Why do schools treat subs so badly?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Anonymousteach, Dec 17, 2011.

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  1. ihollywould

    ihollywould Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2011

    I agree. Now. I make enough to survive and a little bit to enjoy the city I live in (on the weekends, I'm a sucker for rock concerts and short dresses, what can I say).

    But also, in MN, subs are required to have a four-year degree and a substitute teaching license. If we sub longer than 20 days (I think it's 20, it may be 30), we're required to be fully licensed in the content area and age group we're teaching, just as we would if it were a permanent job. When I held a LTS job, I was paid just shy of $200/day. MN has some stricter guidelines for teachers, but also pays comparatively well.

    Also, the PRAXIS II is no longer valid in MN as of fall 2010. They made their own teacher exams because they're so bad-ass.

    But I digress.
     
  2. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Dec 18, 2011

    I have to disagree with that. I've seen opinions and/or posts from subs marginalized on here many times, including more than once in this thread. As I said in an earlier post, this is the only place where I've actually experience condescending comments aimed directly at subs and that really is a shame, but some members still obviously view subs as "not being a REAL teacher" even if the sub has as many teaching credentials as the member making the comment.

    Fortunately, I haven't encountered teachers with that attitude in my district. I've never received a bad report from a teacher and, in fact, have been called personally by several that I've subbed for before.

    I have earned a good reputation as both a substitute AND a teacher. I've done this by making sure the assigned work was done by the students, classroom behavior was managed and being able to extend or (gasp) add to a lesson when appropriate. My very first sub assignment was for one of our middle school math teachers. She had plans written on the board for the first full week, but when her circumstances required her to be out longer, she was happily surprised to learn that, not only could I teach the current lessons, I could also extend her lesson plans into the following week and move the kids along to the next unit, so her class was still on schedule rather than a week behind when she was able to return.


    So, please, give subs a little credit when they say they "supplemented" the lesson and consider the possibility (no matter how slim you may think it is) that they may have actually enriched the lesson rather than damaging it. Most subs DO "get it" and DO follow the lesson plans, but most subs also have their own teaching certifications and are capable of adding to a lesson plan from time to time.

    I understand completely that most teachers leave review work for the kids for a variety of reasons; they don't know which sub they will get and how well that sub might be able to actually "teach" their content area, it makes the teacher's job easier by providing review for the kids and makes the sub's job easier by keeping the assignment simple. I appreciate that thinking as a sub and understand it as a teacher, but let's not make it out to be more than it is. Whether it is on the current content or on a unit that always needs a little extra reinforcement, it is STILL review work and, as such, usually has very little impact on the "future lessons" planned for the class. One lesson really shouldn't be able to disrupt the "big picture" that much.
     
  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Dec 18, 2011

    That's fine for you to disagree, but I know his attitude influences how people interpret his posts. And I was speaking to John about John, not subs in general.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 18, 2011

    It was a compliment to good subs. No need to turn it around into something it's not.
     
  5. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Dec 18, 2011

    Understood. But there had been posts made with the tone he describes before he made his first post in the thread.
     
  6. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Dec 18, 2011

    Ok, folks, take two big steps back, take a few deep breaths, and think of your happy place. Seriously, from here I can see the raised hackles. Anything that is said, is fodder for the anger. You are reading someone's typed words. You have NO WAY of knowing what attitude they are putting into them. You are assuming what is implied. That's a dangerous game. So, maybe take a break from this thread. Look at some Christmas cookie recipes, go watch the reindeer, turn off the computer and spend some time with people you love, anything to step away from this for a while. There are some valid points in the middle of sniping (on both sides), but the sniping will cause the thread to be closed and the points to be lost. So, at the moment, many of you are holding the scissors in your hand to cut off your nose to spite your face. Breathe and try to enjoy your day! :)
     
  7. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Dec 18, 2011

    It's not easy being a sub.

    I don't consider myself a sensitive person. But when I subbed, I noticed that many adult staff members treated subs disrespectfully and unprofessionally. This only increases the difficulty of a job in which you attempt to deliver a top quality education in a totally new situation with too many variables to mention.

