When substitute teacher (of elementary grdae) is done early cus the last period is PE

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Subber, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Lindager

    Lindager Companion

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    Jan 16, 2011

    In one of the schools I sub in it says in the sub info packet " subs do not get prep time. When it is a teachers prep time you are expected to report to the office for duties" I have been asked to file, staple, and fold in the main office, I have been sent to the library to help shelve books and I have been asked to sit with a special ed student at lunch. I see nothing wrong with any of these request, they all are part of what needs doing at a school.

    When I worked in a laboratory 9and I have worked at several) I had a set workday usually something like 8:30 to 5:00. I was expected to be there during those hours and find something to do even if it was washing glassware. Those were the hours I was paid for and I better be there. If we were extra busy and I had to stay late then I was expected to do that too, and I would not make an extra penny I was salaried and that was it. I was a professional and worked with professionals some with PhD's. A professional does what needs to be done and doesn't say "Thats not my job"

    When I spoke of hearing what was going on by being in the office I was not talking about gossip. In the schools I work in there is only one office and the secretaries and the Principal all share a central area. What I hear is about students and the inner workings of the school.
     
  2. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Jan 16, 2011

    yeah you should stay for the entire time you are paid for - and be happy you were needed.
     
  3. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Jan 16, 2011

    oh please don't become a teacher if sorting paperwork is insulting...
     
  4. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Jan 16, 2011


    I wasn't speaking of listening to gossip and finding out things about people. To be clear, I meant that I learned a lot about the administration of a school (how the school runs beyond the classroom). This was valuable to me, because at the time, my goal was to become a full time teacher. And, actually, the administrative personnel at the school where I worked were far too busy to sit around gossiping. This might be different at other schools.
     
  5. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Jan 16, 2011

    Put it this way: if I were a contracted teacher (like the contracted teachers here who are admonishing subs for feeling the way they do), I wouldn't have a problem with doing any of the stuff as mentioned either.

    That's sort of my point: (As the teacher that they know you are) If they knew you had free time in your conference period, would they tell you to stick around--and find something for you to do, sharpen pencils, or sit around like a kid until 3:00 rolled around?

    Teachers seem to think we (subs) enjoy the same level of everything that they do. It's easy to say--you should do whatever they tell you to do. But the reality (in this case) is more about a general outlook and feeling than it is official professional obligations. How subs are normally treated like 2nd-class citizens in/around the school environment (not always, but often). Subs get told what to do. They get hassled by the kids. And let's not even talk about a "salary" level that hasn't gone up along with cost of living, etc. as teachers have... no insurance, no this, no that.

    So as I said (I think I said insulting)... maybe the more appropriate word is degrading: It degrades you a little bit more than you normally are degraded, to finish your teaching day by waiting for them to ring every ounce of "work time" out of you, finding some menial chore for you to do until quittin' time.

    (And don't give me the "If it's so bad, quit." That's not the point.)
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 16, 2011

    How is it degrading to work during the time you're scheduled to work?

    I used to be a front desk manager at a hotel when I was in grad school. If my shift was 3-11 and all my work was done by 6, which it usually was, I had to find something to keep myself busy for another 5 hours. That usually meant putting paper in the printer, alphabetizing stuff, organizing, cleaning the big windows in the lobby, whatever. None of that work was degrading, even though I wasn't hired as a custodian or as a front desk clerk. You do what needs to get done when you have time to do it. Period.
     
  7. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Jan 16, 2011

    Previously, I said that I had ZERO problem with filling in when a need exists. And I've never turned down ANY thing they've asked me to do. I'm telling you that I have a problem with the notion that I should be made to fill the staple guns in the office because "I'm on my free period". I have a problem with sharpening the pencils. Or watering the plants. Or twiddling my thumbs in the front office.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 16, 2011

    But how is even a task like sharpening pencils degrading? It needs to be done, especially when there are tests coming up. I just am not understanding the attitude that being asked to work equals being treated unfairly.
     
  9. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Jan 16, 2011

    Gimme a break.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 16, 2011

    All right. I'm not trying to bust your chops, I just don't get it. You're getting paid to work for a set period of hours in a day. If you're not working during that time, how can you expect to get paid?
     
  11. DaveG

    DaveG Companion

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    Jan 17, 2011

    As others have mentioned, I'm having a difficult time relating to your situation and what exactly the problem is.

    I am a contracted teacher, but I am frequently asked to do administrative work around the school and for the district. I don't consider it degrading. These are tasks that need to be done and I am paid to be there doing them. We have over 4000 students and a few hundred teachers (not to mention all the other staff) in our school, so it's not surprising that our office staff always has a constant stream of work to be done.

