What did you teach today?

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Mrs_Goatess, Aug 12, 2006.

  1. souptunuts

    souptunuts Rookie

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    Sep 29, 2006

    I really dislike half days. The thing is thought that I now only want to sub at one school. I am there nearly everyday and sometimes I feel trapped when a teacher asks me to work a half day, so I say yes.

    In fact I have a half day kinder this afternoon.

    Lisa
     
  2. mathsub

    mathsub Rookie

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    Oct 1, 2006

    Friday, I had only a half day. I had 2 sections of grade 11 math (business and personal finance- college prep level- this is the middle level in Ontario). It was pretty easy as they had a quiz for 1/2 the period.
    On the other hand, one of the students I taught last year as a student teacher had transfered to this school. It was nice to see her again. It's a pity she went from academic to college level, she could have done okay in university prep level. She was also one of my best students that day.
     
  3. Mrs_Goatess

    Mrs_Goatess Comrade

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    Oct 2, 2006

    I don't get to work today. :(
     
  4. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Oct 2, 2006

    I am in a high school multi-handicapped classroom. The kids are really good! There are nine students and four adults.

    Tomorrow - my husband and I are driving over to our new condo. He is going to put up the drapes for me!
     
  5. Shane Steinmetz

    Shane Steinmetz Rookie

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    Oct 2, 2006

    Today and last Friday, I taught kindergarten. It went fairly well. The most difficult part of the day was setting up the centers and getting the materials organized. Both classes had students with varying exceptionalities, so it was probably more challenging than it normally would have been.

    Tomorrow, I will be teaching drama at a middle school. Given the amount I've experienced in the past month, I think I now qualify to teach it!
     
  6. Mrs_Goatess

    Mrs_Goatess Comrade

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    Oct 2, 2006

    Nevermind! I did work today! A school called not five mintues after I posted. I taught 8th grade social studies. Aside from one chatty class, they were *perfect*!
     
  7. Back2Work

    Back2Work Rookie

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    Oct 2, 2006

    I got my first call!!!

    They called me at 7:15 to report to a 7:40 middle school...ARE YA KIDDING ME!! Thankfully they said they would call and tell them I would be a little late. I was a music teacher for 5th and 6th graders. The teacher left a movie, that worked out for the first 2 periods, but for the rest of the day I had to travel to the classrooms. Sadly, none of the classrooms had their VCRs hooked up yet. A WONDERFUL classroom teacher gave me a math/bingo game to use since the video idea was not going to work! All the kids were really good. A few louder than others, but all in all , it was a pretty good first day of subbing for me! :D
     
  8. mathsub

    mathsub Rookie

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    Oct 2, 2006

    I didn't work today (not at a school- but I do teach aerobics part time). I did however finally get a physics call (for Friday) that I'm very excited about.
     
  9. Shane Steinmetz

    Shane Steinmetz Rookie

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    Oct 3, 2006

    Today was drama class at a middle school.

    The teacher was going on a field trip with students and parent helpers, so she was actually on campus in the beginning. The teacher seemed very young and was very kind. I think we could relate to each other.

    She apologized right away for having a messy desk and said that she would get it out of my way. She also said that she would have the phone (dial "9") and her computer available for my use if she wanted. I said that everything was quite all right. I promised not to mess with her stuff; she just snorted and said, "I don't care."

    I looked over her lesson plans, which were very clear. I didn't have all the supplies though, and she said she would go get them. I thanked her for actually having clear and concise lesson plans. She said, "Really? Are they clear enough?" I said "yes."

    I love this teacher. It's like I hit the springs of heck and bounced immediately back up into heaven.

    Anyway, she offered me a doughnut. I sat down at her desk and got myself situated. She bid me farewell as she and the parents herded the children out to the buses for the field trip.

    The grades --

    1st period: 7th
    2 - 4th period: 8th
    5th period: 6th
    6th period: 7th

    There wasn't much strewn about her desk except basic supplies and mostly materials directed toward me. I stacked some papers and straightened items.

    I'm still waiting for the call from the investigative unit of the school system.

    Anyway, seventh graders had to listen to me read a chapter in a book called "Hoot" and complete some artwork, grade eight had to watch a video about Japan, and grade six had to complete textbook work.

    The day ran very smoothly, and I had no problems enforcing the lesson plans. There were no significant discipline problems. Some of the students recognized me as the "18 year-old substitute" that taught them last year.

    The only real discipline problem during the day was with someone in period three. She was a stoaway.

    Since I didn't have class rosters available to me, I did what most substitutes do and started a "sign-in" sheet; students would print their names on the sheet to receive credit for their presence. Well, everything ran smoothly up around the end of the period until one of the students pulled me aside and told me that there was a girl present that wasn't supposed to be there.

    I confronted her directly and asked if she was in the class. She said "yes." I said that she wasn't on the roster and moved toward the deks to make like I was going to check a roster. (I didn't let her know that I didn't actually have one.)

    She became uncertain and said, "Well, I'm actually not usually here... but I stay sometimes."

    After asking her questions, I found out that she was actually supposed to be with a gym teacher. She said, "But he's okay with me being here... I think."

    She thinks? I told her that if she wanted to be there, I needed to have a note from her period's teacher with written permission for her to be in my class! She tried to assure me that it would be okay. I told her that I would need to contact the office to get this attendance situation straightened out, because being present for part of the day and then suddenly being absent for a class in the middle would look.. odd.

    She insisted that I cover for her by saying that I decided to keep her, and that there was some important lesson I needed to go over with her. I said that I wouldn't know what to say, and that I couldn't try to say all of that. Still, she insisted that I make up a story.

