Worst Day You've Ever Had as a Sub?

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Ms. I, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. R0B5000

    R0B5000 Rookie

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    May 31, 2006

    Maybe it wasn't a coincidence. I've been to several assignments where the teacher's absence was planned and the aides never showed up. I do like working in SDC classes, but I wouldn't want to be an SDC teacher either.
     
  2. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    Nov 8, 2006

    I've seen some teachers who have all of these kinds of behavior management systems. It drives me nuts! I don't know how they can manage it all. You do get a sense of why they do it when you spend a day with their class. There's obviously a problem.
     
  3. Miss_T

    Miss_T New Member

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    Nov 8, 2006

    Fingers Crossed

    Goodness. These are all great stories. So far I have only had one Substitute position, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that all stays well.
     
  4. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Nov 8, 2006

    worse day because of evil aide that tries to sink you!

    Any body else have an aide that (from the get go) shows you by their actions, that they have no intention of helping you with the management of the class, much less even being passably courteous??? Then have the administration basically support her claims, and offer no intercession on your behalf?:confused:
    It was the hardest 8 weeks that I have ever had to endurepersonally. That includes the 8 monthes of working with emotionally disturbed middle schoolers who were known to throw themselves on the floor trying to bite the ankles of any "stranger" that came in, :eek: or to bite a woman on their breasts if they didn't like them, or something that a teacher did. It includes the the time a 4th grader tried to kill me because my aide wouldn't allow him to go to the bathroom before completing his morning work. That one kicked and bit another teacher who was attempting to restrain him, chased my aide under the desk, threw asundry pieces of furniture and equipment around the room while having his "meltdown" as I called the front office and the police had to come and restrain him by placing him in a squad car as he screamed threats at me and the school administration.:eek:
    .If it hadn't been for a choice few that truly believed in me and supported me through this either because they had had personal experience of working in this kind of situation, or because they had faith in my ability as a teacher, I wouldn't of survived.
    I know I made a difference in atleast one child's life there. and it was for the better, atleast for her.
    Can anyone tell me why human beings/ coworkers feel they have the right to be so downright nasty and meantempered to a newby in a classroom???? :confused: Even if the newby makes stupid mistakes, and we all do, :eek: what gives them the right to be down right evil?:(
     
  5. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Nov 8, 2006

    Good grief, Munchkin, that is terrible!

    My class (I'm an aide) has a sub now. They are a not a special ed class, but quite challenging as far as regular classes go. Anyway, this sub came in and charmed them all because she's young, pretty, and gives out raffle tickets. The kids love her. I don't. Their regular teacher is much better. I took this job so that I could learn how to teach from the pros; I am learning how NOT to teach. Even I don't understand place values anymore after being in her class! She asks the kids if they understood and of course they nod because otherwise she'll teach them during recess. :( If anyone doesn't understand, she repeats it exactly the way she did it the first time, expecting something different to happen. Of course, the second time they get the answer right because they heard it all already! So she is satisfied, they are clueless, and I am losing patience. I cannot tolerate being with that kind of person for so long! (it's maternity leave...:eek: ) She doesn't even have correct pronunciation. I think she prepares her lesson as I'm taking attendance. She comes late every single day, putting extra pressure on me to be on time and start off the class, this class of challenging kids who don't listen to me because I don't dress as elegantly as she does or wear as much makeup. I'm serious, I can't think of any other reason for them to like her except that this is the way kids are-- they go for the looks and prizes, and she's not as strict as the regular teacher, but they don't realize that they're experiencing at least twice as much frustration as they ever did with the regular teacher whose class is so strictly structured!

    Honestly, this lady is so ditzy I can't stand her. :mad:
     
  6. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Nov 9, 2006

    Intimidation

    I thini they like to show their power by intimidating someone new. It sure is stupid! Terry G.
     
