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luv2teach2017's Message:

I walked into a classroom one chilly morning only to discover the heat wasn't on. It was 50 degrees in that room and freezing! I found the thermostat and started fumbling with it (with numb fingers), trying to figure out how to turn the heat on. The front half suddenly came off and fell behind a very large, heavy bookcase! I tried to get it out, but the bookcase was too heavy to move, and I couldn't reach the broken off piece either.

I desperately searched around trying to find the office number (it wasn't in plain sight) and then ran next door to ask the teacher there what the number was. I then called the office to report that the heater wasn't working. They gave me the custodian's number. I tried several times to call him but he didn't answer. By then it was time to get the kids and begin class. I was really stressed because with all the fuss over the thermostat, I hadn't had time to read the lesson plan either!

When the students came in, they complained about how cold it was. We all had to wear our coats during class. I had to laugh at myself and explained that I broke off the thermostat. Finally, after we started class, I was able to reach the custodian. When the custodian came in, he checked the situation, tried to reach the thermostat part and couldn't, and then he called another man in. It took two large men to move that bookcase. All this going on while I was trying to teach class.

I apologized for breaking it off, but turns out it was easily fixed and we finally had heat. All the same, what a mess! The lesson I've learned is to always get the office phone # when I check in in the morning, and get there EXTRA early (if possible) so that I have time to set things up, get the equipment (and heater) operating, and also read the lesson plan. Some situations are unavoidable, but I do what I can to head things off.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
retiredtwice 01-05-2019 03:47 PM

I have you all beat.

One of the very first days subbing, I mistaken called a gentleman a lady. He had two earrings, looked effeminate and spoke softly. I asked "her" to write on the white board and continued to ask the students to give "her" ideas.

I felt so small and apologized even the next day.

I've since learned not to use pronouns, just names.

luv2teach2017 12-19-2018 05:55 AM

The mismatched shoe experience would be sooo embarrassing!

I once finished a day of teaching (adults ) wearing obviously mismatched earrings. Same thing...I'd gotten dressed in the dark that am and just grabbed the earrings without checking them. I didn't discover the mismatch till I got home later in the day! None of my students had said anything about it. Kids (bless their little hearts ) would have pointed it out right away. But these students, being adults, were probably too polite to say anything.

mkesub 12-18-2018 03:46 PM

OneGreatSub
I've done that same thing -- worn mismatched shoes!

OneGreatSub 12-18-2018 08:24 AM

I have twice shown up at the wrong school and been tardy getting to the right one. This was before AESOP when I would jot down assignments on whatever paper was handy and then promptly misplace it and rely on my memory to get where I needed to be. Bad idea.

Also, I have two pairs of identical shoes -- except for the color. One pair is black. The other is a very deep blue. One morning in a hurry in the dark I put on one of each color. I finally noticed as I got out of my car at school and had no time to run back and change. I prayed no one (least of all the students) would notice. I hid behind a podium as best I could all morning feeling very self-conscious. At lunch I ran home to finally change and was lucky to have avoided being called out. That was the one time I was happy subs tend to be invisible to others.

Sirsubalot 12-12-2018 04:58 PM

I am surprised I didn't get banned on my very first day of subbing over 21 year ago.

I was in a 5th grade class, and told the kids to sit their as__s down.
I was politely told this was inappropriate from the Principal since at least one kid told on me.

About 15 years ago, I went to a 4th grade class very upset from the night before.

My friend told me I was clear to change lanes while driving, when he mistakenly directed me into this wrong lane to begin with. I changed lanes incorrectly and for nothing, and backed into a car behind me. I was seething at him since he told me it was clear, AND it was the wrong lane. This was a bizarre way to mess up my perfect driving record and my low insurance rate.

The students could tell I was in a bad mood, and certainly not my cheery self. I was still seething 12 hours later and should have stayed home.

It was a difficult class that acted out loudly. I yelled at them and called them jerks. I was lucky not to get told on and banned.

I am fortunately long gone from both these districts.

YayaSub 12-11-2018 12:28 PM

I sometimes sub in a room that has had a problem with the projector screen for years. Someone (a sub) got confused and wrote on it with a big black Sharpie one day. At least we didn't do THAT!

Tapdancesub 12-11-2018 11:40 AM

I broke the receiver on a phone. It slipped out of my hand and hit the floor and cracked. I snapped it back together. But the crack remains, I see it every time I cover that classroom

dietcoke99 12-11-2018 10:02 AM

My fruit punch (red) gaterade fell over once and the gaterade spilled on the chair and the floor. I tried everything I could, cleaning wise, to clean it up - it was bad. I went to a different t and told her what happened and if she had something I could use to clean it up.

I tried and tried because it was pretty bad - I even had a student trying to think of ways to help me (yes, even in high school most of the s's are good egg's). In the end it was hard to tell if it had come up because now it was wet due to the cleaners. It was Friday and I could just hope that by Monday it had dried and was o.k. I didn't hear anything about it, nor did I put it in the note!

By the way, I don't know who it was on here that said that he had sent letters to the board about people who had helped them, and I just did that. I probably wouldn't have thought about doing that if not for the poster on here, so thank you very much! I think the person I wrote it about (v.p.) appreciates it, too!

luv2teach2017 12-11-2018 08:41 AM

I walked into a classroom one chilly morning only to discover the heat wasn't on. It was 50 degrees in that room and freezing! I found the thermostat and started fumbling with it (with numb fingers), trying to figure out how to turn the heat on. The front half suddenly came off and fell behind a very large, heavy bookcase! I tried to get it out, but the bookcase was too heavy to move, and I couldn't reach the broken off piece either.