    Your attitude seems to give the opinion that you are in some way God's gift to teaching and shouldn't have to perform such "trivial" tasks as paperwork filing etc. These are requirements of almost every teacher, so why do you think that by subbing for a teacher you should only have to perform one part of the job (the actual teaching) as opposed to everything else that goes with it?

    As to your complaints about being told what to do and being hassled by kids, this sounds pretty much like most contracted teachers, too. While I understand sub pay is not high in many districts, I also don't understand your complaints of lack of benefits (insurance etc) - it's a substitute position, not a full-time contracted position, so I'm not sure what you would expect?
     
  12. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Jan 17, 2011

    Last month there was a day when I had to be the principal for the day. Normally I could still be in class, but long story short they got me a sub and I spent the day in the office. There were times when I was overwhelmed with work and other times I had very little to do. While I was up there, I sorted mail, taped candies to student packets, and copied school flyers.
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jan 17, 2011

    In short, yes they would (although the likelihood of me having nothing to do at any point in the day is highly unlikely). We must be in the school during our planning periods whether they fall at the beginning, middle or end of the day.
     
  14. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Jan 17, 2011

    I started out the year as a contracted teacher in the AM and a sub in the PM. Probably the one placed I subbed the most was in the office for either the P or the VP. I did lots of office work. Often, asking the secretary for something to do, as it was sometimes difficult to sit around in the office waiting for something to do. Sometimes I would be free to work with students from my classroom as well. But overall, as a sub, you do what you're told.

    I ran into a sub at the beginning of the year in the grocery store, who was confused as to why she was no longer called to sub for a school I used to work at. I knew exactly the reason. It was because she put up a fuss about helping organize the library, when she was subbing for the principal. Instead she sat in the staff room reading the newspaper. Not a good impression, not a good way to get called. There were plenty of others that were on that sub list, so they started calling someone else.

    The point of the story is, at least in this district, you usually put in some time as a sub before getting a job. It's not always fun (although I did generally enjoy subbing - I like a contract more!). But it's one of those things you just have to do, and do it with a smile. If you choose to whine about your rights (that aren't even really your rights, I might add - I would feel differently if the principal was making you wash his car or something non-work related) then you choose to allow someone else who won't complain and will do the job happily to have that subbing job when they need someone again.
     
  15. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Jan 17, 2011

    Bottom line is that we aren't going to agree, if you aren't willing to see a sub's POV.
    Just to restate: I never said I bellyached, refused or in any way or made negative tones in taking on ANY task given to me in my prep periods. And when they actually need help, I'm glad to be of help. Nor did I say that any of it is outside the bounds of a sub's professional obligations. I do think it's something of a professional courtesy, and when an office refuses to dismiss you, and goes off to find some task for you to do... it's uncool.

    My sub days are usually from 8-3pm. I routinely stay after 3, straightening up, writing notes to teachers, making sure kids are squared away, safe, etc. Picking up jackets and leftover lunch boxes. Normally this takes me 20-30 minutes past official quitting time. Do they pay me? Do I mind? No. Why? Because it's a professional courtesy--finishing my job and making sure it's all good for the next day.

    By the same token, I believe that prep periods in my districts generally fall under the category of professional courtesy. Yes--when they need something done or an extra pair of eyes/hands, I'm happy to help. But don't make me fill staple guns or just sit in a chair until 3:00.
     
  16. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Jan 17, 2011

    I don't think its a matter of "seeing a sub's point of view" because I was a sub not that long ago, my sister is a sub now, and several of my closest friends. I think looking down on other staff members' work is what my issue is. There are teachers who have the attitude that there is this "class" difference between classified and certificated staff at certain schools and in my opinion that is not cool. You are right about the part where we aren't going to agree but you are way off on the point that its because I/we don't want to see a sub's POV. Its an unfortunate reality in many school where a divide exists where it doesn't need to.
     
  17. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jan 17, 2011

    It has nothing to do with a sub's point-of-view. It's an issue of professionalism. There have been many times when I've been in the office during my planning period, seen that the secretaries or administrators were busy with something, and offered to help out. I've ended up sharpening pencils, sticking mailing labels on envelopes, or answering the phone while the receptionist had to run to the bathroom or whatever. I did it as a professional courtesy.

    I still do not understand why you think you should get paid until 3:00 if you do not work until 3:00. I think that's my biggest issue with anyone wanting to leave early. (I know some teachers have special deals where they come in 10 minutes early and leave 10 minutes early or whatever. That's not what I'm talking about.) As a substitute teacher, you are fulfilling the duties of the teacher you have replaced for the day. If that teacher wouldn't be able to leave early, neither should you. We can't leave campus for more than an hour without taking a part of a personal or sick day, so in a sense, we pay to leave that time. If you leave everyday for an hour, you get a note in your file and lose the privilege. Why should a sub, paid by the hour or by the day assuming a certain number of hours, be able to leave early and still get the same pay? I really don't understand why anyone, salaried or not, thinks it's okay to work less than a full day and still earn a full day's pay.
     