  7. AspieTeacher

    AspieTeacher Comrade

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    Nov 9, 2006

    I used to be a substitute teacher back in South Texas. I went to a local high school near where I lived. It was a popular high school and I was the substitute for a special education classroom (Resource), there were 35 students in the classroom and not one single paraprofessional. They all had behavior problems, rude attitudes, and one of them physically threatened me. One of them said as loud as he could "I'll just tell them that the sub tried to molest me!" I called the principal immediately and I asked this SOB to repeat what he had said. We were in the office and she asked him at least three times what he had said and he kept on saying that he didn't say that. I looked at him in the face and said, "Are you calling me a liar?" He yelled back in my face, "YES YOU F-ING
    F-GT!" I told the principal, "I would not make up a charge like this ever!" She asked him again and finally he confessed with "OK, YOU F-ING B-, I LIED!" I told him personally, "IF I EVER SEE YOU ON THE STREET, YOU HAD BETTER WATCH YOURSELF BASTARD!" I walked out of th principal's office shouting, "SOME STUDENTS NEED A GOOD POP IN THE MOUTH!" I was so angry. I quit after that day. I had enough.

    AspieTeacher
     
  8. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Nov 9, 2006

    Ouch! :eek: Aspie. Sorry you had to be subjected to that kind of emotional abuse. That is why I don't work with any junior high or high schools any more.The audacity of that student and that administrator!!!:sorry: I guess that just proves, when cornered, an animal will attack. Hate to say it, but it sounds like this "student" was more animal than a human being who atleast has the common intelligence to somewhat watch his/her impulses.
    YOur response to his admissions may not have been in your best interest, though.:sorry: I hope it doesn't end up coming back at you in the form of a lawsuit. It is the strongest reason, I didn't reach out and slap the ever loving crap out of this "aide", and do something really gross and juvenile to the principals car for her lack of professional courtesy or say anything that could and would be used against me in my professional career, or in a court of law for slander, orsomething worse.:eek:
    The class in question wasn't special ed. It was a Kindergarten class. The student in question, was a child who desperately needed outside help, and it was blatantly obvious to anyone whoever saw her for more than 5 minutes, that she didn't need to be in a public school, and no one should have to be subjected that kind of incessant disturbed behavior. Her prescence in the school, much less the classroom was a detriment to everyone. No one could learn anything, or to teach for that matter.:(
     
  9. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Nov 9, 2006


    Bored of Ed, thanks. You made me smile. Mark Twain would of has a great come back for the repeating the same material in the same way, I just can't remember it at the moment.
    As far as the dress code goes... I have found that the way I dress most definitely affects the way the children react to me. I prefer nice khakis and a dress shirt, or jeans/ jumper, but the older the group of kids, the more formal I have to dress to maintain order. I know its stupid, but its true even with all people out in public. People judge you by the way you look, first, not by what you can offer.
    I don't know what to say, except I hope that the time she's there is over soon. Do what you can for the students. Maintain close contact with the regular teacher, and let your principal know what is going on, perhaps she/he will be of more support to you than the one I worked under.Atleast you're learning how you don't want your own classroom run. That in itself is a very valuable lesson.

    The class I was in was regular ed kindergarten. I didn't offer treats,persay, but I did try to show honest interest in them, and I didn't hesitate to show them affection or praise them verbally whenever possible. This "para-professional" did all the planning, allthe teaching and all the complaining. If she had even once asked me for imput of any kind, showed me any kind of respect or professional courtesy, or even showed me what it was she wanted done, it would of been a horse of a different color. If something went wrong, it was going to be blamed on me, no matter what I did or said anyway
    My complaint was and is, I was there to teach and to do whatever it took for the betterment of the children and the classroom, period. I came early, stayed late every single day until the very last week, when I decided to just do the bare minimum and coast. Anything I did or said or tried was of no use anyway, and I wasn't going to let it ruin my health.
     
  10. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Nov 9, 2006

    Oh, don't get me wrong, Munchkin- I am entirely in favor of dignified dress. But this person gets all fancy. And it's ALWAYS black. A black, knee-length straight skirt with black stockings, black shoes, black shirt and black jacket or sweater. Not always the same outfit, but always the same look. And her hair and eyes (lined with black mascara) are pretty dark, too.

