Today was AWFUL =(

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by hbcaligirl1985, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Sep 18, 2012

    I had a horrible subbing day today. I was placed with the 8th grade students who are basically already failing--and they basically just don't care. So I had a difficult time managing them today--no matter how hard I tried. Sadly, I had to leave the teacher a negative review for 3/6 of her classes. I was SUPPOSED to show a movie a portion of the period--but she failed to leave me the login information for her computer and nobody else was able to provide me with it--so I had to improvise for part of the period(s).

    I'm worried I'm going to get banned from that school. I'm certainly not those kids favorite sub--I don't care about that--but I don't want to be screwed so early in the school year.
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    :hugs: I don't think you'll be banned from the school. I'm sure that the staff are very aware of the attitudes of the students in this class.
     
  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Don't worry about it, it happens.
    I hate when technology fails, or things like this happen. They always say that subs are supposed to have a 'bag of tricks' in case of having extra time. I've never had anything like that, because I didn't feel like carrying a bunch of assignments with me. (worksheets, etc., and of course I'd need all the copies made, because I couldn't just run out of the class and make them then). I did collect a lot of things along the way, but never used them. I haven't really had problems where I had to fill an entire period, I was just able to stretch out the activities to make sure there was no down time.

    One thing I did come up with though. This is helpful in English or history classes: have a list of writing prompts. For example I love teaching how to write a persuasive essay (or even just a paragraph). You don't have to have worksheets, just write up the prompt on the board. I guess for science I could come up with a topic, but still stuck on what to do with math. This is a good reminder to get some ideas.
     
  5. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    I can't imagine that you'd get banned from the school because the teacher didn't leave info you needed. You get better over time at dealing with the classes that are more difficult to control and dealing with surprises...you also get to know which schools you don't want to return to. The day probably seemed worse to you than it did to anyone else. The fact that you left negative reports instead of an "everything was fine" to try to make yourself look good probably worked in your favor. Teachers know how their classes act when they're there. They certainly can guess how they'll act with a guest teacher. Odds are, she expected bad reports.
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I actually will refuse to leave technology based lessons when I'm gone for this reason. Once I decided it would be safe to do so because my assistant can do it. Nope. Technology fail. Sigh.
     
  7. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Sorry you had such a bad day, but I also doubt you'll be banned. You did the best you could.

    In the future, could you go see the media specialist and see if she could loan you a video tape/DVD?
     
  8. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Sep 19, 2012

    Sorry you had a bad day! I'm sure you'll be okay with the school. If that class never cares, they likely already know about it. It's not your fault you didn't have the log-in info. Now you know not to return to that classroom.


    Was the video they were supposed to watch educational? I just thought of this, but what about keeping a cheap G-rated and educational DVD inside the magic bag of sub tricks? Might be good in case something like this happens again. Usually there's something that will play a DVD in the room, or you can request one from the school.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  9. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Yes, it was an educational video, but honestly I doubt they would have paid attention during the video too--the student aides say they are like that all the time. I just feel bad for the adult volunteer who was in there during 3rd period. She probably thought I was a grade A bitch for not letting these kids walk all over me.

    However there were one or two gems--one of them came up to me at the end of the period and gave me the picture she drew over the weekend saying I needed a werewolf cheetah to cheer me up--and prompted to tell me the legend of how the cheetah got her spots.
     
  10. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Not letting those kids walk all over you sounds like a good thing rather than a bad one. If the aides say they're always like that, you have nothing to worry about. :)
     
  11. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    I know, I just feel embarrassed. For them, for their teacher and for their parents.I could never ever think of a time in my life where a sub or teacher was that awful that I would treat them like that. Even if they deserved it I still wouldn't do it because they were adults and thus I respected them.
     
  12. Momzoid

    Momzoid Companion

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    I never can understand why a sub would need to have a "bag of sub tricks". Every teacher should have an emergency sub kit full of information and things to do when they are out. Mine has a schedule, medical info, generic lesson plans, class roster and a boat load of worksheets in all subjects for the sub to choose from. I do not leave videos or technology based work. My computers are password protected and I have signed papers saying I would not give out those passwords.
     