    I called the office over the phone system and told them of the situation. They requested her presence immediately and thanked me for not fabricating a story to cover her.

    She wound up becoming upset with me because I "told on her." I told her that I had to say the truth, and that I couldn't just invent a story. I told her that I was sure it would work out.

    She seemed to be descending into tears, though, and seemed certain that she was going to be disciplined.

    The office later called me asking me to send a referral. One of the students insisted to go along with the girl, saying the administrator was one of her "friends" and that she would get the problem patched up. However, I insisted that she go by herself so that there wouldn't be any kind of interference. (Besides, I didn't want their combined testimony try to make it look like I was supporting her absence from her regular class.)

    Other than that, the rest of the day went well. It was another successful job. I was allowed to leave early because there were no other substitute assignments needed for that day.

    Tomorrow, I will be teaching a high school computer lab. There is a high probability that it will be a lab setup for 9th graders to 12th graders to make up for lost credits and failed courses, as was the situation in my last assignment.

    To be continued.
     
  10. SuperSub

    SuperSub Rookie

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    Oct 3, 2006

    I taught a wonderful class of 1st graders yesterday and today. On Friday I taught elementary art, but we had an all school walk in the morning, a school assembly in the afternoon, and there was a student teacher who taught the two classes in between.
     
  11. WVsub

    WVsub Rookie

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    Oct 4, 2006

    Monday I got a call at 11:00 to sub for a preschool teacher whose child had become ill at school. In all the years I've taught, I've never subbed in a preschool, but the afternoon went well. I got there at 11:30 and found there were three aides in the room since there were several special needs students in the class. There were so many aides that there was little for me to do. My day ended at 1:30 when the last parent picked up her child. 1/2 days pay for two hours work isn't bad. LOL

    Yesterday I was called back to the other preschool class and had a very good day. I could get use to getting out at 1:30. :) Tomorrow I teach 3rd grade at my child's old elementary and Friday its a half day teaching 1st grade at the elementary two minutes from my house. All this work(had two other calls for days I was already scheduled for this week) after only getting three calls all last month. Its either feast or famine around here or maybe the teachers figured since they had made it through the whole month of September its time for a day off. lol

    Toni
     
  12. mathsub

    mathsub Rookie

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    Oct 4, 2006

    Nothing Monday (not surprising) or Tuesday.
    Today is an STS day (so only 1/2 day of school then 1/2 day of PD), so nothing
    But...
    Tomorrow I math and friday I have physics
    I'm sooo excited. It's very nice to get work.

    ETA: They just cancelled my phsyics job- apparently the teacher doesn't need to be wherever he thought he needed to be :(
     
  13. Back2Work

    Back2Work Rookie

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    Oct 4, 2006

    I got a call for a half day of a 5th grade class for tomorrow, and then a half day of 2nd grade for Friday. Looking forward to it!!
     
  14. Mrs_Goatess

    Mrs_Goatess Comrade

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    Oct 4, 2006

    6th, 7th, and 8th grade Gifted Science today and tomorrow. I don't want to give the teacher her class back! Best kids *ever*!
     
  15. Shane Steinmetz

    Shane Steinmetz Rookie

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    Oct 4, 2006

    October 4, 2006
    Substitute

    Today, I ran an accounting and finances class at a high school.

    The job description on SEMS actually said that it was "technical education," but I found out after my arrival that it was an accounting class. It was probably classified as "technical education" because of the use of a computer lab for the classroom. I suspected that it was a class used for making up credits, since the last class I ran for that was classified as "technical education" as well. The system seems to classify anything that uses a computer lab as "technical education."

    I was given the key to the room and given an option to either have a half-day or a full day; the teacher had no students after fourth period, so I could choose to leave then or find other work to do around campus. The choice was left entirely up to me. I opted to stay later to get a full day in.

    Since this was a high school class, I was teaching people aged 14 - 20, so I was dealing with some people that were very close to age, my exact age, or even older.

    I don't substitute at the high school level very often, so I am still figuring out how to handle discipline issues. I was somewhat nervous in the beginning, but relaxed later on.

    Up to this point, most of the high school classes I've run lacked personality. The students often give me the impression that communication between the teacher and student should be limited to what's absolutely necessary; whenever I talk to a student, sometimes -- whether it's to correct a problem, ask a question, or say hello -- their attitude and body language asks me, "Why are you talking to me? Is there some reason for this conversation?"

    However, all of my classes after first period had personality to them. I relaxed and showed some of my personality as well.

    A teacher next door was also out for the day, so there was a substitute in there as well. He was an older man that had much experience substituting at this particular school. Before class started, he was telling me how much he enjoyed substituting at the high school level and how the students at this particular school were very responsive and well-behaved.

    Ironically enough, I heard "be quiet," "quiet down," and the such from his class several times throughout the day. When I spoke to him about it, he said he was experiencing some unexpected problems.

    He and I talked about our experiences and insight a bit. He told me that he was someone that worked in the criminal justice field for some time. He said that as someone who looks young, I would probably receive a harder time from the students. I did not tell him that I was 18.

    Everything went well for me, but he was having problems with students shouting out across the room and generally being disruptive. I invited him to send any problem students my way.

    The lesson plans for the class were mostly clear. For one period, the teacher said to tell the class to "do their accounting work." Without any specific details, there was no real direction for the class to go; the class had to infer what she meant by that. Some inferred that they had to complete vocabulary words, others inferred that they needed to complete a section review, and still others thought they needed to read future chapters.

    I was sure to specify how this lack of clarity affected us in my report to the teacher in the most polite way I could.