  18. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jan 17, 2011

    Well, when I was a sub, if I worked during a prep I got paid extra for it. I would only work if they needed extra people to cover classes. You were hoping they'd offer to let you go so then you got upset when it came back to bite you in the rear. When I subbed I never left early even if my prep was at the end of the day. I just stayed in the teacher's lounge or the classroom. If they needed me they knew where to find me. Maybe you can just stay out of sight during end of the day preps next time and they won't give you extra work to do!

    And yes, since I was a sub at one point, I do see their POV. But seriously, the sub asked for more work. The secretary didn't go looking for him/her pile on more work for the heck of it.
     
  19. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Jan 17, 2011

    I just don't see where you get professional courtesy. It is not professional courtesy to let you go early. I don't get let go early - ever!

    At my school sub's are expected to do all the jobs teachers are (except of course planning, meetings, etc.) Subs are expected to dismiss even if they don't have kids they help us finish dismissing. There are times when we say go ahead we have it. Some subs go and some don't. But that isn't a guarantee. If you're job ends at 3:00p.m expect to be there until then.

    As a teacher I spend WAY too much time at school. On the rare occasion I am ready to leave at 3:15p.m. is a welcome event - I'd love to leave 15 minutes early. I drive an hour to school and home. However, my contracted time is till 3:30p.m. I cannot leave. I may find something to do or sit and talk with a colleague - but my behind has to be in school until its ok for me to leave. I go to school up to 2 hours before I have to in order to get things done. If I can put in all that extra time and still not leave early - I can't imagine anyone thinking you should be given the "courtesy" of not working.

    And, I must say, if a sub were to expect to be sent home early they would be blacklisted. Our school actively searches for both subs that are awesome and subs that don't benefit our school. Teachers and office staff have ALOT of say in who is asked back and who is not.
     
  20. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Jan 17, 2011

    Ok here is the thing. In the last couple of weeks here have been some of my non-teaching related duties I had to perform:

    1. clean the bathroom in my classroom (it smelled bad)
    2. vacuum my room
    3. un-jam the copier a gazillion times
    4. braided a child's hair so he wouldn't be in trouble with dress code.
    5. purchase new pants for a student that didn't have any that fit.
    6. Babysat a sibling of one of my students. (mom didn't want to pick them up at separate times so I said the other could stay in my room until tutoring was over for my student)
    7. Stand in and watch another class as my colleague need a potty break.

    This is just a sampling of things that I'd prefer not to have to do - but knowing that teaching is a catch all, I do and am grateful I am valued and needed.

    If you don't like doing "menial" tasks and working WAY too hard for the pay - please don't go into teaching.
     
  21. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Jan 17, 2011

    I never turn down any requests to stay. That would be foolish.

    However, there is some troubling hypocrisy in my main district.

    I have stated in another thread that I was sent home with 40% pay day instead of the 120% day for staying because the district failed to put me in the system, even though I was the requested sub.
    However, the special ed aide in the adjoining classroom was also out for the day. I asked the secretary if I could stay as the next door aide.

    She called the district office for permission to let me work as the aide for the day.

    The district said "no" because my job was "certificated", and the aides job was " classified", and certificated employees are not allowed to work as classified employees. Any job other than teacher is " classified".

    This reminded me of what a teacher had told me a couple years ago.
    She explained that, it is against the law for subs to work in the office because that job function is under a different designation.

    Of course, I would still never refuse, but I wonder if we are actually being used innappropriately.

    Beginning this year, the rules for subs remaining on minimum days is somewhat ambiguous.

    We recieved a memo at the start of this year that said subs will be allowed to leave with full pay when the students are out.
    HOWEVER, it then stated that if the office manager or principal choose to keep you, they are allowed to pay you only 75% if you choose to leave.
    I worked at one school this year where I was asked to stay and file in the office. I thought at the time I was only doing them a favor, and told them I was finished about 50 minutes later. The manager reminded me that If chose to leave then, I would earn less pay, so of course I stayed.
    At another school, the office manager said she was being nice to me by letting me leave at 2:45. I reminded her that according to the memo, she had a choice of when we could leave.
    She replied that at a recent meeting, office managers were told to keep us around. I guess we subs did not get an updated memo about this.

    I have noticed that many teachers are equating the subs responsibilty with their own with regards to staying for the entire day, even if all duties for the classroom have been fulfilled.