  13. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Sep 19, 2012

    Most people don't.
     
  14. houseofbooks

    houseofbooks Companion

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    Sep 19, 2012

    I sub for many districts, including a large district where I student taught, and it is mandatory for all teachers to have an emergency sub kit - just like the one you described to me. This kit is either in the classroom or main office. I never kept a "bag of tricks" and most of the teachers left me wonderful lesson plans, which usually had WAY more activities than I needed. To be frank, it is the teacher's responsibility to leave plans or (in the case of a sudden emergency) at least leave the name of another teacher who can explain the current unit. If a teacher doesn't leave plans, you better believe I won't be back to sub.

    The only plan that bombed was (surprise) a technology based plan where the teacher didn't leave her log in information. My day was a MESS, because not only was there no log in info, but the 4th grade class was filled with behavior problems. However all the staff members were very supportive of me and emphasized that this teacher was always disorganized and her students were always out of control. I made a mental note never to return to that classroom again. There are too many awesome teachers to waste my time on a poorly run class.

    Hbcaligirl1985, don't feel bad. The teacher should've left you the proper information and the students' atrocious behavior is not a reflection of your abilities. You did your best. The beauty of being a sub is you can choose not to return to that classroom. Don't be afraid to be picky as the school year progresses and more jobs are posted. :thumb:
     
  15. thesub

    thesub Comrade

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    Sep 19, 2012

    Hugs....

    I had a few days like this last year and I couldn't sub the next day 'cause I needed a break, lol. You won't be banned - schools need good subs and now that you know this class, you can skip or plan some tactics to survive this class.
    thesub


     
  16. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Sep 19, 2012

    I'm not a sub, but I hear MANY stories from friends as well as online where a sub shows up and the teacher has left absolutely nothing, misplaced their sub plans, left plans that make no sense to anyone but the teacher, leave one short activity for an entire day, had a technology glitch like this one, etc. Every teacher SHOULD have plans, but you have no way of knowing if they actually do until you get there.
     
  17. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    I wouldn't worry about getting banned. I had a day in a HS when I first started subbing where the kids were swearing at me, trying to sneak out of the room, throwing things, sneaking food, and then proceeded to throw up in the garbage can. I left names and a detailed note. The teacher stopped me in the hallway the next day, apologized profusely for her kids behavior and told me that everyone I reported got double detention and is in deep trouble. The teachers know their kids and know they are not angels 24/7.

    I will tell you this, when you sub in another class for that grade level for that school and see some of the same names on the roster, it doesn't mean the class will be as bad as the last one. Kids can be as different as night and day in different classrooms, merely because of who else is in the class.
     
  18. subczy

    subczy Rookie

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    Sep 19, 2012

    Suggest

    I doubt much will come from your bad day. Teacher is probably well aware of their attitude and challenges. I think it is a shame you couldn't get the password. I would have tried asking the secretary for the IT person first, if I couldn't get anywhere there I woudl ask IT if they could come and log it off and log me back in so that it will work. If that didn't work (and I can't believe it wouldn't if the IT person was in building) I would call the vp or P and ask for help.
    And if THAT didnt' work I would contact the library and request a tv and dvd player for the room.

    Glad you were able to figure out something else to do. I am sure it wasn't as bad as you think. I dobut the teacher will say much as she didn't give you the tools you need to do your work.
     
  19. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    The thing I hate about subbing as you go up in grade level, is the liberties regular teachers take. It happens more in high school, but you see it in 8th grade too. It's hard to know the rules (especially if you mostly spend your time in elementary), when each teacher does their own thing with regard to class rules. I wish they'd have more of a backbone, more of a united front so to speak. Some let their kids listen to music (access to their phones), some let them walk in/out, some let certain kids leave early, some let their kids sit on top of their desks, some let them eat food, etc. (And it seems S.O.P. I think I have a good idea when kids are trying to pull one over on me.)

