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I agree!
Old 01-01-1970, 12:00 AM
 
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Yes, I think it would be helpful. However, I do wonder if perhaps teachers are reluctant to put something in writing that could come back to haunt them later.

When I have time, I always do a lot of snooping. I find referral slips, student records, etc. I know in a way I shouldn't be doing it, and yet it sometimes helps me brace for that certain student (I mostly sub for middle and high school and usually have class turnovers every hour).

A few weeks back, I was subbing for one hs science teacher and found a note written by a student, protesting because she had been caught cheating on a project. The VERY interesting thing was that a few days later I subbed for ANOTHER hs science teacher, a few classrooms down, and apparently the incident had become full-blown departmental. The parents had written their own indignant letter; the department had to weigh in; the school; the school board. What I could gather from it all was that this high achieving girl HAD probably cheated but wow, the teacher certainly paid for catching her. (Incidentally, looks like the teacher won.)

I only sub in one district where I live, where my daughter goes to school. I actually teach my daughter once in a blue moon, I teach her friends, I teach kids I know.

I take care to keep any information to myself. It's tricky. But what if the teacher leaves me a note saying little Johnny is a problem? Well, the teachers here know that many subs live in the district and know lots of people. What if I call up Little Johnny's mom who I happen to know because they live around the corner? And here I have WRITTEN PROOF.

I think it's no accident that you will learn about the problem students from other teachers TELLING you, not writing it down.

Believe me, I've often wished I'd been forewarned as well. As time goes on, however, I can see why these things are not mentioned.


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Disagree
Old 01-01-1970, 12:00 AM
 
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I'm torn actually.

I would like to know if Timmy asks to go to the bathroom to let him go (no questions asked). I would like to know if Jamie is allergic to bee stings. That Sally can't go outside. Or that Freddy has a behavior plan. Those type of things.

However, I don't want to know that I should watch Billy or Joey or Susy because they misbehave.

Trust me, I know within the first 10 to 15 minutes who I need to watch. I always say, if I know your name within the first 10 minutes there is a reason. I seldom learn the names of the "good students" (but I'm trying to do that more). Furthermore, I often don't have problems with the same children the classroom teacher does (of course there are exceptions).

I just don't think its fair to the student or to me to fill my head with preconceived notions of that student. I like to think I am pretty good at sizing children up.

Along those same lines, I won't sit in the teacher's lounge (as a permanent teacher) and tell Timmy's future teacher just how awful he is. If he/she comes to me and asks, then I will share, but I think the student should get a fresh start each year. When I sub, they get a fresh start that day.

Just my opinion, of course.
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Inside information about students!
Old 04-23-2006, 08:20 PM
 
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I like it when a teacher leaves some notes on the problem students - ex. Johnny drums his pencil a lot, Billy hits others, Jimbob says naughty words.

However, there are times that a teacher never says anything about the students. I hate this. Like the student is going to be a model student for the day that you are a sub.

If I have inside infomation, I can plan a course of action for what to do when this student misbehaves. If you aren't given this info, a lot of times it can make your day go downhill fast.


Any thoughts???
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Yep.
Old 04-23-2006, 08:38 PM
 
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I completely agree that having the information makes the beginning of a day a lot easier...you can plan ahead and expect the behavior right from the start. I always go into a class expecting behavior problems though...1) because I'm a sub...and kids like to goof off, and 2) there are always some in every class. I have had a few teachers leave me notes, but I always ask the other teachers...and they will usually tell you right off that "Bobo is probably going to give you a run for your money today." I find it convienent when teachers leave a note, but I don't find it completely necessary. Usually within the first 5 minutes you can tell who will be the problem(s)...and you just gotta think on your feet and take it from there. Sometimes though...I do wish that teachers would leave a straightforward note about the general class...so you know how to start the day....really relaxed, or really strong....it really makes it easier if you're dealing with a tough class knowing you have to be authoritative for those first couple minutes, when they are making their judgements of you...I've had bad experiences that actually did ruin the rest of my day because I came off too relaxed for a class...and they thought the could walk right over me...then control becomes an issue. But thats just my two cents.
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I'll take all the inside info I can get
Old 04-24-2006, 10:29 AM
 
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I completely agree with you. I like to know up front which kids are likely to be difficult, so I can keep an eye on them, and hopefully head some problems off at the pass. Of course, when the teacher lists two or three kids who are on behavior plans, then I know right off that these are the kids I will have to especially watch! One time, the teacher had the entire first page of the lesson plans devoted to three kids and their problems! I knew when I read the first sentence - "This is a very challenging class." -that I was in for it! Boy, she wasn't kidding.