    And don't worry, I am surviving and staying good-natured about the whole thing but OH! It pains me to watch her messing up my little darlings. The way she talks... "It starts with uh E" and "A hundred and sigzdy five." YOWCH! :eek:

    Thank Heaven I just found out she'll only be here for another week or so. Today she came 20 minutes late-- with the regular teacher this would not be a problem as there is a strict routine that I can follow fairly easily. But I had no idea what to do and the kids were out of control. Then, around the time that I was supposed to switch classes, she leaves during recess for a "5 minute" meeting and doesn't return for about a half hour. (My other teacher is always losing out with this one, which is a shame because I really like her and learn a lot from working in her class) The kids were going so wild, I had no idea what to do. I tried all the tricks; they were so busy they didn't even notice. I nearly fell through the floor when someone paged me and 20 kids shouted an answer! :eek: I was pondering walking out, hoping they'd notice and worry about what happened while I would summon the principal. (I can't figure out how to use the PA system to page out. We always get pages in but I don't know how to call for help) But I was too scared to be caught leaving the class alone.
     
  11. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    Nov 10, 2006

    I think it's nuts that the principal couldn't just take your word for it. What if that kid never confessed? Would he have just gotten off the hook?
     
  12. munchkin

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    Nov 12, 2006

    OHHHH My!Bored of Ed!. I didn't meant to come off critical, cause you are in a very very difficult position. I am sorry if I did. When the regular teacher does come back, you guys are in for a reall up hill battle! SOrry.I do hope that you've had some contact with her to atleast warn her of what is to come. The lateness thing is just another way of showing someone that you do not respect them, aka your time isn't as important as mine, therefore I don't care if I put you or the kids in jeopardy. Sorry. About the PA system, that can be a two way sword. Is there anyway you could ask some one to clue you in to the best way to get some emergency help by telling them that the system fades in and out???? Or maybe a friendly coworker who can check in with you time to time? What about requesting that the principal/ curriculum coach come and check up on the classroom and offer suggestions as to how to best make the transition back to the normal teacher? YOu don't have much longer to endure this, good luck and congratulations for holding back your tongue and the urge to strangle this "Miss Nelson" person in disguise!! Your instinct of not leaving the class alone was a wise one!! If at all possible, use this lateness situation as an opportunity to get someone to show you how to call for help in the future. You never know when or if it might be a life threatening situation!

    The 'black dress" thing??? is she trying to be a "gothic" teenager or something???? YUCK. People respond to color, pastels for happy, airy moods,... also good for learning so I 've been told. Bright reds supposedly incite the urge to fight/flight mode. ORange makes them hungry.... Hmmmm maybe that's why I can't control my eating when it comes to candy corn (snicker)
     
  13. munchkin

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    Nov 12, 2006

    hate to say this, katerina03, but my guess is that if that kid hadn't confessed, he would of definitely gotten off the hook, and the substitute, Aspie, would of been blamed of "unprofessional behavior", or worse.:eek:
     
  14. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Nov 12, 2006

    LOL!!! I can just see it... :D

    Happy days... the teacher is supposed to come back this Thursday or next Monday! :) She is really strict, I bet she'll get those kids whipped into shape faster than they'll know what hit them. :D

    Well, a few times already the principal poked her head in about 20 minutes into the day and found that the sub hadn't arrived yet. She was obviously irked (promptness is one of the big deals in our school) and gave the sub a little lecture, made me very happy. Well, today she came 1/2 hour late! Again!

    Sorry, this whole thing really doesn't belong in this thread... after all I'm not the sub having a bad day, I'm spending the days having a bad sub. ;)
     
  15. MissusCeeeee

    MissusCeeeee New Member

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    Nov 13, 2006

    Loved reading about everybody's horrible days! It may be perverse of me, but it is somehow cheering to know that I am not the only one to have a day from hell every now and then. Like everyone else (hopefully) I usually have quite enjoyable days. Or at the very least, days in which I feel oh-so- professional because my incredible skill :angel: has meant that any little glitches that came my way have been promptly and efficiently handled.
    I have been a Sub for over 10 years now, so I have also run into just the kind of unbelievable awfulness that most of these posts have been about. I have been to schools with unfriendly, unhelpful admin staff. I have taught in classrooms where the regular teacher is clearly incompetent or disorganized. I have had classrooms full of unruly kids and met their unruly parents too. Sometimes I am the one with the problem. I do have bad days where I am tired, or not feeling great, or when I am getting sick, or when I'm just so plain frazzled that I am the cause of the train wreck. Some bad days do stick out in my mind though:

    There was the day that I spent with "Scissor girl" I was having a fairly stressful day to start with as this was one of those teacher's who have a class that looks like a bomb went off -piles of paper everywhere. There wasn't a day-plan, of course, but I pieced together enough of what was going on from rifling through one of the students desks to see what they were working on. Everything went ok until just before recess. They were all cutting out shapes of countries for a geography project (Gr.4) when one little girl got mad at another for taking her glue stick. Out of the blue this little girl starts screaming and rams her scissors into the back of the other little girl! She then runs out the door. I was absolutely stunned. I had to make sure that the girl who got stabbed was ok (she was) and calm down the class before I could get help to look for "scissor girl" The principal retrieved Scissor girl and kept her in the office for the rest of the day. They told me that she was emotionally disturbed (no kidding!) and that her behaviour had already been a concern. I just couldn't believe that no-one had informed me about this. I already had decided that that poor girl's teacher was disorganized, but after the scissor thing, I think that she (and the admin at the school) was negligent too. What if scissor girl had seriously injured someone!

    My other story was less scary, more surreal.
    I was called into a school a bit late one morning, but I did manage to arrive just before the bell. This was yet another bomb site classroom (paper everywhere including notices from 2001, dead coffee cups scattered around etc.), but there was a fairly sketchy day-plan, so not too bad.
    I had them start with silent reading for 15 minutes to give me time to get a bit more organized. At about 20 minutes after 9 I was in the middle of introducing myself and talking about my expectations etc. when a lady clutching a coffee cup wanders in. She says"Who the hell are you?" (nice language in front of a Grade 5/6 class)
    I explained that I was the Teacher on call for Mrs X. She says she is Mrs X and wants to know who sent me. I cannot figure out why she is speaking in such an aggressive way, especially in front of the students, but I try to stay calm. I get her to at least talk to me out in the hallway where I manage to convince her to go talk to the admin. because I have no idea why she is so pissed off at me. She was really quite rude.
    It turns out that she had forgotten that she was scheduled to go to a workshop that day. When she came back she tried to laugh off her previous aggressive attitude. She said that she though she had been fired (well, maybe I would be worried too if I showed up 20 minutes late for school and found somebody else had taken over my class;) )
    I though that would be the end of the unexpected surprises that day, but, as she was leaving, she turned around and got very close to me. She said, "Are you allergic to rabbits?" What??? "Are you allergic to rabbits?" Uh, no.......
    She whips open the connecting door to the next room to show me the class rabbit. I have no idea why she wanted me to admire it, but it was clear that I was expected to. Weird.

    I can handle things being a little off, but if there are too many things, then I know I am going to have one of those days. All of us have those days when somebody on the staff is rude or unhelpful. All of us have run across kids or whole classes that are difficult. All of us have encountered unprepared or disorganized regular teachers. All of us have been in situations where we don't have access to equipment or matierials that are necessary to teach. It's when it all comes together that things just can't go well!
    I think most of us do a fine job in often difficult circumstances. Most of us are prepared and flexible and extremely good at problem solving, but we are only human and I don't think we should beat ourselves up over wanting to climb out the window and run away on a bad day!
     
