feel like a fish out of water sometimes. You wish you knew as much about the inner workings of the school as you do about the content. It's sometimes like you're always looking over your shoulder. I try my best to be considerate of a good sub when I find one!! The last time I was impressed with a sub I sent an email to the whole staff recommending her! :thumb:
     
  22. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Today we had so many teachers out. Out of 8 teachers we only had the 4 of us, everyone else had a sub. (I guess 4 is not a lot, but it was 50 % of our teachers.) We also have 2 special ed teachers who do not have their classroom, they co-teach, and cannot be used as subs. Just imagine if none of the subs, or even just 2-3 didn't show up, we' would've been in big trouble ! Our district is out in the country, 35 minutes from the eastern edge of San Diego (that's where I live) If we had to call someone last minute, it would've taken them 1 hour or more to get there at the least.
     
  23. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Why were half the teachers in you school out???
     
  24. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I rarely had problems with disrespect among other teachers as a sub. I remember one time my kids were lined up and waiting to go into the art room and they were not perfectly quiet. I had just begun to quiet them when another teacher came by and started yelling at them like I didn't exist. She then collected her students from the art room and I noticed they certainly were not silent either. I wondered how she would have reacted if I had decided to try to discipline her class for her. I doubt that would have gone over well.

    Most of the time, I felt very appreciated as a sub, though.
     
  25. appleaday180

    appleaday180 Rookie

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    Feb 14, 2012

    I find that I go out of my way to make substitute teachers feel comfortable. The faculty is very welcoming as well and treats subs like a part of the team. Some students, naturally, are rude and disrespectful. But at the end of the day it's great practice! haha
     
  26. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    People always asked me who I was, and I never thought anything about it. I'll ask people that, too. I always ask so that I know where they are, just in case they need something. Sometimes they'll send something by email, but the sub won't have it. I'll run a copy and have a kid take it to them . . . but have to know where they are to do that.
     
  27. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Well, it's half the teachers, but it's really 4 teachers that were out (of the 8) + 2 sped. teachers, so overall I guess it was 40 %. They were out for different reasons, one sick, the others took the day off for whatever.
    Because it's year round, and teachers work 225 (something around that) they have to take days off, so it's ok. It's preferable for them to take days off here and there, as opposed to weeks at a time.
    Today we still had 3 out, and we had a lot of subs. We actually never heard from one teacher, she just didn't show, so I am really hoping that she's ok.
     

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