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dietcoke99's Message:

We appreciate your honesty. I didn't know that we COULD delete posts, or I would have done this several times!

When I read back, I messed up when I thought the original poster had written about the detail in notes, when it was really about whether to read past notes, so I was wrong about that. I was trying to remember off of the top of my head.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
Lottalove 12-13-2018 09:25 AM

rather than a folder so all my old sub plans and some notes are all in the back. If another sub has the time or energy to read them, I am not opposed. Whatever.

In the giant scheme of life, that is a tiny blip on my radar... Like someone else said, unless the sub was digging through stuff willy-nilly, I don't mind and think it would help more than hurt.

artladyhere 12-12-2018 05:51 PM

If previous sub notes are right there on the table, I do read them. I've subbed in so many classes with teachers' desks were a mess. One teacher had doctors bills strewn all over the desk, lists, gift cards, etc. I do not touch anything. And actually starting this year, I don't even use any of the teachers' pens or pencils. I try to only use my own. I'd like to think that is why I haven't been sick once this school year, while in previous subbing years I've been horribly sick of the course of months.

luv2teach2017 12-09-2018 12:45 PM

I often see others' sub notes lying on the teacher's desk in plain sight...usually when the teacher has been absent a few days. I read them in order to get an update on the students and lessons. Sometimes they're helpful, sometimes not. The other day, I only had the teacher's calendar rather than a lesson plan, so reading the previous day's sub notes really helped me piece things together.

I also may like the way the sub organized their notes and get ideas on how to improve my own. I don't see this as inappropriate. If the notes were confidential, they shouldn't be in plain sight. However, I have honestly never seen any sensitive info in the notes I've looked at.

dietcoke99 12-01-2018 08:40 PM

On Friday I was given seating charts from this teacher. For each period, as I was reading the names, I looked at the seating chart to see if they were in their correct seat. This worked extremely well. I could tell that this one class was going to be particularly "challenging," so after I took role and they were in their correct seats, I had to watch them LIKE A HAWK to make sure they didn't change seats, but it did work, and I'll certainly do that in the future, even though "it stinks" in one part of the room (she wanted to move), and other stupid stuff.

When I first started doing this some of the s's ran across the room to get in their correct seats

Fractured 11-25-2018 07:27 PM

No, I usually have 25 to 30 kids so making a seating chart doesn't really work. I also have to turn in the roll sheet to the office within 10 minutes and I usually only get one copy. One student who walked out had a very unique name so I was able to remember it. The other girl who left was mentioned by the other students in side discussions so I was able to catch it. If I am really having problems with a kid and don't know their name, I just ask them what it is the next time I ask them to sit down or something and most of the time they will tell me what it is because they think I'm just trying to just be polite in addressing them.

Getting seating charts should be mandatory as it makes the job so much easier.

dietcoke99 11-24-2018 10:28 AM

I'm interesting in knowing how you knew what the names were? I have been given (obviously) fake names by students (I'm in h.s., too). Somebody mentioned making a seating chart as I take roll so I'll have names (probably not in ASSIGNED seats, I know, but the I'd at least know their names).

Is this what you did?

Fractured 11-23-2018 04:56 PM

Last week I was subbing for a teacher who was going to have the same sub for two days after me. It was Hs and one of the classes was tough. I left the sub a note about how far we had gotten and the general attitude of the class for fair warning. I have done that before. I left a note for the teacher and folded it with his name on it and the date, and left specific names of people who had walked out or given me crap. The second sub probably read it and I really don't care if they did.

As far as old sub notes, I found them once when I was doing study hall and it was really boring, so I read some of them as they were in the planning notebook. It was kind of interesting to see what people said, but I didn't feel like I was violating anyone's privacy.

kahluablast 11-22-2018 10:13 AM

I personally don't think there is a problem here. I think there should be some more transparency in some of the things we do. If a sub is curious about what kind of notes other subs leave (and all subs probably are curious) read them and find out. Adjust your own notes if you feel you need to.

If you are reading them to be nosey, then you probably shouldn't be reading them.

If you are reading them because they are from the day before or class before and you are working on figuring out where/what the class is up to, by all means read them.

Our subs sign confidentiality statements, so that should be enough for them not to be talking about things they see in the notes.

I would like to see how other teachers in my system write up their plans for observations. Because we are basically getting ranked against each other, people are not real forthcoming about it. I would love to see some PD at my school with examples of what the P/district considers exemplary plans so that I could adjust mine without having to guess what they are looking for. Off topic, I guess, but just another example of privacy that doesn't help us improve our jobs.

I don't keep my sub plans (other than what is in my plan book) unless there are student comments that I need to keep for records. Then I put them in the appropriate student file. I can look up my absences using our sub system pretty easily.

dietcoke99 11-22-2018 09:43 AM

We appreciate your honesty. I didn't know that we COULD delete posts, or I would have done this several times!

