The two P's- para's and parents

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by cali*teacher, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 22, 2013

    I got my CA teaching credential, but right now because of life circumstances subbing is a good job for me. I really enjoy subbing, the flexibility, the variety, and the fact that I'm learning new things and skills from other teachers around me. The downside of subbing at times, is when a para comes in and starts trying to run the show, lol. I.e. the other day, I had a class managed just fine, following along the teacher's schedule and plans, everything going smoothly, and then a para comes in the classroom and starts interfering and creating more problems than help imo, at least for that moment. Para's are invaluable, especially with learning disabled or behavior issue children, but when things are going fine and smoothly in a classroom, I wonder why some para's do that. It might not be going EXACTLY like how when the classroom teacher is there, but as long as I'm following lesson plans and instructions by the teacher, I don't see why the need of that. Today, I had a parent come in and basically try to start running the show. :huh: Actually, her help was appreciated, but she just kind of took over a kinder's morning calendar meeting without politely asking if okay. I just took the laid back approach and went with it. Later after school I asked one of the other kinder teachers about that. What I should do, if it were even okay a parent just do that. I mean, she's not a teacher, she's there to help with homework folders, etc. She is waiting for her sub certification to go through though. Guess she's chomping at the bits to start! Any others experience this?
     
  2.  
  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,506
    Likes Received:
    1,481

    Oct 22, 2013

    No experience like yours exactly, but I will say that, as a teacher with paras, I often tell my paras that I expect them to lead things in my absence and that the sub should act more as the assistant. The paras are almost always more familiar with how I run my classroom than the subs are. Depending on the situation, I often don't explicitly state this in the sub plans. I might mention that the para will be there and part of the lesson, but I don't specifically say I want them to lead. So the sub would not be aware until in the moment. My expectation has always been that, even though the sub is getting paid more than the para and is working in the sub role, they should be understanding of the fact that the para knows more about my room than they do.
     
  4. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 22, 2013

    Okay, thanks for the input! Will definitely keep that in mind! I am speaking of being in a regular classroom setting, where they send in para's to assist with the learning disability, behavior students. The other day the para wasn't taking over, but was creating a time issue, but insisting these students have their dividers while they took a test. The seating situation was different for the day, because they had to use the usual kidney table for something else that day, and it was going to be very difficult to get all these dividers to fit well with all the students at the long table they were at. We were running very short on time, I had the students all in place and ready to do their tests (nothing complicated, just spelling and a short grammar quiz for second grade). The students mentioned the dividers, and I told them that she and I would be their "dividers" and would watch them closely as they tested. They seemed perfectly fine with that, no protests, etc., but she kind of pushed for the dividers, so then I have a whole group of second grade students up and out of their desks taking forever to get their dividers, getting re-situated. Basically a big unnecessary disturbance. As a sub, one of my biggest concerns is staying within the time frames on the lesson plans, and getting everything, if not most everything accomplished that the teacher has down on the lesson plans for the day. I hope someday to have my own classroom where what I have going on is more respected!

    I'd never had the experience before today of a parent trying to take over, it was a little presumptious in my opinion.
     
  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,506
    Likes Received:
    1,481

    Oct 22, 2013

    I definitely understand your frustrations. Especially in regards to the parent. I think that would bother me regardless of whether I was a sub or the regular classroom teacher. That just seems kind of rude.

    I obviously have no idea, and am just throwing this out there as something to consider, but it could be that the teacher is very adamant about using those dividers during tests. Maybe the para knows how important this is to the teacher and felt that, while she was a little disruptive, she was only ensuring that the test be implemented the way the teacher would want. I know that I've failed to leave tiny details equivalent to "using dividers for tests" in my sub plans before. And, that's precisely why I've told my paras to step in and make sure things are run correctly in my absence. It's not necessarily that I want them teaching everything instead of the sub, but I know that they are aware of the procedures that often come so naturally to us that I forget to write them in the plans. Now, would it be a huge problem if I didn't have a para and the sub didn't to an activity or follow a procedure exactly the way I would typically do it? No. But, since I do have someone there who knows how I like to have it done, I would hope that I could count on her to step in and make sure it's done that way when I'm not there to do it.
     
  6. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 22, 2013

    Even if that was going to take up all the time to get something done? I always try to go by a class routine and how a teacher normally does things, but we were EXTREMELY time crunched. If we had all the time in the world, I wouldn't have a problem at all with the dividers. I understood they normally did that, and I always pretty much strictly go by what a teacher does in their classroom, but there were two things going, one the table space in the classroom had changed for the day, and two we had very little time to get this accomplished. I am the one responsible for getting the days objectives accomplished, and it comes down to priorities in those situations. I understand about being a stickler to what normally goes on, and I am one, but I had to go to a recess duty at a certain time, and I had to get the testing done. There were some students in there that would go back to their regular classrooms, so I couldn't change up the order of the day and fit it in later. I viewed it as more important to get the testing done, than worry with dividers for that one instance, if it were going to mess up our time.
     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,506
    Likes Received:
    1,481

    Oct 22, 2013

    It's hard to say without having been in your situation. I can see both sides of it. Either way, I wouldn't worry too much. You got through it just fine with just a minor annoyance on the part of the para (and a major annoyance on the part of the parent, IMO :eek:hmy:). Hopefully you won't find yourself in a situation like that too often. If you do, I hope what I've said might help you understand a bit why the para might step in, even if it is annoying and doesn't make the most sense.
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    5,905
    Likes Received:
    772

    Oct 22, 2013

    This is my expectation when I'm out also. I leave plans, but my para basically runs everything and the sub assists.
     
  9. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 22, 2013

    I guess it's whatever the situation is of course. Yes, there are some para's where I know they have a more heavy role in the classroom, and I appreciate their help. In this case the girl is kind of new, and I think was not really thinking through, nor did she realize the schedule I was looking at. No biggie, but a slight annoyance because I will be the one leaving the note at the end of the day saying, "Sorry, we didn't get this done" and the teacher wondering why.
    She was just doing her job. We were looking at the situation from two different angles is all. I think what most annoys me is when things are rolling, all is well, and in then walks this person, and a mild chaos ensues.
     
  10. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,912
    Likes Received:
    14

    Oct 23, 2013

    I know if I'm out I count on my parent volunteers to really manage my center rotations. My parents are there every single week, and it is easier to have them "take over" than to try and explain it in sub plans.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Backroads,
  2. agdamity,
  3. CaliforniaRPCV
Total: 392 (members: 4, guests: 364, robots: 24)
test