    After all four periods finished, I was assigned to a literature classroom. I was actually assigned to be a co-teacher to another teacher in the room. This probably meant that it was a special education class, since most special education classes have co-teachers in them when special education students are mixed with general education students.

    The substitute and I for that class spoke during our planning periods. He, too, was an older man. He had worked in education for many, many years, and had been a substitute for nearly a decade. He had substituted at a few other schools, but worked mostly at this particular high school. He had a master's degree in music. He said that he had the ability to get all "psyched up" with the seniors. (I did not tell him that I would have fallen in the average age group of seniors.)

    I asked which one of us would run the floor. We agreed on him running the floor with me as an assistant. I helped maintain discipline in the room by roaming around and making sure that the noise level was reasonable. The teacher left momentary to use the restroom, so I actually had the floor for a few minutes.

    But, again, there were no significant problems. There were a few students that were intent on ignoring my instructions -- they would keep talking right after I asked them not to call out or talk without permission. One young man in particular kept using a loud, broadcasting voice when talking and flagrantly ignored my directions. I was about two steps away from writing someone up.

    But, I did realize the nature of the classroom. Aside from that, he was just one student, and did not push me over the edge. I was watching the primary teacher and his actions and gauging my reactions to his tolerance level to some degree.

    Again, the teacher left lesson plans that had some unclear areas. The primary teacher and I shared in our concerns about the lack of clarity with certain parts. There was a chart to hand out for certain periods, but apparently, the chart went with work for other periods -- but it wasn't specified whether the students needed them. When the students asked questions about the chart (which their assignment seemed to refer to), a few said they already had one while others said they needed them. We just had most of the students create their own chart on their own papers. The primary teacher did not believe that we had enough copies for everyone.

    Another part of the lesson plans said to complete "vocabulary" on a certain page, but what section of the page needed to be defined was unclear. There was a section titled "vocabulary," but there were bold words all over the page. There were very few words under the "vocabulary" section, so I'm sure it would have covered more than just that. The primary substitute asked me for my interpretation of the full-time teacher's instructions.

    The lack of clarity in lesson plans is becoming an issue of notice for me. When I think back to my incident at that one elementary school, I do recall a lack of clarity in her lesson plans, as well. (She said that it was exact and that everything I needed was -on her desk-, but let's not go there...)

    I asked the primary substitute if we should leave a note for the full-time teacher. I offered to help him write it if he was planning to do so. He said "no," and that they would probably figure it all out. I justified this by saying, "Well, if they left us lesson plans and worksheets to 'figure out,' then surely they won't mind 'figuring out' how to collect and gather the finished work!"

    He agreed.

    This was a good day.

    Tomorrow, I will be teaching at a middle school for English, unspecified grade level.

    To be continued. ;)
     
  16. Shane Steinmetz

    Shane Steinmetz Rookie

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    Oct 5, 2006

    October 5, 2006
    Substitute

    Today, I ran a seventh grade language arts class.

    I was at the same middle school I actually went to as a student four to five years ago, so there were many familiar faces. This was actually not my first time there as a substitute, but this was my first time there this school year.

    The teacher I was substituting for is new to the school; it's her first year there. Apparently, she worked as a drill sergeant in the military.

    The worksheets and lesson plans were laid out well. The students were studying compound subjects and compound predicates. I already knew the basics of it all, and remembered most of the complicated aspects from high school. I studied it in English III or II last year.

    The truth is, I was actually re-learning the material as I read the textbook information out to the students. I don't believe that I mislead them, though. I quickly caught back on to what I was taught before.

    Their assignments were to complete a five-minute "bell-ringer" activity at the beginning of class -- "what is a metaphor?" -- complete textbook work, and complete work out of a grammar workbook.

    The only problem was that there were several students that didn't come prepared with their workbook or complained of having the pages assigned already done or torn out. A few of the students blamed the full-time teacher for not updating her information. They claimed that she wasn't writing the correct information.

    Nevertheless, I stuck to what she wrote out for us and insisted that the class follow it.

    The only discipline problems were in periods five and seven. Five was the worst, as there were at least 25 students in the class that insisted on doing their own activities -- like talking. I was at a real disadvantage because I didn't know the names of the students. Although seating charts were provided, I couldn't monitor every seat at every possible moment to make sure that students were sitting where they were supposed to be.

    Two students from fifth period that I allowed to use the restroom were brought in by a campus advisor. They were caught messing around outside. According to the campus advisor, one of them tried to use a very old pass to justify his presence in the hallway.

    Their behavior in class wasn't very good, either. I asked both students if they were fooling around. They both admitted to it.

    One of the students said the "F" word out loud in addressing another student. I added this onto his list of offenses in writing the referral, along with his generally disruptive, noisy behavior.

    Another student was throwing paper airplanes around the room. He was consistently disruptive. Right before he left the classroom, he threw one last airplane at another student. I ran after him and ordered him to stop, but he escaped.

    I called the office and had a student send up the referrals. They should receive appropriate disciplinary action.

    Other than the rowdiness of fifth and seventh period, there were no significant problems. I spoke to a math teacher I had when I was going to that school, and we had a long conversation about my bad experience at the elementary school along with substituting in general. She told me of some of her own problems with staff members and principals at other middle schools. (I think I will be adjusting my school list shortly.)

    She advised that I immediately have the students find something to write their names on when the class started, so that I could just walk by and compare what they had out on a seating chart. I actually already had this little tip in the back of my mind, but for some reason, I didn't exercise it; I guess I was too busy trying to get the classroom situated.

    Other than all of this, there was no problem.

    Tomorrow, I will be teaching at an elementary school for kindergarten.