  16. FUNSUB

    FUNSUB Rookie

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    Nov 13, 2006

    bad experience

    wasn't that alot of writing for 2nd graders? these kids are 7 & 8 years old. the 30 sentences would have been alot - these kids can't stay focused on this for an hour! I didn't even have that bad of an experience with 4 & 5 grade EH (emotionally hand.)
    I have never had that experience with 1, 2 or 3rd. 5 & 5 can get alittle loud, but I always bring bribes to keep them quiet. they are more interested what the surprises could be than to continue to act up.:sorry:
     
  17. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Nov 14, 2006

    FUNSUB:
    What writing are you talking about? I looked through the past two pages and didn't see anything about it. But, In my opinion....No, 30 sentences isn't alot for 2nd graders to write in some schools.... depends on their writing ability.
    Most primary students I have worked with, idea of "writing" is mainly drawing in their journals or writing like 3 wordsbadly on each line.:rolleyes: I have had 2nd graders be able to write a 3 paragraph (with 5 sentences) "journal entry/ story" with spelling and gramatical errors of course, but they also knew exactly how to edit, co-edit, work in groups etc. Needless to say this was an extremely well run classroom!! What a joy it was to watch these kids work!! That was one day I kept pinching myself and asking if I were on Candid Camera or had died and went to heaven!!:p
    Some of those 30 sentences are 4 words or less in content with 3-4 letters in each word. such as "I ran fast." Tom ate pizza..... etc.
    The last class I was in(friday) thought it was a treat to "write" in their journals and would doodle and write in those books at the drop of a hat, wheither or not we were done with the classwork. Kept them quiet, but I don't believe they learned anything other than how to rush through the real work and pretend to "write" in those notebooks.:eek:
     
  18. FUNSUB

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    Nov 14, 2006

    worst day

    well, the 2nd graders I have had only had to write 3 sentences! beginning middle and end to write a story to go along with a picture they were given. some wrote more but 3 was the norm. It's difficult to get 4th & 5th graders to write 5 paragraphs....practice for the dreaded FCAT! (florida comprehensive assessment test) It seems most teachers teach for it instead of what they would like to teach for that particular grade. emphasis is on math and reading. alot of writing in 4 & 5.

    I have only been treated badly at my own son's school! (why I wanted to sub to begin with)needless to say they do not call for subs, because all teachers use same subs and don't put it out on the computer for others to do, all other schools in the north part of this county are really nice!

    didn't sub today, still waiting for tomorrow but have jobs for thurs & fri.:D
     
  19. Btownsub

    Btownsub Rookie

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    Nov 19, 2006

    The worst day I've ever had was when I showed up at a high school responding to a "multiple teacher" substitute request and they handed me a radio, a list of 17 names and the key to the In School Suspension room. UGH!!

    The worst individual period was for an 11th grade U.S. History class that would not stop talking during a video on Thomas Jefferson regardless of how many times I asked. When I confronted the main troublemakers, they looked me in the face and said, "our teacher never collects the assignments that she makes us do when we have a sub, so I'm not going to pay attention to this stupid video." (Which I found out is true.) This class wasted so much time that I decided to hold them after the bell (during their lunch) for 3 minutes. I stood in front of the door when the bell rang and told them that they would be allowed to leave when they had made up some of the time that they had wasted. The ringleader told me that what I was doing was illegal and that he would have me fired. I told him that if he wanted, I would be more than happy to accompany him to the Dean's office as soon as the time was made up to discuss it, to which he replied, "You can't keep me here. I'm going to walk right through you." He then got right in my face and tried to stare me down. (I'm only 5'6'', so I definitely don't have a very intimidating physical presence.) I stared back, and kept checking my watch until their 3 minutes were up (yup, all this fun over a measly 3 minutes) and then let them go. As they walked out the door, almost half the class had some creatively explicit name prepared for me and 4 of them flipped me off.

    About a month later, I was back at the school, but in a different class when the ringleader saw me from the hallway and entered the classroom and sat down and once again tried to stare me down. Keep in mind, he was not enrolled in the class that I was subbing for, he was just doing to directly challenge me. I looked at him calmly, remembered his name from the referral that I had written about the previous encounter and said, "Hello D*****, I didn't see your name on my roll. Am I going to have to write you a hall pass to your correct class or are you done playing games?" When he saw that I not only remembered who he was, but also remembered his name, he just got up and left.
     