When I read back, I messed up when I thought the original poster had written about the detail in notes, when it was really about whether to read past notes, so I was wrong about that. I was trying to remember off of the top of my head.

teabreak 11-21-2018 04:02 PM

I want to offer up my apologies for my posts. I was rude and that is not like me. I am honestly sorry for my responses and will delete them as quickly as I can.

Sirsubalot 11-21-2018 01:54 PM

I have worked a few days in a middle school math class where the teacher has one period in particular where a number of students lack motivation and focus.

He came into the room during class and brought to my attention that all sub notes are in a notebook, and he encourages me to read what other subs has written. He wanted to make the point that it "wasn't just me" who had these experiences.
He is using sub notes to write a book about his classroom experiences, and thus likes to read our comments.

As a word of caution, I have learned to be careful about hiding what I am writing.

I have had students ask why their name is in my notes.

dietcoke99 11-21-2018 01:01 PM

She had said that the first classes were all fine but the last two - sophomore English - were terrible. She said it was ridiculous behavior, noisy, disrespectful... So I'm dreading these classes. I have to show them a video of the last act of Hamlet. Anyway... they turned out to be fine..
Since this was high school, could it have been that they are doing "block" scheduling (God help us!), and so you had different classes than the other sub had? Just a thought that came to my mind.

I know there are days when I sub (I only do h.s. unless it is very rare), when I will hope it is an "A" day, or a "B" day b/c I don't want a particular class, and AESOP doesn't tell you.
dietcoke99 11-21-2018 12:53 PM

I would be very upset as the teacher if you read previous sub notes, especially if it didn't pertain to you or students that you are working with.
And how are you supposed to know that it doesn't?, ahead of time?

I really don't see the big deal, here? How often does a teacher keep notes from the previous 2 years? Most just throw them away, like we've talked about, not even reading them, much less keeping them.

The poster was talking about one particular sub note, I'm sure most were talking about "everything was great!," how exciting was that? The poster was talking about how detailed to write notes, not a lecture about not reading past sub notes, I think. He was giving an example of a sub doing the exact right thing, and passing the info along, in detail, to the t. That sub should get a metal. That is a sub I'd like to emulate, even if just in how to write notes.
dietcoke99 11-21-2018 12:39 PM

By the way, in the note to the t, I left the name of the upset student. After this discussion (here), I'll be much more careful about where I leave it, in the future, or maybe even what I write in it, in case a s sees it. I usually just leave it somewhere around the computer where I think she will see it. I never, ever, thought that a s might see it - but I'll be more careful from now on, unless it just says, "things went great!" for every period lol.

Somebody here mentioned putting the note in the teacher's box. I think I might do that in the future if it contains any names. I'll just leave a note that says that I left her note in her box [and maybe why]. That seems like a good idea because I would DIE if a s found a note that I had written with personal information [with names] in it!

word girl 11-21-2018 12:06 PM

Interesting topic. I have been on both sides (sub and teacher).

FWIW, I do leave previous sub plans, and notes, in the back of the subfolder. This is for my own record keeping, so I can keep track of how many days I'm out and for what purpose (sick, conference, personal, etc), mainly to make sure the district doesn't dock me too many days.

If anything personal was written in the notes, I would not leave them in the folder. I almost never get any note of any kind, so there's that.

My subfolder is neat, with sections for general information, class list, emergency procedure on the left, and generic sub plans and schedule on the right. In the very front is the day's plan, behind that every other day's blank plan, and in the very back, old sub plans.

This reminds me of a very funny story that happened to me many years ago:

One day I was out sick with no advance planning. I literally woke up too sick to do anything. (This was before I had generic plans ready to go - learned my lesson. Also before being able to email plans.)

I lucked out and got my former assistant principal (retired) as my sub. He was a great guy with a great sense of humor. He was a true pro and subbed just using my lesson planner that I had left out.

What reminds me of this thread was that I had left myself a personal To Do list on a sticky note in my plan book - it read:

  • hair cut
    hair color

Talk about embarrassing! And of course he couldn't help but read it; it was right in my plan book! Anyway, I loved this guy's sense of humor. In his own very distinct handwriting, he added to my To Do list:
  • massage
  • facial

TheGr8Catsby 11-21-2018 11:34 AM

I would be very upset as the teacher if you read previous sub notes, especially if it didn't pertain to you or students that you are working with.
Then clean out your sub binder.

I feel that would be a violation of my personal belongings and also FERPA/HIPPA, to be honest.
If you're concerned about a possible FERPA breach, the classroom teacher is the one here who is responsible for not cleaning out the sub binder. HIPAA has nothing to do with you because you don't work in the medical profession.

As for this, it is not up to you to determine what is a "mess" for the teacher's papers and what is not.
It is when your job is to operate out of that folder, and it is too messy to navigate.
c6g 11-21-2018 06:22 AM

It's important to distinguish between a note that was left a day or two earlier (if the teacher has been absent for a few days) and a note that was left weeks or months ago.