    For the first time in a long time, I will be running a classroom I had once before. The last time I substituted for this particular teacher, it was a half-day, and that was before special area and lunch. My familiarity with this teacher's students and beginning-of-day procedures will serve as an advantage.
     
  17. enseigner

    enseigner Rookie

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    Oct 5, 2006

    :wow:
    Shane you've been busy this week.

    Thanks for sharing details of your day(s). You have already answered a few questions I would have otherwise posted in the forum.

    Hopefully new substitutes (and those just exploring the field) will come across this thread and find the value in your daily updates. You provide excellent insight into the specifics of a sub's typical workday, which is something that is hard to come by in many texts.

    Thanks again,

    Enseigner
     
  18. stephanie90102

    stephanie90102 Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2006

    Monday and Tuesday, I was the special ed. teacher, so I floated classroom to classroom and was given NO lesson plans to follow. The teachers were pretty upset and started complaining about the regular teacher. I, of course, just told them I was doing my best and said nothing negative.

    Today I am splitting my day between second grade in the morning and fifth grade in the afternoon. I am excited!
     
  19. Back2Work

    Back2Work Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2006

    I spent yesterday afternoon in a 5th grade. When I got there, it was time to bring them to lunch. After lunch, they had a 40 minute study hall, where they are given time to get started on their homework. It was very simple, as most of them were very cooperative. A few would get a little noisy every once and awhile, but I would remind them that they may be rewarded for good behavior (I brought lollipops, stickers and tattoos). That whole period was fine. I then had to bring them to gym. After gym I had to teach an 80 minute block of Social Studies to a different group of students. I had arrived early to the job, so the teacher was still there. She showed me what she wanted me to do, and also left a detailed plan, which was great! We went over their homework, I copied down the grades of that. Then I handed out a quiz dealing with mapping skills. After that they were able to get started on their HW for that night, and study for their test the next day.

    No real problems. It would get a little noisy sometimes, but I would also remind them of my reward system, and it would quiet back down. The bathroom thing does get annoying after awhile, but I just let one student out at a time.

    I am heading for a half day of second grade today!
     
  20. SuperSub

    SuperSub Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2006

    Yesterday I taught 5th grade math and science and today was 3rd graders. Both were great days!
     
  21. Shane Steinmetz

    Shane Steinmetz Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2006

    Aww! Thank you! I don't mean to hog up all the space, so I'm sure to read what's here, too. If you have experiences to share, please, share your thoughts. I'm sure that we can learn from each other! :)
     
  22. Shane Steinmetz

    Shane Steinmetz Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2006

    October 6, 2006
    Substitute

    Today, I taught kindergarten.

    This was a class I had taught previously, so I actually had some familiarity with the children. Most of them remembered my name, but for some reason, they kept calling me "mister" and then the last name of their regular teacher.

    The teacher's assistant was late this morning. When she wasn't there this time, I actually thought that she didn't work on certain days. The office came in over the intercom and told me that she was running late. I said that was just fine; I had a grip on things in this kindergarten class, anyway.

    I took attendance, had the students watch the announcements, completed the morning activities, and the other usual procedures. I moved some activities around because of time and the fact that I was still reviewing the lesson plans and what needed to be done.

    Usually, I'll arrive 30 minutes early, relative to the assignment's "begin" time. This time, however, I was not early as much as I wanted to be.

    For some reason, my alarm clock was waking me up, but -- in my state of being somewhat asleep -- I'd actually go up to the clock and set it forward by some minutes to an hour to make it go off an again later. (That's "five more minutes" to the next level!) It looks like I'm going to have to employ the use of two alarm clocks at once again like I did when I got my first job working at McDonald's!

    My teacher's assistant arrived, still obviously waking up. She apologized for being late and said that her alarm clock didn't wake her up. I said that it was just fine. I said, "Don't worry; it's cool. I'm a substitute; I'm not going to reprimand you."

    Besides, I nearly had alarm clock issues myself. I told her about this and she seemed to feel better. She said she was freaking out at home when she found out she was late.

    I've found for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade that the only real challenge -- out of the entire day -- is centers. If you can get past centers, you're fine. The challenge lies in setting up the groups (or ascertaining who is in the groups), getting the materials ready, making sure the transitions are smooth, and -- of course -- making sure you know how to actually DO the centers yourself!

    Well, the centers today were science-focused. One center involved using two rulers to lift various objects (use of a "lever," a simple machine), drawing a picture of a car running down at different angles (drawing the angle that makes the car go down the fastest), and moving cans around boxes of sand and drawing a picture of the can as it is when it moves the most sand.

    All I can say is that after the centers were done, the entire area surrounding the sandbox table was so dirty that students were playing in it like they were outside at recess. There was so much sand lying around.

    I used part of my break for special area and some time afterwards to brush the sand into a central area and scoop it up and out. I used a machine to suck up the remaining sand.

    During centers and various other parts of the day, the students were very, very loud. The full-time teacher had changed from using a "turn-a-card" system (negative reinforcement) to a sticker system (positive reinforcement). Rather than punish bad behavior, she was rewarding good behavior.

    The assistant explained all of this to me. I asked if the other system worked well; she said that they actually both were equally as effective.

    Personally, I don't like "frequent interval" positive reinforcement systems like that. If I'm supposed to hand out stickers, what interval is it supposed to be at? If I don't know the students' names and they're moving around the room (as in centers and "carpet time"), how can I run a system like that swiftly and with little time consumption?

    I just resorted to negative reinforcement and went to writing names on the board. I wasn't told NOT to do that, but positive reinforcement just wasn't working for me. Sorry!