    You certainly don't want to come in and impose your rules on the class (i.e. pick your battles)... it all just makes it that much more uncomfortable for a sub.
     
  20. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    This is why most people recommend a bag of tricks, but also for just in case the class moves too fast and there's 10-15 minutes left over.
    I don't think it's my job to carry back up plans just in case the teacher or technology failed, but it is in my best interest to do, otherwise I'll have 30 kids staring at me (or worst case scenario act up because there's nothing to do).
    Having said that, like I said before I don't have a bag of tricks, I definitely have never carried anything with me, 'just in case there are no plans' .

    Usually i go early, look at everything, make sure I have time to find and read the plans, turn on all technology I will need, test it out, and then locate a text book or something I can use just in case things fail.
    I hate to get flustered, and I do feel I panic when plans fall apart, or something as small as technology fails.
     
  21. Momzoid

    Momzoid Companion

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    I won't leave passwords for my computers or to web based programs. Too many times the sub has given this out to the students. Plus I signed a paper stating I would not share student data with no one and the web based programs have that information such as grades. Many of our subs are parents of students in the building. I can't risk it. It won't hurt to have a technology free day.
     
  22. Nietzsche

    Nietzsche Companion

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    I can't understand school districts that won't give network access to their subs. I have one school district that has blocked access to everything except Aesop and their attendance system. I would still be able to play a DVD video but I wouldn't be able to play a YouTube video. I am able to do so much more with a class when I have Internet access and a Smartboard.
     
  23. Portulaca

    Portulaca Rookie

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    Oh no! I'm sorry you had *that* kind of day. I had something very similar happen once, when the teacher left her password with the student teacher...who disappeared at lunchtime! Luckily they were high schoolers and pretty well-behaved, but I definitely had to scramble.

    If it makes you feel better, I usually feel kind of bad after a day of middle school subbing, even if everything went relatively well. The age group, the atmosphere, something just plays on my emotions in a funny way. Even when I student taught middle school and knew the kids a lot better, I typically went home feeling kind of dejected and clown-like. Remember that for middle school kids, slowly built-up relationships are everything. Elementary kids will often do what you ask 'just because,' and high school kids are more able to look to the future and acknowledge that it's in their long-term interest to behave. The middle school ones are just tougher - they live in the moment *and* don't trust easily; it's a difficult combination to devise incentives for.

    I agree with Linguist that writing assignments are good time-fillers. The trick is not to let them know that it's a change of plans or that *you* were the one that changed the plans. (It shouldn't matter, of course, but it definitely will, in their minds.) And definitely collect the assignment at the end. The teacher can grade it or not, but make it seem like a completely legitimate assignment.
     
  24. kmeteach

    kmeteach Companion

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    That's awful....I can relate, I have had teachers leave plans where I have to show them a lesson on the smartboard/elmo/computer/etc., and they either never left the password, or the technology just completely failed to work. But since it usually happened in lower elementary classes, I would just take out a book and it would be storytime.

    I wouldn't worry about being banned! It sounds like the school is aware of how those students behave, and it isn't your fault if you didn't have the login info.
     
  25. MissPapa

    MissPapa Comrade

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    Had quite a few days like that. Like today. >_<

    I always tell myself: You're just a sub, nobody likes them. But hopefully I'll be full-time next year.
     
  26. Momzoid

    Momzoid Companion

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    MissPapa- I like you! You take care of a need for students whose teacher has to be out of the classroom for whatever reason. Thank you for what you do. Good luck on becoming full-time!:hugs:
     
  27. MissPapa

    MissPapa Comrade

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    lol thanks Momzoid! I try my best. Subbing is quite a challenge, especially with 20-30 something gen ed students.
     
  28. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Well I was invited back to the middle school tomorrow. Yay.
     
  29. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Hopefully, that middle school will consider giving you an account of your own. It made my subbing job so much easier in the districts where I spent the most time.
     