In the first situation, it's hard not to see the note. There usually isn't anything confidential, and when it's there, I take a quick glance to make sure there isn't something important that I'll need for the day. The biggest concern is that it might get mixed up with other papers, so I try to put it aside on the teacher's desk. When another sub will be following me, I now put my note in the teacher's mailbox.

When a regular teacher leaves behind old substitute teacher notes in a folder for others to see, that's inexcusable sloppiness. The vast majority of teachers don't do it and are much more careful, but every now and then I've seen it happen. On a few occasions, I've seen notes I've written six months earlier! I can't say I've never glanced at other old notes, but to be honest, there usually isn't much to see (and I have better things to do with my time).

Teachers take a big risk when they leave old notes behind. Many students, especially older students, sometimes try to make themselves at home at a teacher's desk or work table. For some, there are few or no boundaries. I often have to shoo kids away from places where I don't think they should be. "No, you can't open Mrs. ________'s desk drawer!" or "No, you shouldn't be looking at papers on Mr. ________ 's desk!" A couple times, I've even had middle school students swipe my note when I've left it on the desk, and that's why I try to hide it or hold onto it at all times.

MaineSub 11-21-2018 02:15 AM

I often tell the kids "Just because you can do something, that doesn't mean you should." I'd take that position with sub notes and anything else that I might have access to even though I shouldn't.

The one exception to it might be if/when I follow a sub who taught the day before but only to the extent the report includes information that will impact the day's plan.

While sub notes have not been a problem for me personally, I have occasionally accidentally had access to information I probably shouldn't have... I take the position that I really don't want to know.

I email my own sub report to the regular teacher, mostly as a matter of assuring confidentiality.

dietcoke99 11-20-2018 08:03 PM

I think teabreak is a little harsh here (usually we save that for me lol). The notes were in the subfolder - and at least the sub was interested enough to read and learn from them (that is what I do, too).

According to what I've learned here, the teacher probably didn't read it, anyway. Today's sub notes for period 2 were "absent students," and "class was great!" It's a lot easier now that I do it that way and I'm glad I learned before I wasted any more of my time.

I did have an incident a few days ago (I thought about putting it on here), where a student wrote a big face on a blank piece of paper, the mouth was straight across, and it said "death" across the bottom. NOW GET THIS!!!!!! It was written in his OWN BLOOD!

I left a detailed note about what had happened, how I knew it was his blood, how the office sent someone to get him (I didn't send him), etc.

I think, for me, the more egregious, the more I write (these days), and if a student ever gets upset (happened today, but a long story), I write in detail about that, as well. That part of me still exists, but certainly not the rest of it.

And I don't assume that any of it gets read, anymore.

SubMan 11-20-2018 06:42 PM

1. The notes were in the sub folder. I did not go in to desk drawers or file cabinets to find them. If the teacher didnít want them read they shouldnít have left them in the folder. The folder appeared to have been dropped and papers just shoved back in to it.

2. This school/district uses a standardized sub folder system. Inside this folder are a phone directory for the school/district, computer log in information, and policies, protocols, and procedures that subs are expected to follow in the event of a fire drill, lock down, or emergency evacuation. Had I not gone through the papers looking for the phone directory to call the attendance office I would have not known that key information was missing.

3. Because of my efforts key information was returned to this folder; the phone directory and the listing of primary and secondary evacuation routes.

4. Itís HIPAA not HIPPA

mkesub 11-20-2018 06:39 PM

I did the second day of a 2 day assignment recently. I read the note from the previous day's sub. This was high school. She had said that the first classes were all fine but the last two - sophomore English - were terrible. She said it was ridiculous behavior, noisy, disrespectful... So I'm dreading these classes. I have to show them a video of the last act of Hamlet. Anyway... they turned out to be fine.. They were into the show and surprisingly knowledgeable. They were SO engrossed at the end. It was very cool, and I was very pleasantly surprised.

YayaSub 11-20-2018 05:34 PM

I have read other subs' notes. I won't snoop or read anything that is not left in plain sight. Anything in full view is fair game as fast as I'm concerned. If it was in the sub folder that I am using, there's a good chance I will read it. Sometimes I learn something useful or even just get a feel for the kind of notes other subs leave. I don't see anything wrong with that. On the other hand, if it's in a drawer where I stumble across it (looking for a bandaid or something), I feel it would cross the line to read that, so I would not.

SubMan 11-20-2018 03:44 PM

Do you ever read the notes left by other subs. I was in a middle school English/Language Arts classroom today. In the teacher’s sub folder was a collection of sub notes from the past couple of years. Since the folder was messy and in disarray I set about neatening and organizing it during planning time.

One of the notes, from a former sub, detailed how he dealt with a student who had been bitten by his dog (student’s dog bit student) just before the bus came. Apparently the parents had gone to work and student came to school. Sub note told, in detail, of how the student was wheeled to the nurses office using the teachers’s chair.

I admire the student for having the presence of mind to realize they needed medical attention and that school would be the best place for them. Personally I would not of gone in to all the detail that the sub did.

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