    The problem was that students had get a certain number of stickers each day to be considered well-behaved. They brought these home to their parents. I asked the assistant to write "N/A" this time; I wasn't going to deal with a system I wasn't familiar with and could readily use. I was sure to explain this deviation in my note to the teacher.

    The teacher said there were no problems last time, and she seems to be alright, even if a little nervous with the kindergarteners.

    The assistant said that the students just wouldn't listen to anyone but the full-time teacher. She said that the students give the people at special area a hard time. They give the assistant (her) a hard time, and everyone else a hard time, as well. She said they just wouldn't respond to anyone but the regular teacher.

    I asked how the regular teacher usually handled discipline issues. The assistant told me that when she told them to "be quiet," they did.

    Well, that didn't really help me! However, a little extra volume to my voice and zealous board name-writing seemed to fix that.

    The assistant told me that I was the only substitute they had all year. I told her that I was honored.

    At one point during the centers and other work, I asked everyone to please stop their talking, shouting, and crying momentarily to gather their belongings and prepare to transition to the next activity. This got a chuckle from the assistant.

    Near the end of the day, I was organizing papers and going over who finished what and who needed to finish what activities. I noticed that there were three teachers in the office that were talking to each other. I could see them through the glass wall. They were talking to each other about something. They kept looking in my direction as they spoke.

    I tried to ignore them and appear to be that I was looking in their direction ocassionally. Certainly, it couldn't have been anything immediately bad, because this was one of those rare times when people were looking at me and my class with me in control and maintaining order. Usually, when people -happen- to look at my classes, it always seems to be the worst times.

    The lesson plans said to line up at the main building to have the bus students, YMCA students, and parent pick-up students go to their appropriate areas. On our way there, one student stopped in the line suddenly. The other students walking behind him bumped into him. The next thing I knew, four students had fallen over at once. I swear -- it was quite literally a domino effect, because they all began crying -- one-by-one -- in the hallway! We were right in the center of all the other classes.

    Grr. I was irritated, but I didn't express any of that to the students. I just tried to ask what was wrong and calm them down with a soothing voice.

    Of course, this was when two teachers and the staff member responsible for handing out keys to the substitute decided to walk up. They gathered the students up, helped straighten them up as the other classes let out, and directed me to take the parent pick-up line out.

    Afterwards, I straightened up the chairs, put the papers into neat piles and set them onto the nice, empty desk the full-time teacher left for me, and typed up a letter for the teacher explaining everything that happened that day.

    Later, one of the teachers that was directing me earlier in the main building said that "I didn't know" and that everything was fine. I am guessing that he's referring to the dismissal procedure, but I didn't apologize; I was only following what was in the lesson plans. The lesson plans said -- exactly -- line up in the main building, and teachers will come and take certain students with them.

    The teacher I was talking to was a man I saw earlier in the halls. He said, "Dude, you're making me feel bad, wearing the things you are. I'm going to have to start wearing a tie."

    I guess the teachers that came and gathered up the students were doing just that. They just happened to come at a bad time. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I sometimes get the feeling that I'm being judged over bad moments like that.

    Well, all I can do is follow the lesson plans the best I can. Other than that, no significant problems -- I considered this a good day.

    Monday, I will be teaching "vacancy" -- in other words, a mystery assignment. It is at the same elementary school I taught at today. See you then!
     
  23. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Shane,

    Wow. You have been very busy, and your posts are quite entertaining. I especially got a good laugh out of the domino effect in the hallway..... ugghhhh... all in all, you seem to be doing a good job.

    I wouldn't worry about being judged by others. You say you are following the plans and that is what shoudl matter.
     
  24. souptunuts

    souptunuts Rookie

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    Too funny! As I read the domino effect part, I said to myself, UGGGh been there done that. Then I see the same Uggg from MissFrizzle!!

    Something I definitely need work on is the quiet, straight line or just lining up in general.
     
  25. souptunuts

    souptunuts Rookie

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    Truism; but, oh would I love to hear what is said about subs!
     
  26. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    The only thing I've ever said about subs is when I notice how GOOD thier classroom mangement is. Truthfully, I've never worked with a sub as an Aide, but this Friday I will. Maybe I will post.
     
  27. Back2Work

    Back2Work Rookie

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    Oct 7, 2006

    I did a 2nd grade for half a day yesterday. Many of these kids were more emotionally needy than I have had in a long time...but they were very sweet. When I got there is was time to bring them to lunch. I could not believe how quiet they were in the hallway. After lunch, we had a video of Christopher Columbus to watch. They were a little chatty during the movie, and got quite giggly when they saw the native american cartoon people had no clothes on. I turned the movie off and let them get all their giggles out for a minute, and then put it back on. They were quieter for the rest of it. They then had to color, cut and paste a puzzle of Columbus. We didnt get all the way through that, but I let them take it home. Then we went outside for recess. Holy cow...that is a little stressful when there are many classes out there and you just met the kids you are in charge of!! When I blew the whistle to come in, I was still missing a few in my line. I had to ask the kids who I was missing, because there were so many kids out there I didnt know who was where!

    After recess, we came in and I had to fill in their behavior charts for the day, they got their treat (if they had 3's on their chart every day of the week), got their stuff out of the mailboxes and lockers to prepare to go home. Then they had art...again...soooo quiet in the hallway I couldnt get over it! While they were in art, I corrected spelling tests, put them in the grade book, and made up some flash cards of sight words the teacher had left for me to do if I had time.

    After art, I gave out stickers to everyone that got their stuff together and was sitting quietly...which was everyone by the time they saw me handing them out. I had also brought lollipops, but that is what they had to choose as a treat from their teacher for their behavior, so I did the stickers instead.