    I admire every sub that comes into our building and go out of my way to help them and offer resources and good will. Just the fact that they will come to our school, which is located in a crime ridden inner city, and brave the many behavioral issues that they are guaranteed to face each day, makes them heroes in my eyes.

    I also remember my experiences as a sub, and try to balance any disrespect exhibited by others by being very gracious and friendly to them.

    Maybe this experience will do for you what it did for me: give you an appreciation for the job that substitutes do when you become a classroom teacher, and allow you to empathize with them and express your gratitude that they came to your school.

    When I see a substitute in our school, I always say, "Thank you for coming in today. We appreciate it."
     
  8. Zabeth

    Zabeth Rookie

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    Dec 18, 2011

    "We have a couple retired teachers who sub, but otherwise our substitutes are not certified. I could be misunderstanding your post, but at least here a degree isn't required. Sixty-four college credits, though, are."



    Here in the province of Ontario, all substitutes are credentialled teachers, members of the Ontario College of Teachers. I am an occasional teacher (substitute) and a professional.

    Because of my experience as a professional teacher, I've been taken aback by some of the comments I've read on this thread wherein if I was deemed adequate I might be allowed to review materials in a classroom. In my board, I routinely teach lessons and present brand-new material.

    I can totally understand how demoralizing it might be for professional teachers who are subbing for a pittance in the States and not necessarily being treated as a member of the educational team. I don't know how I'd manage, frankly.
     
  9. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Dec 18, 2011

    Yes, I realize that in some areas the requirements for substitute teaching are greater than others.
     
  10. Zabeth

    Zabeth Rookie

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    Dec 18, 2011

    Didn't mean for it to seem like I was calling you out. Your post just gave me an opportunity to reply in a more general way to a few things that really stuck with me since first reading this thread yesterday.

    I guess I didn't realize how different subbing is (and how differently subs are perceived) in the States as opposed to in Canada. (For the record, I'm originally from California and well remember what grief we used to give subs. Egads!)
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Dec 18, 2011

    I understand. :)

    I agree that it seems to be two different worlds. Subs here are simply not viewed as "professional educators". Of course, they are absolutely not viewed as incompetent idiots either. They are valued...heck, the great ones are viewd like rock stars! :haha: But Many times they have a couple years of college education and are just working a job to get through school (often unrelated to teaching). I feel comfortable expecting them to follow the plans left without making significant changes...changes like last year when the sub had the students read the story independently when I asked her to read it to them (I have my reasons, of course) or when one allowed students to pick partners to accomplish a task (making the individual formative feedback I was hoping for inaccurate). I don't feel that makes me some superior, snotty teacher. It's simply that I was hired as the teacher and I'm directly responsible for educating those students.

    I was a sub, too. I cringe at some of the things I did now that I've been teaching for years. For example, I recall grading spelling tests thinking I was helping. But I would not do that now. Teachers have different systems and I could have screwed hers up. I took my job seriously as a substitute, but I didn't feel "equal to" the regular teachers, and I think that makes sense.
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Dec 18, 2011

    When I left review work for a sub, it was because the kids never seem to get enough time to review and this situation (my being out of the classroom) seemed like an ideal time to do so. I usually left a few options for review methods and didn't care if the sub came up with something different, as long as the kids got the review time in.
     
  13. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Dec 18, 2011

    I actually got my first teaching job from subbing in a private school. I was a parent there. They were desperate for a sub one week. I had a master's degree (out of field). They begged me to come in for a few days to finish out the week. The teacher could not make it back. They asked me to stay through the following week. She still could not return. They asked me to stay through the end of the month. Then the end of the year. Teachers dropped in to see if I needed help and were shocked to see things going so well. A child with serious issues was in the class; I was successful in reaching him, and the board offered me a job for the following year if I would move up with the class. I was thrilled.
     
  14. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Dec 18, 2011

    schoolteacher and Zabeth - Thank you for sharing your perspectives. Your comments were concise and to the point. They also nailed exactly how many subs feel due they are treated by other teachers.

