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Singfree Singfree is offline
 
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Thoughts and worries
Old 08-02-2013, 10:22 AM
 
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The start of the year is creeping up quickly, and although good days subbing are great (bad days can be nightmares), I'm dreading going back. I do love working with most of the kids and staff! But being on call (we don't have computer sub finding programs) and not knowing where I'll be placed is not my cup of tea. It's wore on me year after year, and honestly by the time summer break came around I was so glad, even though I didn't want to lose the paycheck.

But, what's really making me dread it this year is the internal conflict that resulted from taking that reference form around and not getting responses back from the p and a teacher (after they said they would write a letter), then the reaction of one teacher over the reference form. If you didn't read my previous long posts, I had a job interview for a non-education job that wanted me to bring all these things. They canceled my interview the evening before it.

I work in a very small school mainly. There's only 3-4 regular ed. teachers per grade, and it doesn't house all of the elementary grades, only 4 of them. If I put into sub at other school districts, it'll be 30 mile drives and more, and they pay less. I already make closer to $50/day than $100, so you can imagine with gas prices so high, and the other school districts paying less, it'd be big pay cut. Also, my car is old and has it's issues.

So, I'm worried about problems as a result of calling people at home and not hearing back after asking for a reference (one person wrote one for me, but when I tried to update them on what happened (which they told me to do), they haven't answered their phone or email, and another said they'd write the letter, but never sent it to me via email like they said). With the school being so small, I will see them my 1st day back (if they call me back). What do I say, or do I pretend it didn't happen (which seems weird in itself)?

Then, a lot of people know I'm looking for full-time work, yet I haven't landed anything in a few years. My degree isn't in education. It's embarrassing. I had to take a couple weeks off due to health reasons; one of the people who is central to the school knows why I was off, and I'm sure others can tell. They kept telling me to go to a particular doctor for the aftercare, which they soon guessed I didn't make the appointment, because I couldn't afford it. I already had $3,000 in the surgery. They have a family member who works at the doctor's office. $5,000 for what I need taken care of, isn't something I can do right now, especially since they don't take payments. I'd have to do it in steps, but the first step is $1,000, and I've been trying to save for it. It's obvious by looking at me, and it's already affected how I feel. Actually, I'm really depressed. I hate to be a downer, but things haven't been going well. Thanks for reading my book here! Just trying to work it out to find some peace from worrying.


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Don't assume
Old 08-02-2013, 01:29 PM
 
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You feel embarrassed because you're assuming quite a bit about what these teachers and such will think about you. Trust me when I say that they likely don't care one way or another. And I say this not to sound cold or whatever, but truly most people are very self-focused and don't spend a whole lot of time pondering other people. Just behave around them the way you normally do. If you feel compelled to bring it up (what happened with the job you required references for) just be matter-of-fact about it. It's no big deal. And don't worry about folks wondering why you don't have a FT job yet...lots of people are in the same boat so know that they have friends and family members also long-term looking for work; they understand.
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:46 PM
 
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Quote:
You feel embarrassed because you're assuming quite a bit about what these teachers and such will think about you.
Exactly. But all they'll think is that the job didn't work out, too bad.

Also, it's summer! People are on vacation, out of town, even out of the country. They might not be checking their email regularly (or at all). They might be someplace where their cell doesn't work. They might have changed their number and never gotten your messages in the first place. It's a stretch to assume they were just ignoring you.

And those who made promises but didn't follow through should be worrying about what YOU think of THEM, not vice-versa!

Don't worry about it. Just show up on the first day or whenever they need you; odds are no one will bring it up (and there's no reason why you should!).
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I agree with grav_def
Old 08-03-2013, 09:00 AM
 
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the other teacher didn't follow through with a promise to help you get a job. That is a huge thing.
I'm wondering if your concern is how to express your frustration (or anger) at that lack of support. At minimum, you are owed an apology. If you want to be able to work there, you need to figure out how to forgive her. At least you now know that she is undependable in a pinch.
Now that you know there can be problems, get some letters of reference from staff members who know you to have on hand. Give them a two week deadline once the craziness of opening school is over.
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:22 AM
 
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If I were you, I would let it roll off my back and pretend like nothing happened. Sure, it'll feel awkward, but trust me, most people are so wrapped up in their own dramas, they are thinking of no one but themselves. You feel self-conscious b/c you are certain everyone else sees what you see in yourself, but it most likely isn't the case.

How about channeling your energies in a positive way, and start working on loving the person who looks at you in the mirror every day? As one of my yoga instructors always said, "You're looking into the eyes of your own teacher".

I'm sorry to read of your struggles. Just don't read too much into what other people do/don't do. As I said, most people are pretty self-absorbed, so don't let their actions (or lack therof) mess with your head. I hope you have a better year this year. Keep your ears open for new opportunities.


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Couple of quick thoughts from a new member
Old 08-15-2013, 12:40 PM
 
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I've been asked to conduct a class for potential substitute teachers this year... when I surveyed permanent teachers about what would be important, a resounding theme was "tell them I don't have time for their personal problems and issues." Your last paragraph confirms the wisdom of maintaining some professional distance... and your disappointment in those who didn't complete the reference form suggests you may be taking it too personally.

One of the helpful pieces of advice I received when I started subbing was "don't try to read too much into the kids' behavior and work." As others have noted, there are a myriad of possible explanations for why 2 out 3 didn't complete the task. Ultimately, they may be "dreading" facing you.

I'd challenge you with this question, "What would you do if a student failed to complete an assignment you'd given?" I'm truly not trying to be harsh--merely suggesting you look at this from a different place.

Writing "books" on forums can be a release. I write and one of my favorite observations is "I write to figure out what I think." I confess I'm not totally sure I understand what you are dreading about going back (and I haven't read your other posts), but I hope writing about it is helping you overcome it.
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