    Dismissal was fine, except for a couple of students leaving water bottles and jackets behind, and somehow we lost the doorstopper?!

    A good day! No school on Monday or Tuesday....we'll see what happens Wednesday! Have a good weekend!
     
  28. Shane Steinmetz

    Shane Steinmetz Rookie

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    Oct 9, 2006

    Thank you, MissFrizzle, and souptunuts.

    MissFrizzle, you're right. If I'm doing the best that I can, that's all that matters. I will endeavor to expand the limits of what constitutes my "best," but I will give it my all every day. I'll try to make sure that the tax money (all five pennies) that I'm being paid is put to good use.

    Back2Work, I think turning off the video to get the giggles and laughs out of the children was a great idea. I'm sure that as long as you didn't rewind or replay that part, you were fine!

    I know what you mean by recess, too. Often, I'm out with other classes. I don't even have a whistle with me, though! I often ask my students to run out and identify other students from the class and bring them back to the line. Since everyone in the class knows everyone else, they can tell very easily if someone is not in the line that should be there.
     
  29. Shane Steinmetz

    Shane Steinmetz Rookie

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    Oct 9, 2006

    October 9, 2006
    Substitute

    Today, I substituted for "vacancy."

    In this elementary school, that generally means that a teacher will circulate around the school at a regular time interval to allow other teachers to leave for some important meeting or discussion. In this case, a reading coach or director was calling various teachers in to discuss students' progress.

    So, I had six different classes. The first two were first grade. The third was second grade. The fourth was third grade. The fifth was fifth grade, and the last one was first grade.

    Today was a strange day for the school. It was some kind of Holiday, I guess, because all the banks were closed. However, the schools remained opened.

    Oddly enough, four teacher's assistants for the special education classes called out sick! The principal said that we were "going down under." Fortunately, I wasn't running any of these special ed classes. Teacher's assistants are a mandatory part of special education classes, and it is very challenging for even a full-time, qualified teacher to run it by him or herself.

    In the first class, the teacher had a very well-maintained room. She already went over attendance and the morning procedures with the class. She just had me read a story ("Super Pup") to the class and hand out some worksheets and worksheet packets for them to complete.

    The teacher had a "positive reinforcement" system. She had a picture of the sea on her wall and different "levels"; she'd show the bottom of the sea all the way up to the surface, with a picture of an island at the top. There were circles with the names of students on each one -- blue for male students, and pink for female students.

    The reward system worked by moving students "up a level" whenever they behaved well. If they "reached the surface," they'd earn recess. Otherwise, they would have to sit out.

    I just can't work with a system of positive reinforcement like that without knowing the students. As I expressed in an earlier entry, I'd have to decide the appropriate time interval at which to "reward" them and then stop and take the time to do it. It's much easier to use a system of negative reinforcement because you only have to focus on the misbehaving students. If you haven't noted or otherwise punished a student for misbehavior, then the only logical conclusion is that she or he had been good. (Or, it could be he or she does a really good job of HIDING the misbehavior...)

    The teacher came back about three to five minutes late.

    Here we go, I thought. Another snowball effect!

    You see, I've done this type of assignment before. Last time, there was a disaster with one of the teacher's classes. It was a fourth or third grade class. The teacher had all the papers I needed for the class stacked on her desk with sticky notes with another paper nearby with instructions on them. However, I had trouble managing the class and administering the lesson plans.

    The class was so rowdy and talkative that I spent most of my time trying to get the class under control. I guess I overlooked some part of the lesson plans when it came to vocabulary work, because I was supposed to hand them a vocabulary sheet she typed up; instead, I handed out a generic sheet that the class insisted they normally used. When she showed up, though, she quickly realized the situation was wrong and corrected me in front of the class.

    She was shouting at the class for misbehavior, and then turned to me and shouted at me with an interrogative tone. "My lesson plans were right there!" She apologized right afterward, puzzling over how I overlooked the materials that were right there. I didn't have an answer, other than I overlooked them.

    I was severely shaken up over that incident, but what was worse was that she decided to take a lunch break. She said that she didn't have an opportunity to eat lunch, so she was going to do so. She told the students that it wouldn't have been fair for them to have lunch and then not have lunch herself.

    Meanwhile, while I stayed behind for that teacher, the clock was ticking. My time for the class was already up, and I was supposed to be with my next teacher so that she could go on to her meeting. However, I was stuck behind because the teacher I was with wanted to go on break.

    She came back, released the students to special area, and left the room. The assistant principal came in over the intercom wondering where the substitute was and telling me that I needed to get to my next class. I explained to her the situation, and she just said "Okay." I walked over to my next teacher's classroom. The teacher I was with saw me and hurriedly told me where she was. On my way, I saw a bunch of teachers on both of my sides telling me, "She's been waiting for you."

    If they had said anything like that to me now, I probably wouldn't replied with "and through no fault of my own!" But, I said nothing. If someone actually wanted to discipline me for what happened, they'd find out the truth soon enough.

    During times like these, I think the school suffers from "right hand/left hand" syndrome; they don't know what they're doing. Clearly, the teachers didn't realize I had a time schedule to follow!

    But, that was last school year. This year, things have run much better -- especially after making it out alive from that parallel dimension they call an elementary school. If I can handle that, I can do anything.

    Now, back to this school -- which is in my dimension...

    The teacher for my second class asked me if she could go to the bathroom really quick. She already came back late. Remembering the issues I had last school year under this exact same scenario, I decided that it probably would be best to NOT do that. She said she didn't want to get me into trouble, and would just have the neighboring teacher cover her classroom. (They were interconnected classrooms, and the bathroom was in between both rooms.)