    Upsadaisy - I agree a sub day is the perfect time for review and I'm perfectly ok with doing that. Sometimes it's a lesson I CAN help out with, other times, I just hand out worksheets, walk around the room, and take them up at the end of the period. It can get pretty boring doing that and I would definitely prefer the chance to bring some of my own knowledge and experience to the class, but if my knowledge doesn't apply to the content or lesson or if the teacher has left instructions that the students are to work individually and simply complete what they can on their own, that's what I do. I assume it is being used as an informal assessment, as well as a review, so I just tell the kids to do the best they can.

    I'm very grateful for my experiences as a sub. I've improved my classroom management because of it, but it's also let me experience what subs go through first hand. In a different thread, a member suggested that every teacher should spend the first 1-2 years out of college working as a substitue. I agree completely![/i] I think it would be a valuable experience for every teacher to work as a substitute in different schools and grade levels each day, not to mention interacting with new staff members each day.

    I have the utmost respect for subs. As a regular teacher, I did usually leave review work (although once it was a SmartBoard test review for the class), but if the sub deviated from that review or even ignored it completely (which never happened), it wouldn't have set the class back very far. One sub I used a lot was also certified in Middle School Math. I felt completely comfortable leaving her in charge of my class and allowing her to present the lesson for that day however she wanted to do it. Once, I gave her the OK to do her OWN lesson activity because it was something the kids would love and still tied directly into the current content.

    We had 3 moms in our school that were regular subs. In fact, they were usually there every day for somebody. I don't know the education level of any of them, but I would have felt equally comfortable leaving every one of them in charge of my class as well.

    Fortunately, the teachers, staff and admin in my district are great. I'm always treated with respect and even had a P tell the other team members I was the "complete package" last week, because I'm certified in two areas, but am also a fully licensed bus driver. The teacher I was subbing for that day also drives a bus route each day. So, not only was I certified in his class content, I was also able to drive his bus that afternoon. I don't know that I agree with being a "complete package", but my licenses DO give P's some extra options.
     
  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Dec 18, 2011

    As zabeth said, all of our subs are certified teachers. Most are outstanding and I feel confident leaving my regular plans for the day. I know that the students will be held accountable for their work and their behaviour, all of my duties will be covered, and that the day will run (reasonably) smoothly. There are a few (perhaps one/year in our building) who I request not to be in my classroom--they smell strongly of cigarette smoke, are rude to my students, are consistently late and leave things undone. For the most part, however, our guest teachers are valuable members of our staff who are highly respected by staff and students alike.
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Dec 18, 2011

    In my district you need 60 college credits, 6 of which must be in Education, to sub. Like someone else said a little earlier in the thread, lots of subs in my district take on the job as something interesting and temporary to do while finishing school with no intention of becoming certified teachers. While this is no excuse for treating subs with disrespect, it should adequately explain why many teachers don't leave full lessons or new content for a sub to teach.

    The subject I teach is unusual and fairly uncommon in schools. All but one of the subs I've had in my entire teaching career were completely unfamiliar with the subject. I would never expect a sub to be able to teach my subject. Frankly, I would never even expect a sub to be able to serve as a resource to students doing review work.

    My co-worker had a sub a few weeks ago because she became sick without warning. The sub took it upon himself to "organize" her desk, including handing back student papers that were piled up. The problem was that the papers he handed back were exams. And they hadn't been graded yet. So the teacher had to throw out that exam grade. Besides that, instead of doing the review activity she had left, the sub opted to teach new grammar. Incorrectly. When my co-worker returned to school, she had to deal with the exam fiasco and she also had to un-teach and re-teach an entire, massive grammar topic. (For those in the know, it was verb conjugating...a BIG deal in a foreign language class.) Even forgetting the fact that the sub taught the material incorrectly, teaching material at the wrong time can be a nightmare in a classroom. This is especially true in subjects that spiral, where one topic builds upon the previous topic from the first day of school until the last, like foreign language.