  30. Scoop11

    Scoop11 Rookie

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    My district doesn't give you access unless you're long term. I had my account through school opened at least twice and closed as soon as the assignment is done. It may be because they're afraid of abuse, but I'm pretty tech savvy so I know ways "around" it so I can do the lessons if need be (use my cell phone, use the school's wifi, etc.).

    But I wouldn't worry about not being invited back again. I think the fact that you survived is a big plus in your favor.

    When I'm in this job, I'm not out to be "liked," I'm just trying to do what the teacher wants them to do. One of the funniest things I heard from a student (who also happens to be the younger sister of one of my stepdaughter's friends) is that the kids in her grade hate me because I make them do work. :haha:
     
  31. MrsPoppy

    MrsPoppy Rookie

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    I had something similar happen my 4th subbing day this year (the smart board locked up... still playing the audio, but not the video, and we couldn't shut it off) I thought they would think I wasn't a good sub since it was my first day at that school and the class got rowdy while I was trying to figure out what to do, but they understood, and have called me back since. They didn't think it was my fault that the tech didn't cooperate, and were glad that the kids didn't kill each other, and I stayed calm. I have started packing a few activities that don't require copies just in case since then (I always have, but hadn't yet pulled out my bag since it was the beginning of the year). I really like someone else's suggestion to have some writing prompts handy. I'll add a sheet of them to my little emergency folder. I HIGHLY doubt you'll be banned. If you were courteous to staff, maintained a safe classroom, and worked with what you had, you did fine.
     
  32. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Improvising is not a good idea. They sensed your lack of confidence and took advantage of it. I would have a backup lesson ready to go next time for each major subject, or have them take out their textbooks and read the next chapter.
     
  33. microbe

    microbe Comrade

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    I'm not certain it's feasible to carry backup plans for every grade/subject. The sub wouldn't be aware where the class in any given subject, and would risk having a lesson plan on something already covered or something the teacher didn't think the class was ready for yet.

    I'm not entirely certain what sort of backup lesson plan I'd bring for a calculus, chemistry or other math and science classes. Seems much too complicated.
     
  34. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Any advice coming from Milsey and her track record is simply laughable at best.
     
  35. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I never carried any back up lessons with me, obviously as it has been mentioned, I'm not carrying work for all grade levels, or subjects - I would need a suitcase!
    Normally there are textbooks, you can always work off of that.

    One of the teachers at my school shared her story with me. She was a newly credentialed teacher, long time ago, she was subbing. It was at a court school, with students who were recently released from the lock up, and still had to wear ankle monitors. All boys.
    She had a 2 hour block class. The teacher left her with a paper, with the outlines of a sperm. A sperm!! Not kidding. The activity was to color it. Of course that took 5 minutes, and she was incredibly uncomfortable with all those teenage boys. Didn't understand how that was a lesson. There were no textbooks, nothing she could have used. But she had a bunch of back up plans and that saved the day.

    :) this is the most ridiculous stories I've ever heard. LOL.
     
  36. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    How does one color a sperm? Sperm is white! Oh dear god. I would be sooo uncomfortable.
     
  37. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Maybe it was a sperm whale? lol
     
  38. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Hehe, I don't know. She just told me this story this week. She actually illustrated her point, to make sure I get it in its full weirdness. She took an 8x10 sheet of paper, drew a big enough sperm to take up most of the space and the students were supposed to color that.
    I didn't ask what color :) because I was shocked.
     
  39. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Maybe they drew little smiley faces on them? LOL.
     
  40. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Or just colored the sperm various colors, polka dots, rainbow, etc.
     
  41. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I'm sure there were enough inappropriate comments flying around.

    These kids will take anything and turn it around, so a sperm is overkill. Maybe they were so shocked, that they just colored it.

    Last week I tried to use the concept of the "6 inch voice". Or 8 inch or whatever. I explained that their voice should only travel about 6 inches, because that will be enough for the other person to hear him, but not everyone else. The response? One kid says "I've got a 12 inch right here". So obviously I won't be talking about inches anymore.
     

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