    The third class was second grade, which was not hard at all.

    The teacher was the same person I had for kindergarten. Did she recognize me? I don't know. I can say that she seems much older (and "colder") than she was back then, but her experience and expertise showed in how the class behaved.

    She was in the middle of a lesson as I walked in. I apologized for being late (which wasn't my fault), but she seemed to ignore it. She said, "here" and handed me the textbook she was reading to the class. She told the class, "And now, he's going to write the last one."

    What the heck? Imagine doing a play without a rehearsal.

    Okay, now imagine worse -- doing the play without a rehearsal... and without even reading the lines!

    That's what this was like.

    Fortunately, I caught on quick.

    I finished up the lesson and she got me the papers I needed and went out.

    That class was so quiet, well-behaved, and orderly. They asked for permission to do everything, and it seemed the students that were easily distracted or otherwise had problems concentrating were in their own, separate seats.

    We finished the work. The teacher came back, picked up her papers, and quickly forgot that I was present in the room. It's like I wasn't even in existence.

    Onto the next class... third grade.

    Guess what? This was the same exact teacher I had last year under the same circumstances! This was the teacher I had right after the one that needed to have a lunch break. This time, though, I didn't have the peanut gallery tell me I was late or that someone was waiting for me.

    Simple assignment. We had language arts to do, math, and then more math.

    It was finished successfully, with no behavior problems.

    However, the build-up of teachers coming back later from the schedules was becoming worse. In the beginning, the first teacher came back only three to five minutes late. Because of this trend, the lateness snowballed into me arriving to my next class later, and the teacher coming back later!

    What would this mean for my 40-minute lunch break?

    Well, this teacher came back just in time for me to have a 10-minute lunch break. Instead of a lunch break, though, it was more like a bathroom break.

    Fortunately, I ran into the reading coach on my way to the restroom. She understood the circumstances, and decided to bump everything up 10 minutes so that we could get 20 minutes instead of 10. There was also the fact that we had permission to leave early if our last teacher arrived early enough to take everyone to dismissal.

    In the teacher's lounge -- during our "snack" break -- I talked to some of the teachers. There was one teacher there that recognized me from elementary school. Her daughter and I were in the same class, and she often volunteered for my elementary school classes. She was actually a teacher now.

    She asked what I was doing there, and I told her that I was a substitute. Despite my body language, she blurted out, "What? But you're only 18 or 19 now! How can you do that?"

    Silence fell over the lounge. It was obvious my attempt at stopping her failed. One of the teacher's off to my left brightened up and commented, "Well, I've always seen you dress professionally."

    My past during elementary school is a little blurred. It was a hectic time for my social life and my interaction with other parents and teachers. I didn't always agree with others, and some of the problems left "sore spots" with the past staff members at the school and some of the adults that knew me there. It's complicated.

    In spite of all this, we had a conversation. It certainly wasn't "old friends catching up"; it was just.. civil. I wanted to try to make sure that we ended on a pleasant note. I will try to improve my relationship with her when I see her in the future.

    After this, it was time for the final two classes.

    The next to last class -- was a fifth grade class.

    I walked in, and the teacher realized that we were running late. She already had the students working on a social studies lesson. She said that the students were basically on auto-pilot; they knew what they were doing, and any materials they needed could be retrieved from their books. All the answers and relevant information was in their textbooks.

    The teacher told me that it may be different because I was the only substitute that she had in the entire year. She then left. There were no lesson plans, then, other than to make sure that the students did not float away.

    I immediately got a sentiment from the students that they didn't like substitutes. How did I know? They told me!

    One girl said she didn't like substitutes because one particularly mean one last year made her cry. Another one said she just never liked substitutes.

    I told them not to shoot me just because they had bad experiences with others. I managed to get a laugh out of them.

    Other than some talkative behavior, there were no serious problems. I did have a problem with one student, however, who decided to comment on my job performance.

    She asked me for help regarding some questions on her worksheet. I admitted that I didn't know what the material was or what it was covering.

    She said that as a teacher, I should know all the information. She said that I wasn't doing a very good job as a teacher.

    I tried telling her that even after going to college for years, teachers still don't know (or remember) everything there is to know about the subjects they teach. I told her as a substitute, I was given no advanced notice of what they were learning and had no opportunity to review it.

    She then told me not to compare her (or any other students) to college people. She said that was "mean."

    I got down to the point and told her that as an elementary school student, she wasn't qualified to judge my job performance.

    She didn't have much to say after that. She and her friend worked together for the rest of the class.

    When the teacher came back, I told her of the little verbal exchange. She said, "Yeah, I know that girl; she's a little smart alec."

    I told her, "Well, I asked her if she, as an elementary school student, was even really in a position to comment on my job performance."

    She said a relieved "Thank you...!" like I stole words right out of her mouth.

    After that, it was the final class -- first grade. The teacher was in the middle of telling the office that I hadn't shown up, but she cancelled the call right after I arrived. She figured they were all running late, but she didn't seem perturbed.

    The class was straight-forward. I read them a story about Christopher Columbus, and they began to color pictures of ships to make the materials needed for Columbus Day. I read over the teacher's "dimissal plans" in the sub folder, which she left behind just in case she didn't arrive in time to dismiss the students.

    I studied it well. I didn't want another domino effect like last time, so I was trying to figure out a way to get the students out without any problems.

    The teacher came back just in time to take over the rest of dismissal, but I already had them put their papers away, pack up, and clean up their areas. The teacher was very happy. I told her that the class was very well-behaved, and that this could only reflect a good full-time teacher. :) She thanked me.

    That was the end of my day. Afterwards, I went to Chick-Fil-A (traitor!) to get "lunch."