    I myself have had subs sleep in class, watch DVDs on their laptops, choose not to show my videos or hand out my activities and give my students a social hour instead, eat all the snacks I keep in my desk, leave a desk lamp on over a three-day weekend (and pointed directly at my fish tank, whose water was literally black with algae growth when I returned to school on Monday--one fish was dead and the other looked dead but miraculously survived), make racial slurs, let my students out early, and leave me notes about how the class I teach isn't useful. I've only had two subs that I'd call back.

    I have had bad experiences with subs, and I don't have very high expectations of them, at least not in my district. Even so, I am always polite and respectful to them, as I am to everyone I meet.
     
  17. ihollywould

    ihollywould Rookie

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    Dec 18, 2011

    To be absolutely honest, reading some of the posts here, I know I've made some huge mistakes - mistakes that, to me, didn't even feel like mistakes. Maybe I gave the students a choice the teacher didn't want to give them, or maybe I moved a pile of papers, or maybe I stopped the movie at the wrong time, or maybe I gave out too many classroom passes. I never intend to commit these errors but there's a reason they happen.

    I've never had substitute training.

    Oh I'm a fully qualified and licensed classroom teacher. I passed the PRAXIS II. My license is on my wall. I know buzzwords like "think-pair-share" and "AYP". But there is not a training class for substitute teachers. Once a district had us in for orientation, but that was paperwork and SMART board training.

    I've actually actively searched for tips to be a better substitute teacher. There are very few resources available. I've checked Amazon for books and nothing seems adequate. Most websites provide filler activities and classroom management tips for elementary age children - not high school, like I mainly teach. There simply isn't much satisfactory information out there for those of us that really, truly do want to improve in our career of substitute teaching. And I'm speaking as someone that does spend several hours a week actively trying to improve, even though subbing is merely a stepping stone to my own permanent class.

    I have even emailed several of my former professors and asked for help and some are happy to oblige, knowing I was a dedicated student and continue to show a desire to improve.

    Just . . . as a sub who truly tries to always do her best, please, classroom teachers, give some of the subs the benefit of the doubt. I've committed some of the very sins you've complained about and I haven't done it out of laziness or maliciousness, but out of ignorance of how things should be done. I guarantee that most of your subs try their absolute best and mistakes such as ones you've describe come only out of newness and lack of training.
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Dec 18, 2011

    There are lots of good threads here where teachers post about what they do/do not like in a sub. Many teachers say the same things, so doing those things might be a good starting point.
     
  19. ihollywould

    ihollywould Rookie

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    Yep, that's exactly how I wound up here and why I'm here - I'm actively trying to be better at what I do. I'm mostly saying that a lot of subs may not be as active or as interested in improving as I am. And a lot of us just have no idea what qualities make up a good substitute (I started out just trying to do exactly what I would hope a substitute would do if I had my own classroom and I realized this wasn't the most wise of ways to approach substituting).
     
  20. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I think that a sub should keep in mind that he/she works for the teacher and not 'in place of' the teacher. That said, there are some things that are grey areas. Some teachers may want straightforward quizzes (spelling? vocab?) graded, some may not. Some may want discussion after an assignment, some may not. I figure that if it is important enough to the teacher, he or she should put it in writing.

    Other things, though, are just plain good manners. What conscientious sub would think it okay to go through someone else's desk? That's just way off base and rude. A sub should never circumvent a teacher's policy, organization system, or student privileges. When in doubt, hold off or ask someone in a position of authority.
     
  21. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Dec 18, 2011

    The subs at my school are treated with respect and as professionals. I have a great relationship with several of them and one I specifically request when I know I will be out. When I subbed, I never experienced any disrespect either. I am sorry if there are some subs who experience that because they are very important to our schools. I was just sick for two days this past week and was so grateful for my sub who did an awesome job.
     
  22. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Dec 18, 2011

    There really isn't such a thing as substitute training. The problem is that it's not a one-size-fits-all situation. What is helpful in the eyes of one person is overstepping boundaries in the eyes of another. In my teaching prep program, mindreading was not one of the offered courses.