  20. kermy

    kermy Companion

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    Nov 20, 2006

    Up til this point I haven't had any real problems as a sub. then i got my first 3 days sub job. in the message it said needs strong classroom mangement. well i figured, they had some roudy kid. Never would I have though tI would have not 1 but 3 problem children!!! I had a bully boy and 2 wanna be thug girls. oh and i was told i would be getting 2 new students my first day. i knew it would be rough. Story short, after the first day I had one of them suspended for a day, which was no help. and sent another to "time out room" twice. the prinapal was some help and came into the room several times which helped most of the time. i dont know how the teacher sies it and want to ask to watch her class, but i don't know if that would be a good idea. any thoughts?
     
  21. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Nov 22, 2006

    My worst experience was also in a Kindergarten class (at that time, I thought kindergarten was the worst grade ever. Now I've taught kinder for 2 years and love it!!!) I walk in and also had to search for lesson plans and worksheets. I found the lesson plan, but it was generic. I guess this teacher has been out for most of the school year and had subs coming in and out. They were in the process of looking for a long term sub. Anyways, I finally figured out what page we were in in the reading program and in the math program. But, I had no clue what discipline was, routines, or anything. I also had many behavior issues, kids who would not stop talking, etc. Also, I had this one kid who refused to listen to me. I told them to put their drawings away and this kid refused. I kept saying, you need to give it to me. He said, NO. I went to snatch the paper out of his hand and he ended up falling out of his chair! OI! To make matters worse, the principal came in and observed me teaching them! SHe told me that I talked too quietly. NO, I learned from my teaching courses, that if you vary your tone, and talk quietly, it forces kids to listen to you. Which, I felt, actually worked with them at that time. So, I was irratated at her about that. Then, pack up time!!! I guess they were supposed to have bus tags in order to ride the bus. See, I learned that yo make a whole bunch of bus tags in advance using a copy machine and just put a yarn around it. Tell parents, once their out of bus tags, that the child can't ride the bus anymore. Makes sense, right? well, this teacher apparenlty would spend her lunch time writing up bus information on those sticky Hello name tags and give them to the kids who didn't have them (which were all). The principal was in their writing them up. She was not happy about it. But it wasn't my fault! She told me that I wasn't a good kinderteacher and that she's going to have someone eslse come in the next day. Hah, and I've taught kinder for 2 years now, successfully!
     
  22. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Nov 26, 2006

    Well, the class I had was over all great. But I was very tired and had a mug of coffee with me. I put it on the teachers desk and went to pick it up to take a drink. I lost my grip and the coffee spilled all over the teachers desk and floor. It got progress and other student files wet with coffee stains. It also got on a brand new teachers book. I was so upset I wanted to cry. I felt and still feel terrible. I left the teacher a note explaining what had happened and that I pat dried the papers. I also told her that I was sorry and if anything needed replaced to let me know...no call yet...but I don't feel any better.
     
  23. teresaglass

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    Nov 26, 2006

    Speilling the coffee


    It is probably not a good idea to drink coffee near the teacher's desk or near graded papers. It might be better to take coffee breaks out of the classroom if you can. I am sure no harm was done but I do not think the teacher and students like coff stained work . Accidents will happen. Just chalk it up to expereince and move on. Good luck with your next sub job. Terry G.
     
  24. MissWilliams

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    Nov 26, 2006

    The worst...I'll never forget.
    It was the 94-95 school year, a 5th grade class. I arrived to a classroom in shambles. There was a small stack of notes on the desk, from 3 different teachers that week. The top one was front and back, in tiny writing....an outline of a nightmarish day. It ended with, "I don't want to come back and go through this again, but I will if needed, just so these students can learn that they cannot intimidate and scare me off."

    The others were similar. I looked through the sketchy lesson plans and prepared. 5 minutes before the first bell, the principal came in and asked me if I would mind waiting outside, in a chair. The students came in, and she began YELLING at them, their attitude, what she expected, consequences and parent calls, etc. The yelling was ferocious--I kept looking around in the hallway. It was surreal.

    She then came out and told me to have a nice day. No tips, no collaboration on what should happen.

    The day was a nightmare; they were constantly on the verge of a whole class mutiny and they were terrible to each other. I did not send even one student to the office. I did use some bribes at the end of the day.