    This was a great day. However, I am starting to suspect that I need to start a regimen of coffee in the morning, or something. I'm just never totally awake in the morning anymore.

    Tomorrow, I will be substituting for "Vacancy" yet again. I get to do this all over again -- except with different teachers.
     
  30. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Oct 9, 2006

    Shane Get a whistle. Positive reinforcement does work. use stickers for younger kids. any way it sounds like you are doing better. Terry G.
     
  31. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Oct 9, 2006

    My first sub assingment on Wednesday...... my first one since returning to teaching in 5 years... Hope I still got it:D
     
  32. enseigner

    enseigner Rookie

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    Oct 10, 2006



    You'll do great. Stop by and tell us about it if you're not too tired after getting back into the swing of things :)
     
  33. Back2Work

    Back2Work Rookie

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    Oct 10, 2006

    Good Luck Miss Frizzle...I am sure you will do great!
     
  34. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Oct 10, 2006

    Thanks Back2Work:)
     
  35. Mrs_Goatess

    Mrs_Goatess Comrade

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    Oct 10, 2006

    You can do it, MissFrizzle!

    Here's what I did this week:

    Monday: 12th grade Government and Economics (book work)
    Tuesday: 7th grade Language Arts (Movie of the text they had read)
    Wednesday: 7th grade Computers (I don't know what they're doing yet... Isn't that the joy of subbing?!)
     
  36. Back2Work

    Back2Work Rookie

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    Oct 12, 2006

    I got called for a 6th grade today. We did science and math blocks of teaching today. I had 2 80 minute periods of science (my homeroom kids, and another homeroom class). They had to take a science test. When everyone was finished, there was a worksheet they could work on with a partner. For the 2 40 minute periods of math, I had to collect HW, go over some notes, and do a part of the HW sheet together on the board. Then they had to work on another sheet alone. For these two classes, I had the same 2 homerooms I had for science.

    After the second math period, they had gym. While they were there, I corrected the math HW they handed in. What are your thoughts about correcting papers for teachers? I felt like I was helping her out...but I dont know. She didnt ask me to, but I didnt mind doing it. ANyone have any opinions about this??

    After gym it was study hall. I let them get started on HW, and they took turns on the computers.

    I was truly amazed at how well behaved they were. WHen I applied to sub, I was nervous putting down that I would sub for middle school, as most of my experience is with elementary. However, I have been pleasantly surprised by the 5th and 6th graders I have worked with so far! Even the kids that she said might be a problem, were actually quite helpful!

    It was also wonderful to have VERY detailed lesson plans left for me, along with a seating chart! I think I heard that the teacher I subbed for was a 1st year teacher. SHe probably subbed for awhile before getting her job, and knew to leave such great plans!

    We'll see if I get called tomorrow!:)

    Allison
     
  37. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 12, 2006

    Personally I wouldn't grade homework for a teacher simply because you don't know her grading system. She may grade on completion rather than correction. She may grade other things besides the answer. She may give leniency to special needs students. She might give partial credit. I know some teachers are picky about even letting their aides do it, then others welcome their aides grading every piece of paper that comes across the desk. Since it is a very individual thing, as a sub, I would recommend you not touch it. It was very nice of you to do it though. :)
     
  38. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Oct 12, 2006


    thank you. It was a great day. I subbed in a 3rg grade classroom. The kids had a special ( art ) immediately after morning announcements which left me with another 30 mins to look over the plans for the day.

    The class was very differentiated, and there were many many pull outs which I bet the teacher finds a big challenge. I felt like I was missing half the class for most of the day.

    We did math ( place value)
    Lang. Arts ( sentence structure_
    read National Geographic Kids
    Current Events
    The kids really enjoyed listening to their read aloud, the Lemony Snickets Unfortunate Events series.

    The only thing I was nervous about was dismissal. It's kind of unorganized, and these days you never know who is out there waiting. I had the walkers wave to me once they found their parent.

    It was good to be back..... :love:
     
  39. souptunuts

    souptunuts Rookie

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    Oct 17, 2006

    Yeah! Well it sounds like you had a great class. Third grade is good.


    It IS hard dealing with those pull outs. I find that I rarely get clear info on how to handle the lessons the children miss. It's also bad when they miss a brand new subject. If the pull out kids are listed somewhere (and if they are not, I ask them who leaves and at what time) I jot all those times down and see the times when most kids are out and work new material around it.

    And I'm right there with you on the dismissal. Where I usually sub, there are 800 students and no busses! Only about 20% go to onsite or offsite day care. The rest of them we walk outside and they are picked up by car, sibling, parent on foot, or they walk. YUCK. I stick with the H rule and it helps.
     
  40. Back2Work

    Back2Work Rookie

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    Oct 17, 2006

    I hear ya on the dismissal thing. On Friday, a 2nd grade girl brought me a note saying from her mom saying that she was supposed to go to the rec program at the school until 5:00 that day. I gave it to the office, as I had no idea how that whole system works. Then the teacher didnt have a list of which kids went to the afterschool program at all. After a few kids left when their bus was called, one little girl said, "Oh I dont think Jessica was supposed to go on the bus today, she was supposed to go to the rec program." How the heck am I supposed to know where they are supposed to go if the teacher doesnt leave that info!

    Subbed in a 5th grade inclusion program yesterday. Did some direct instruction of ELA, a study hall and two blocks of Push in teaching. Kind of scattered around...a different kind of day!

    Got a message on my machine today while I took my sick son to the doc, from the Special Ed dept in my district wanting to set up an interview for a long term sub position. I'll let ya know what happens!
     

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