    You're going to do some things wrong. Kids will convince you that they are allowed certain things that they are not allowed to do. You will leave the trashcan in the wrong spot, let too many children use the restroom, erase something off the board that should have been left alone, or any other misstep that is random and unintended. If a teacher hits the roof because of it, that is not a reflection of you, that is a reflection of that teacher.

    I've stopped trying to win. I'm at a point where I rarely do more than what is asked for fear of messing up a system. I leave things the way that I found them and I leave a detailed note about what happened that day. If someone takes me following instructions as me not being proactive, oh well. The other alternative is someone accusing me over overstepping. People are just too wound up these days. It is unfortunate.

    The only way to learn how to do the job is to keep doing the job and figure out what works for you and for the people you're covering for.
     
  23. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    Dec 18, 2011

    It's interesting to read how many subs are left with review work. I always sub in elementary so maybe it's different but I have alot of teachers who leave me real work to get done. In fact, most teachers in the past three years that I have subbed for have left me real work. I've had to show a few videos and spend a few days feeling like I was babysitting but it doesn't happen often. Elementary teachers have alot of content that must be taught even if they are sick or have to be gone. They can't always afford to miss a day of new math being taught or spelling words presented. I have teachers who leave me the exact same plans that they would teach and I read from their lesson plan book. I have also had music teachers who left me with nothing and wanted me to bring in my own things for the kids. I have several teachers who request me just because they know that I could be left with no plans and the kids would still learn. I thing earning respect from teachers just takes some time. I've also learned to appreciate the easy days. They don't come too often anymore!

    As far as checking papers for teachers as mentioned by previous posters, the substitute handbook for the districts where I sub states that subs must check all work that was given that day. If it's something like a spelling test, I usually just make a check by the ones that the student missed. I never put a number correct or incorrect at the top and just leave that for the teacher. I usually look over worksheets and circle problems students need to fix. I don't put the correct answer next to it because the teacher might want them to work on solving it again. I'm not sure if all of the teachers want work to be checked but the districts has told us to do it so I do unless otherwise asked not to. I;ve never had any complaints though.
     
  24. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Depends where you live. Around here, the pay is $100-$105 per day. Keep in mind that subs rarely work every school day and don't get paid for not working on breaks and over the summer. We also don't get insurance. I have to work one whole day a month simply to cover my health insurance. You won't find a studio apartment in my area for less than $1000 per month.

    Basically, it just isn't a living wage. I left another career to go into teaching, and I'm finding myself living the same way that I did 20 years ago. For all the lip-service paid to how important subs are and how important it is to draw people into the teaching field, if it is impossible to make a living, what on Earth will make people choose the field?
     
  25. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Dec 18, 2011

    Yes, of course it depends on where one lives. Subs starting here earn barely sixty per day. Even a retired teacher with a Rank I earns less than one-hundred dollars.
     
  26. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think you'll find that it's not the school districts trying to draw people in. It's been no secret in most of the country for the past decade or more that we had far more teachers than we had jobs for them.

    It's the colleges and the politicians. The districts have known for quite some time that there simply were more candidates than jobs.
     
  27. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Dec 18, 2011

    We have (well, had) a sub in my school who was fantastic. She was not a teacher by trade, but a journalist, and she was great. The kids responded well to her, and she would always do those little things that teachers appreciate, like tidying up and leaving great notes. Everyone always told her how great she was, just a natural teacher.

    Apparently, she took this to mean that she was THE teacher. She began making small changes to lesson plans. No problem, we're flexible. Then she began bringing her own extra stuff to do, things she found on the internet. Wow, ok, well if everything else is done. Then she began talking about teachers, tell other teachers how Mrs. G wrote the wrong page number in reading, and Mrs. S really should have taught history another way. Her swan song was "tweaking" lesson plans. The principal caught wind of that, and she was promptly removed from the list.

    My point is everyone has a specific job to do. My principal's is to supervise teachers in the classroom. Mine is to create lessons that will teach my students designated objectives. A substitute's is to take my place for a period of time, and do what is planned for on that day. I don't do my principal's job, he doesn't do mine, and I don't expect a sub to either.

    It's not the teachers' fault that sub pay is so abysmal. Believe it or not, every time our association negotiates, we try to convince the board to increase sub pay. It's always the first thing voted down by the board.