    I decided I was not good or noble like the previous teacher--after taking several aspirin at home, I called my sub office and had my name removed from availability from that class. :(
     
  25. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Nov 27, 2006

    Terry G I feel so guilty about it. Since then I have kept my coffee by a sink (when available) or on a file cabinet.
     
  26. lydi@rocketmail

    lydi@rocketmail New Member

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    Feb 10, 2007

    worst day art favorite school & students apologized in writing

    There is one school I am always excited to sub at, but on Tuesday of this week the homeroom I was subbing for, plus one of the other two fourth grade classes that rotated through my room, were especially horribly behaved.

    It began with students arguing over what time the chorus field trip students were leaving. I could not get the class to come to order and the call button did not work. I had to leave the room to go to the office for info on the field trip. When the vice principal came back to the room with me the kids were in an embarrassing state of chaos. The day continued with constant noisy disrespect that wore me down and culminated in an argument about which paragraph was the true fourth paragragh in a reading comprehension exercise. I am a career-changer, subbing while I take certification exams and explore the school system, intending to land a job and thus enter the TAPP program. I told the student insisting I was wrong about the paragraph that I may seem like just a dumb sub, but that she had just picked my area of expertise to argue about. I have worked in graphic design/corporate communications for 25 yrs, purchasing typesetting of paragraphs from Typesetters before computers made them obsolete. I have planned the layout of paragraphs alongside CEOs of Fortune 500 companies for their annual reports when I worked in several Wall Street advertising agencies and corporate art departments. By the time I finished telling a particularly obstinate 4th grade girl about my national and international typographic design awards, we were both in tears. And the board where they keep tally marks for compliments on their behavior? I walked over to it and erased twenty-two tallys, nearly halfway to their pizza party reward for compliments on behavior

    Thursday I returned to the school to sub in second grade. Spotted in the hall before announcements, I heard the worst-behaved fourth grade boy whisper to his friend “There’s Mrs. D!” and thought “Oh boy, I have a reputation now.” During 1st period, this boy hand-delivered a stack of 40 well-composed, heartfelt apology letters. “I am so sorry I was disrespectful; 4th grade should not act like that; I feel ‘horibul’ about how I acted; You are much nicer than (an elderly regular sub’s name). You will be a great teacher. I would like you to be my teacher. I hope you will forgive us and come sub for us again. We will be respectful if you do.” One of them even asked for me to write them back, so I have been thinking this weekend that I should compose a letter to them for Monday.
     
  27. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Feb 10, 2007

    What an awful day-- but such a sweet response! I once had a class write me apology letters, but the next time I had them they were still pretty bad.
     
  28. Mrs. Q

    Mrs. Q Cohort

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    Feb 10, 2007

    Yikes!! Some of you have had some quite horrible experiences...

    I've only had a handful of days as a substitute, but my first full day was by far the worst yet.

    It was Pre-K at an elementary school on-base (my husband is AD Army and we live in a military town). I got there early to go over the lesson plans - it was a very nice school, a nice and orderly classroom, and very well-written, well-explained plans for the day.

    But I just was NOT prepared for 20 4-year olds for 8-hours, essentially by myself.

    It was a class of about 12 boys and 8 girls. The boys started fighting before they were even in the classroom, and the girls started crying because of the turmoil. It was a constant battle to get through reading and calendar time, while keeping the boys separated and the girls comforted. After an hour, I finally went and found the aide (she rotates between all of the Pre-K classes and had said to find her if I need help) to tell her the problems. Apparently, the same 4 or 5 boys were known for fighting and causing problems when they have a substitute. She removed them from my class, but they were brought back one at a time by lunch. In the meantime, after 3 hours of this constant chaos, I was notified that 2 of the students had behavioral problems and 1 was a non-English speaker who does not comprehend what you tell him to do. I was SO upset that no one had told me sooner.

    Things got better after I had my lunch break and had been made aware of the special circumstances, but it was still a constant effort to keep the class under control. I had several of the other Pre-K teachers come in and reprimand the class - I was *so* thankful for their help, but it did make me feel like a failure.