I also find it helpful when the teacher lists kids that can be trusted with various responsibilities - like Jack can be trusted to tell you the truth about procedures - that sort of thing.


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Old 04-24-2006, 04:04 PM
 
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Hello,

Just don't get caught looking through a teachers desk - so get real upset about this. Also don't get drawn into a discussion about kids in the teachers lunch room. You don't know what will be said and to who.

Thanks
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I leave
Old 04-24-2006, 04:19 PM
 
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a short message for my subs. Helpful students (students you can count on for how things should really happen) and students to watch (because one in particular will lie, hit and/or steal-trust me you want to know not to leave anything out when he's around). I think students to watch could be interpreted "because they need help" which they do.
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privacy vs. providing sub with helpful info.
Old 04-24-2006, 06:01 PM
 
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I don't want to hear that so and so is a bad kid, but please tell me if a certain child has a certain problem or habit I should be aware of. I have worked in classes where the teacher has not told me anything about the students. I have also worked in classes where the teacher has left notes such as, "Jimmy will talk out, but I find it better to ignore him. The class will go with it, but try to redirect the conversation back to the lesson, rather than reprimanding Jimmy." (Jimmy has asperger's and you cannot reason with him to stop talking. On the other hand, if you ignore him, he will stop on his own. I know this child - the teacher couldn't tell me he has asperger's). Another teacher has told me specific names and specific things to watch. That helps me tremendously. I would rather prevent a problem than try to mop it up later. Telling me that certain children do things, doesn't mean the teacher has to tell me the child's specific diagnosis, or the exact content of the IEP. I do however, think certain information on an IEP should be shared with a substitute. How am I supposed to know that Little Johnny needs someone to read to him or Little Timmy is allowed to use a calculator on his math test, unless the teacher shares that information with me?
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looking through desks
Old 04-24-2006, 07:22 PM
 
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Well, I must say there is often a VERY good reason to do so! The together teachers leave hall passes, referral forms, TAPE, tissue, all kinds of stuff out. However, so many times I have nothing and have to search. Once, I was supposed to give tests with scantrons and it took me an HOUR to find them! The teacher was TOTALLY contrite about it, and I absolutely can understand such details being forgotten, as much as regular teachers have on their plates. Nonetheless, a teacher would be hard put to get upset about someone going through their desk unless they thought ahead and put the stuff you are going to need on TOP.

I really mostly have come upon stuff while searching for other stuff, actually. I think I overstated that one. BUT I have learned to notice those pink referral slips! They stick out like a sore thumb and lots of teachers kind of leave them in very obvious places (MUCH more obvious places than they will leave their hall passes!).

I agree about the IEP thing, though. Some teachers give me this information and it's not BAD information, it's useful. I have felt really guilty afterwards sometimes when I didn't realize that a student had limitations - they start acting out and I reacted. Had I known the full story, it would have helped.
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Old 04-29-2006, 09:06 PM
 
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I like to have a list of Helpful kids as well!!!! Then I know who to trust!
I have a problem with coming off too nice, but have only been subbing a month....so I am definitely learning each and every day.
My biggest complaint is that sometimes the teachers don't leave enough description. I had "Morning Meeting" for 15 mins, with NOTHING else written! I know this deals with saying Good Morning and calendar, etc. But it would be nice if they left a quick note of what it all entails!!!!
I had 15 mins of craziness due to NO information!!!!


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Old 06-27-2006, 09:10 AM
 
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Student information can be confidential and you could get into trouble snooping into the teachers desk looking for those special needs records that could help you get things in perspective.
Confidentiality is the issure subby. If you contact parents about a student and you let out some private info, take care is all I say.
Teachers will let you know who are the children who can cause you problems, if not...write the referral or better yet leave your report allowing the teacher the discretion to bring it up to the parents attention or the administration for that matter.
Glorified
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My two cents
Old 06-27-2006, 11:06 AM
 
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If I ever found out that my sub went through my things to find out information about my students I would go balistic. You as a sub are there to support the learning environment of the students in my absence. What kind of example would it set for students to see you going through their teachers things. Even if you are looking through desk draws that don't contain any personal information, it is a violation of privacy. When I was a sub, I wouldn't even let a student look in the teachers desk for a pencil unless it was written in the plans. I don't think it is right.

I would never leave referral forms within, you would have to be searching for them. I also leave very detailed lesson plans that would not need for looking around in my things.

As for IEP's, they should not be left for a sub. They are confidental legal documents that are not for all eyes. Please remember these things the next time you sub. Remember that your child might be the person the sub finds info about..........would you like everyone in the neighborhood knowing the intimate details of your child? I know I wouldn't!
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