    Keep in mind that on average, subs earn 25% of what contracted teachers earn. So our time obligations should not be expected to match the teacher if we are indeed finished.

    Much like John Lee, I am usually in the classroom for an average of 45 minutes after the bell to make sure the teacher can transition easily into the next day without having to tie loose ends together.
    However I do this as a courtesy, although it takes me past 3:00. It is my choice, not my obligation.
    I feel considering our low pay, the lowest for any college graduate, a courtesy allowing us to leave leave early on a minimun day is a kind "professional" gesture.
     
  22. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Jan 17, 2011

    I definitely think that if they call you to work a whole day - and you are willing to work - you should be paid for the whole day. They should not be able to send you home early with reduced pay. That is not fair.
     
  23. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Jan 17, 2011

    Fortunately, they cannot force us to leave early. It is up to us.

    However, the office manager has the choice of whether to let you go early with a full day's pay, or whether to make you stay, with the threat of only 75% pay if you choose to leave.
     
  24. waffles

    waffles Companion

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    Jan 18, 2011

    Again, I'm glad that my full day is counted once I'm there over 4 hours and not counted down to the minute.
     
  25. Lindager

    Lindager Companion

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    Jan 18, 2011

    I am a substitute teacher not a contract teacher. Last year I did a LTS position where I taught 6 classes and had full responsibility for the classes. When I had planned to be away for a week I offered to cancel my plans, but I was told no it was OK go. So I stayed the Friday before and wrote 4 pages of lesson plans. (3 of the classes had state testing). One of the contract teachers saw me in the computer lab writing up the plans at 4:30 PM. She said to me what are you still doing here that is not your job they don't pay you enough for that. I said I know, but if I don't do it who will? The other teacher went and asked the Principal/Superintendant(NJ has some very small districts). He said he would ask the 8th grade Algebra teacher to do the math lesson plan.
    Well in the end I did 3 months work and made very little money, but I learned SO much. I was glad I had done it. When I asked the P/S for a reference this year He sent me an amazing glowing reference. I feel that is worth much more then a little more money would have been. When I go to look for a full time job that letter will be a great foot in the door.
     
  26. nida

    nida New Member

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    Apr 11, 2017

    I want to know that is it ok , for substitute to leave a little early after the bell rings and kids are gone .
    For example the school ends at 2:15, the classroom is clean, no prep work left by teacher. So can the substitute leave early at 2:20 instead of 3:15 ?
    The office staff just asked if there was any prep work left by the teacher, and saying no they just let me go. I told them the detailed report is on her desk with all the class work corrected.
     
  27. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    First, if they specifically said you were good to go after your asking if there's anything else they need help with, that would probably be okay.

    However, as a sub that was trying to make a name for myself, set up a strong resume/set of references for an eventual full-time job, and being a perfectionist, I always found some way in which to make myself useful: I'd see if there was absolutely any way in which I could help either the office, or other teachers out. Often times, the principal would even know of a teacher who could use some extra help with some project or tidying...and as I got to know buildings/teachers more, I would often go and seek that out immediately without even going to the office first. My goal as a sub was to make that teacher's (and any other teacher's) life easier as much as possible.
     
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  28. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Apr 13, 2017

    Teachers have so much on their plates. When I'm subbing, I spend any prep time I have finding someone to help. The past few weeks I've printed/copied/organized/filed all the new reading curriculum for next year for an entire grade level. Why would I sit doing nothing when I'm being paid to work?
     
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  29. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Apr 20, 2017

    I will say this:

    1) It is always awesome to have friends with the secretary. It is what got me moved from a regular sub, to a full time "perm sub" (building specific sub). I did this by doing extra, asking where she needed me during my conference etc. I have done lots of office work, answering phones, copies, etc.

    2) It's what others have said- you are being paid for the whole day. While I do work strictly in High School, it is rare that I'm not needed elsewhere if I have no students. In the event that I have no students AND I am not needed elsewhere, she will sometimes offer to just let me go home, but I never ask. I always ask "Where do you need me or what can I do?"

    3) You want your name out in the open, and you want to build solid work ethic and references for later.
     
  30. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Apr 20, 2017

    Along those lines, I have pulled in to the school, only to find that the sub spot was double booked. If they needed me elsewhere, I would work. But if they were struggling to find busy work so that I would get paid, I would tell them it was on me. I lived close, and they would always remember that I wasn't out to nickel and dime them. I learned a lot in my subbing years, and eventually got to where I worked about 170 days out of 180. My references were excellent, and I enjoyed my time there. I was always to willing to do whatever needed to be done, even if not originally on the schedule. These people I worked with became great friends, so it was never a hardship.
     

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