I desperately searched around trying to find the office number (it wasn't in plain sight) and then ran next door to ask the teacher there what the number was. I then called the office to report that the heater wasn't working. They gave me the custodian's number. I tried several times to call him but he didn't answer. By then it was time to get the kids and begin class. I was really stressed because with all the fuss over the thermostat, I hadn't had time to read the lesson plan either!

When the students came in, they complained about how cold it was. We all had to wear our coats during class. I had to laugh at myself and explained that I broke off the thermostat. Finally, after we started class, I was able to reach the custodian. When the custodian came in, he checked the situation, tried to reach the thermostat part and couldn't, and then he called another man in. It took two large men to move that bookcase. All this going on while I was trying to teach class.

I apologized for breaking it off, but turns out it was easily fixed and we finally had heat. All the same, what a mess! The lesson I've learned is to always get the office phone # when I check in in the morning, and get there EXTRA early (if possible) so that I have time to set things up, get the equipment (and heater) operating, and also read the lesson plan. Some situations are unavoidable, but I do what I can to head things off.

Gogogo 12-10-2018 06:55 PM

When I was a substitute I had a 3-day assignment with a very sweet elementary clas. The lesson plans were also very good except she wanted me to laminate some papers. I had never used a laminator so I ignored the request. (I would never ask a sub to use a laminator.

She apparently came in early on the third day and saw that lamination was not done and wrote that I needed to do it. So I asked someone in the staff how to use it. Simple, enough, but I was still nervous about it. I did the papers and cut them out. Then I saw that the very first student paper had her stickie telling me to do the laminating nicely sealed under the plastic. I felt so bad. There was no way to fix it.

mkesub 12-10-2018 03:08 PM

1) I may have told this story before. The kids were doing group work. I'm thinking they were like 3rd - 4th grades. Some were a bit chatty, so I was saying "Shhh...". And then a few too many were getting up out of their seats, so I was saying, "Sit.."

But those two words ended up getting mixed up and I said something I did not want to say!


2) I put a can of soda in the freezer section of the class fridge to get it cold. But I didn't take it out in time and it burst. It was remarkably difficult to clean, and I really was not able to do a good job. The only way to really do it would have been to unplug the fridge and let it all defrost. But it had the class milks for the next day in it, and I didn't have time, so I just did the best I could and apologized in my note!


3) A box was delivered to the classroom with the teacher's name. It was near to the end of the day. A boy (1st grade) said he knew it was their book order and that the teacher would want him to open the box. I think the boy was on the spectrum. He REALLY wanted to open it. But I said I couldn't let him, because it wasn't addressed to me. But I'd leave it for his teacher to see the next day. I thought he understood, but when I was helping everyone get ready to go home, he got some scissors and opened it! I felt really bad, because I feel it was a privacy violation to open it, and I didn't want the teacher to think that I told the boy it was ok. Again, I explained and apologized in a note.




I'm sure there are more, but that's what comes to mind right now!

subasaurus 12-10-2018 07:05 AM

Yaya, I've spilled on important papers too. I was too afraid to mention it in the plans. I can be a scaredy cat admittedly.

Subman, showing up on the wrong day oversleeping is my biggest fear. So sorry you had to deal with that. I was banned once because there was a car accident and I called the school to let them know I was stuck in traffic. Wasn't even late but they were annoyed that I called and bothered them and didn't call my sub agency.

My confessions:

I once fell asleep during class for a minute. The night before I'd been up until 2am or so after coming back from a far away relative visit. Kids starting laughing and it woke me up instantly. I apologized and said it wasn't professional of me.

I once broke a knob on a fan attached to the wall by accident. Tried to repair it with no luck. Did not mention it, but probably should have looking back. Whoops.

I was annoyed at students for refusing to turn music off on their phones after multiple requests. I blurted out "At least my generation's music was cool! We used to at least attempt to play instruments back then! I mean, where are the guitars even???"

SubMan 12-09-2018 09:54 PM

Once, on a Friday a couple of years ago, I went back to sleep thinking it was Saturday. School called and I made it there before first period. Nothing was ever said about it after that day. I've made sure not to repeat this.

I've given the wrong words on a weekly spelling test. Not entirely my fault though since the lesson plans said "ask a student for a copy of the words" and they gave me last weeks list.

More than once I've gone to the wrong school on the wrong day. Luckily I was able to make it to the right school on time or a little bit tardy.

YayaSub 12-09-2018 05:45 PM

Anyone else ever do an "Oops!" at school?

Recently I was subbing at the high school. I spilled my drink (iced tea!), and it got on some graded AP exams in the desk. At least two stacks got wet along the edges, and it definitely stained and blurred some of the writing. I panicked, but there wasn't really anything I could do about it at that point. I didn't include that on my sub note. It was tempting to just pretend it never happened, but my conscience wouldn't allow that. I subbed in that building again a couple of days later and visited the teacher during her prep. I apologized profusely, but she just laughed. She said she hadn't even noticed, and the kids rarely ask for their exams back when they study for their AP tests in the spring.

I'm sure I could think of a few other goofs I've made at work. Anyone else willing to share?




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