    Overall, I loved each and every one of the students and would love to go back as a sub for the aide, but I just am not cut out to handle that many small children on my own.
     
  29. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Feb 10, 2007

    Ah! Twenty four-year-olds by yourself! That's too many! You should have had a full-time aide in the room with you all day!

    I am wondering what the day care teacher-child ratio is in your state. What happened to you doesn't sound legal!
     
  30. Mrs. Q

    Mrs. Q Cohort

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    Feb 10, 2007

    I'm really glad that I'm not the only one to be overwhelmed by the number (or at least the thought of it). I felt like SUCH a failure after that day. I came home and literally cried to my husband over it...

    I'm not sure what the ratio is, but in this district, Pre-K is a full-day program in the elementary schools. They do everything that the older kids do, so I just assumed that the ratio for them was the same as it would be for a Kindergarten (or 1st or 2nd grade) classroom.
     
  31. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Feb 10, 2007

    Maybe that's the way that it is in Texas. I don't know! But, in Ohio, if a classroom has children younger than school-age children, the state mandated day care regulations must be followed. That would be in ALL areas, not just the teacher/child ratio issue. (Maybe someone on AtoZ from Texas could give you some information about this!)

    Anyway, you did a great job just surviving the day - especially with several "special needs" kids that you were not even informed about! Don't cry! Pat yourself on the back! :)
     
  32. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Feb 11, 2007

    Twenty four year olds is just too much for one person to handle. Find out the child to person ratio with Pre K in your state. sounds to me they took advantage. Terry G.
     
  33. Mrs. Q

    Mrs. Q Cohort

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    Feb 11, 2007

    Thanks for the encouraging words, I'm so glad that it wasn't just me. I'm definitely going to look into the ratio situation, and see if I should have even been in that position.
     
  34. Mrs. Q

    Mrs. Q Cohort

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    Feb 13, 2007

    I did some research and found that in Texas, for 4-year olds, the ratio is 20 students to 1 teacher. So, they were within their legal bounds. Still though, I have gone to other schools in the district since them and most if not all the other Pre-K classes at other schools have a teacher and an aide at all times.
     
  35. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Feb 13, 2007

    Oh, I can't believe that - 20 to 1 is ridiculous! When I sub in public preschool classrooms, it is for special ed students. Usually, the ratio is about 8 to 10 children with one teacher AND one aide.
     
  36. Christine3

    Christine3 Cohort

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    Feb 13, 2007

    Well, before I became a class teacher I subbed...

    I will never forget a 10th grade class and how rude they were.
    Very immature even the girls! From dropping their pencils at the same time.....to leaving the room and calling me a #*&%^.
    Talking during a movie....walking in late after lunch. Saying they are going to report me if I dont turn off the movie! I only allowed one person to the bathroom at a time. They didn't show any respect to that at all the one girl just left right to my face then another needed a tissue and told me I was the worst sub they ever had.
     
  37. Zrocker

    Zrocker Rookie

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    Feb 14, 2007

    LOL Nervious running from thread.
     
  38. Zrocker

    Zrocker Rookie

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    Feb 14, 2007

    Imagine being at a jail and having a 2nd staff on paper; but, in reality being single staffed.

    Read a couple of the latest entries in my attempt to run from the thread;)
     
  39. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Feb 16, 2007

    Ahh, I can't really think of where else to post this. I didn't have a horrid day today, but it wasn't good. I subbed in a 5th grade class. The class changed twice. I had social studies and taught it to three classes. All the classes were a bit difficult. I had instuctions verbal and inprint to send one of the children to another room. I finally had to send him and called the other teacher. He then threw spit wads at me. I was so shocked I just stared at him. I couldn't believe it. It had been nearly 15 years since I'd seen kids doing that! I was mad and I wanted to laugh I was soo shocked! In general the classes did not listen to me, regardless of threats and punishments. (which is 'normal' for the classes at that school). If I didn't have a difficult class student teaching, I'm not sure I'd have the nerves to handle them.
     
  40. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Mar 2, 2007

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