    And I say this with sincerity, but I honestly would like to see specific examples of teachers here "putting down" a sub. Defining roles and requesting subs to follow plans are not putting down-it's being honest and attempting to be helpful.
     
  28. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 18, 2011

    People don't choose subbing as their field. For some, subbing is a way to get a foot in the door and get classroom experience until being hired full time. My son is an accountant and did temp work before full time employment. Prospective chefs do plenty of time chopping onions and garnishing plates before actually cooking. Those who go into publishing do a lot of coffee runs and administrative tasks before ever putting a pen on a manuscript..Many professions have either temporary or entry level kinds of positions that don't pay well and tend to be 'just follow the plan' kinds of jobs. Opportunities open for those who stick it out, see these positions as opportunities to shine, prove themselves and who work hard to earn the respect they want and deserve. I wish you all well.
     
  29. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Dec 18, 2011

    Of course it's not a career field. Unfortunately in this economy, "getting a foot in the door" is lasting a lot longer than most of us can afford it to. Few people with a real interest in any field (teaching, culinary arts, medicine) have a problem with paying their dues. It's when there is no end in sight that it gets to be demeaning and disheartening.
     
  30. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It's just the way things are. The thing to remember is that it's not the classroom teacher's fault, and it's probably not even the school's fault, that there aren't enough open positions to hire new teachers from the substitute pool.

    There comes a point at which each person needs to decide how much more they can take. If you feel demeaned and disheartened because the state of the economy is preventing you from getting a teaching position in the city/state you want, then it might be time to look for another career. I know that sounds harsh, but it's the best advice I can offer.
     
  31. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Dec 18, 2011

    Subbing *is* the chosen career of a lot of people. Subs aren't just retired teachers that couldn't get away from the classroom, or new teachers trying to get in.

    I've heard teachers and administrators put subs down. I had an AP yell at me when I subbed once because I was playing a game with 7th graders. It was a review game of hangman based on vocabulary words. The lesson plans I was given had been completed by the students three days prior with another sub. The teacher was out on maternity leave and left woefully insufficient plans for her absence. The class was notoriously badly behaved so the AP stopped by to see how I was doing. He walked in while the hangman game was going on (and ALL of the kids were paying close attention) and yelled at me in front of the class.

    I then took HIM out into the hallway and explained in very clear terms that he was never to speak to me that way again, in front of kids or not. I was furious and he apologized, but that was the last day I ever subbed at that school. My daughter goes there now and every once in a while I'll catch that man looking at me oddly, like he can't quite place who I am, lol.


    I've had some horrible subs and I can start to see why some teachers are a little dismissive of them. But I do remember what it was like to BE a sub and try to cut them some slack.
     
  32. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Dec 18, 2011

    Our district requires subs to take an 8-week training course. The course includes lessons class management, lesson plans, etc. We had to create our own lesson plan and teach it to the class. We also had to do classroom observations. Once we finished the course, we became certified substitute teachers. That certification is required before you can be added to the district's substitute teacher list.

    Of course, the one thing they didn't teach was mind-reading or telepathy. That's a skill we have to learn on our own. ;)
     
  33. Anonymousteach

    Anonymousteach Companion

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    Dec 18, 2011

    WOW!

    Boy, this thread really took off! I leave it alone for a couple days, and when I come back, KABOOM! :lol:

    Thank you everyone for your input and feedback to my original post! I'm going to try and address some of the many comments mad here:

    First, the reason why I substitute teach is to gain experience. I am a college student trying to become a high school social studies teacher so this job 1.) Gives me an idea on whether or not teaching is what I want to do (And so far, despite the hardships of the job, YES :) ) and 2.) Helps me get through college. As far as I'm concerned, it's a win-win situation. This will definitely help me survive student teaching, and make my first year teaching go smoother with an idea of do's and don'ts. Another reason is, the job market for social studies teachers isn't good. If I can't find a full time teaching job once I graduate, at least there's a job I can go to. Plus, I can take long term sub jobs.

