What comes to YOUR mind when they tell you...

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by anna9868, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Apr 7, 2015

    You are a substitute at a high school. You come to a new school, all you know about your assignment is that it's LS room. Because you are new, the staff at the office is nice enough to explain you things in details, give you a little tour of the main rooms. They don't tell anything about the room you'll be teaching at, except that it's math...

    You come in a few minutes before the students, quickly look over the plans. You see that you are lucky to have an aide, and she's actually staying with you this period. Students start trickling in, there are 9 of them. You divide them between yourself and the aide (according to the plan) and start doing the assigned work. You see some of them have strange reaction to your questions, mostly ignoring you.

    You are used to being in so many different LS, Autistic support, life skills classes that you are not surprised. The aide is caring enough to write down and show you a piece of paper: Emotional /Anger/Learning disabilities.

    3rd period I was supposed to have only 1 student, no help. I ask about this student, to see what do in case he questions my authority, doesn't want to do the work. Should I talk to him about consequences, I wonder

    When the aide hears the word “consequences”, she lowers her voice and tells me emphatically:

    You know, his mom is on the school board!

    She then waits, for what seems like an appropriate reaction but I dont get it. She repeats her statements, again, hoping I'll “get” it this time.

    I'm curious to hear, what comes to YOUR mind in this situation?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 7, 2015

    Instead of asking specifically about consequences, possibility of questioning authority, you could have asked if there was anything you should know ahead of time about upcoming periods and classes.

    Knowing a kid is a school board member's child seems to change how some teach/interact, but your best choice is to always be professional.
     
  4. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Apr 7, 2015

    still, I'm curious to know, does something specific would come to your mind if you were told (empathiclally) that the kiddo's mom is on the board?
     
  5. bartleby

    bartleby Rookie

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    Apr 7, 2015

    I feel like you are fishing to hear an answer, specifically that it was a surprising, inappropriate, and/or over dramatic reaction. No, nothing comes to mind when I read the story. Politics will be a part of anything involving people. How much people think about it and how they handle it will vary between individuals, clearly this aide is very aware/nervous about the school politics, could be a million and one reasons why. Perhaps she gets it from the teacher she works with, maybe from past experiences of her own, who knows.

    I agree with czacza, as long as you are always professional, why worry about it.
     
  6. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Apr 7, 2015

    well, let's put it this way, I'm just curious to know what others would think in this sitation/ I mean, it's just a friendly Q, I'm not interviewing anybody :)
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Apr 7, 2015

    Over the years, I have had the occasion to teach children of school board members, other teachers and administrators, foreign diplomats, newscasters, sports figures, actors, actresses, etc. Sometimes I may be awestruck to meet the parents, but it always comes down to treating them as any other parent.

    Sometimes other teachers have told me to be more careful with those children, but I don't see why if I am behaving professionally.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 7, 2015

    Again, Anna, some think that board member kids should get special treatment because of who their parent is. If you are a professional and doing your job to the best of your abilities with all kids, you have nothing to worry about.

    What was your thought about this situation?
     
  9. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    The aide obviously know the kids and the political situation in this school rather well. I ask her about one of the girls who keeps ignoring me and texting on her phone if I should tell her anything. She explains to me no, they usually let her do it the first period, so she feels calmer by the 2nd! Well, later on she works with her one-on-one and does get some work done.

    well, after the first period, when I see that at least a few kids are either ignoring me, or looking quite annoyed when I ask them something about work, I realize that by 3rd period, when I'll be left alone without an aide, I would have a pretty tough time with this 1 child if he refuses to do any work for me.

    That's why I ask her if I should perhaps tell him something like: If you don't do the work, then ....

    Why, in some schools/classes that's a pretty acceptable way of thinking, in many LS classes especially. They get a reward at the end of the class, or something.

    Eh, I keep forgetting it's high school. I mostly do elementary. Anyway, those were my thoughts.
     
  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 7, 2015

    I don't think you did anything wrong by asking about consequences. You need to know what you can and cannot say or do.
    As far as the kid's mom being on the schoolboard, the only thing comes to my mind, is to be even more mindful or what you do and say. You should always do that, of course, but these parents can make a bigger stink, making it more difficult for you.
    But the best policy is to do what you can, with what you got.
    Any kind of special ed class can have a lot of student resistance towards subs, especially those with emotional problems. They just don't like changes in their routine. Try to get their work done, if they don't, leave detailed notes on what happened, everything you tried, etc.
     
  11. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Apr 7, 2015

    What comes to mind? How come school board parents and students are seen as The golden child who could light the classroom on fire...on purpose and still find a way not be held accountable.??(Sorry this is a sore issue with me) I worked in sped as an aide for 7years. My supervisors drove me insane when they would treat board member kids or admins kids as if they were wrapped in bubble wrap and could fall apart if I looked at them wrong. THESE KIDS ARE SPECIAL EDUCATION KIDS...they are already receiving service and special treatment...why!? Why does the special Ed kid whose mom is on the school board get preferential treatment..over Johnny whose mom works at the grocery store!

    It was the biggest load of crap I had ever seen. Felt like I was literally participating in the smoke and mirrors show. This kind of behavior or special treatment literally instills the feeling of entitlement and can do know wrong behaviors in students...when said child is in the real world no one will care if their mom was a board member if they act out or cause property damage...we need to prepare kids for that reality!.....deep breath...end of rant

    You did Nothing wrong...
     
  12. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    great rant, justwanttoteach!
    I actually don't feel I did anything wrong this time. Just the opposite, I happened to be lucky today, even though I couldn've been thrown out easily!

    I was simply AMUSED how the aide told me, carefully choosing the words, that his mom is on the school board and looked at me, waiting for my reaction.

    Well, I'm a person who is quite ignorant of school politics (by the way, I'm ON PURPOSE staying away from real politics, don't watch or read news, etc. Listen to what my husband tells me sometimes, he is news-aholic)

    So, I naively imagine school board as a place where people join when they want to make a difference, improve their schools, etc. My experience with school board was we once signed up our boys scouts with my friend, they had an assignment to listen to the issue and come up with their opinions.

    after seeing that I don't get it, the aide finally explained to me that I better NOT talk to that guy about consequences, or not make him upset at all, because his mom has been known to throw substitutes out of the districts when they made her son upset.

    Upon seeing my surprised face she quickly assured me that she didn't say that, but she just wanted to warn me. I thanked her, said that I got it.

    When it was the period for that boy to come, for about 30 min no one came, I went next door to ask if perhaps I needed to do anything about this situation, because the aide knew the boy WAS in school, she saw him in the morning.

    The staff in the other room also looked at each other, and said something like: Ehh, that boy is a special case. You don't really want to mess with him, be careful! I thanked them, agreed and went back to the classroom.

    The boy did show up for the last 20 min of class, said something casual about confusing periods. I had a small talk with him about how he was after the vacations, etc. I made him work for 15 min (even though he asked to go to the bathroom, but I said he better wait until next period since he was so late)


    So, what can I do now? Only pray that he is in good enough mood not to tell his mom anything, this school district is my favorite, I would hate to loose it.
     
  13. Haywood Giles

    Haywood Giles Rookie

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    Oct 8, 2015

    Yeah, it shouldn't mean anything as long as you're behaving professionally.
     

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