    As far as following lesson plans, I always do the best I can. Nine times out of ten, I am able to successfully follow instructions. However, there are times when it isn't doable due to technology failures, the unexpected fire drill, lack of supplies, and the list goes on. When that is the case, I try to do the best I can with what I got, and let the teacher know why I failed to follow their instructions.

    I ALWAYS leave a report for teachers, no matter if it's a full day assignment, a half-day assingment, or just for one period while they're out at a meeting. It's a way for me to let the teacher know what went on, and it's also a way for me to have documentation just in case something goes wrong. On the cases it's a full day assignment, I actually email my sub report to the teacher. At the end of the email, I always tell them to let me know if they have any feedback, or any suggestions on what I can do to improve myself. I find that some teachers like that, and seem to be appreciative of the fact that I take the time to email them. I've even had one teacher request me to sub for her because of it.

    I have three schools that I enjoy subbing at, and one I have absolutely fallen in love with! I sub at these schools every chance I get. But there are not always jobs available at those three every day, so sometimes I'm forced to work at schools that treat me like dirt. But at these said three schools, I get along with the kids, I like them, they like me. Same goes for the teachers. They treat me like I am one of them, and a couple of them will stop in throughout the day and see if I need any help or just to say hi.


    I hopes this covers some of the comments I've seen on here. I'm surprised to see the huge response to this, but I am appreciative of it! Thank you!
     
  34. Anonymousteach

    Anonymousteach Companion

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    Dec 18, 2011

    Was this person pulled aside and talked to by the Principal first, before being pulled from the list? If not, then it was unfair to fire her. I can understand why people were annoyed with her, but I think it's fair to first pull her aside and let her know why what she's doing is obstructive. If she ignored this and continued to do what she was doing, then of course fire her.

    I think that's part of the problem with the way some schools treat subs. They are blacklisted from certain schools or fired without being told why, or given a chance to improve. If this sub is sleeping in class, or playing computer games instead of supervising the kids, then they don't deserve a second chance. But if it's something like lack of control of the classroom, or failure to follow through with lesson plans, please let them know what is wrong, and what they can do to improve themselves.
     
  35. Anonymousteach

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    I agree, that's why I'm doing it! Yes all teachers should be required to substitute! I can already tell you that when I am finally a full time teacher, I will definitely be more sympathetic to what subs have to go through, and can tailor my lesson plans to make their day go smoother.
     
  36. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Dec 18, 2011

    In an ideal world I think it's a great idea to offer advice and professional development plans to subs. In the real world, however, there are hundreds of other subs lined up and ready for jobs. Schools don't have the time or resources to invest in subs who haven't been able to demonstrate success in the classroom. It's a harsh reality but it's reality nonetheless. Subs are like freelancers who have to rely on their own self-advertising and their ability to display the skills that schools and teachers want to see if they want to get jobs.
     
  37. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Dec 19, 2011

    I'm not privy to that information, actually. All I know is that, slowly, the teachers on our staff began to grow weary of coming back to plans undone, or ignored, or nasty notes, or in my case, full out mutiny on the part of my students with whom she battled. After hearing enough complaints, the p has stopped calling.

    As for warnings, I have to say I'm in agreement with caesar.
     
  38. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Dec 19, 2011

    But the sub in question had demonstrated success in the classroom. How much time is needed for the P to pull the sub aside and say "I've received some comments about your performance I think we should discuss"?
     
  39. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Dec 19, 2011

    Perhaps the principal did say exactly that. We here have no way of knowing.
     
  40. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 19, 2011

    I don't think it's a question of being "fired." The sub isn't an employee of the school; she's a subcontractor of sorts.

    If I'm not happy with the job performance of anyone whose services I use-- a doctor, an accountant, a plumber, a drycleaner, then next time I need those services I tend to say "let's try someone else." I don't sit down with each of them and have a heart to heart about the reasons I'm switching, I simply switch.

    I don't think "fair" enters into it. I think that each of us is responsible for our own job performance without needing someone to tell us when we've messed up to the extent that a principal-- not a single teacher but a principal-- will pull our name from the file.
     
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