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patman119 patman119 is offline
 
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Sub Horror Story
Old 05-06-2019, 07:31 AM
 
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I couldn't believe this actually happened, but apparently it did. I took my very first mental health day last Thursday. We were on a modified schedule due to state testing, which means we only saw 3 of our 6 classes each day.

I put in for this absence way in advance. Apparently, no sub picked up my absence. In a desperate move, they called someone last minute to fill in.

I didn't see none of these classes on Friday. I had them today and asked my students if they did the work that I had assigned. The students in my first class told me the sub "did not feel like making us do the assignment, so she showed us a movie." Then apparently, she left campus during my 2nd class when they went to lunch and failed to tell the office this, which left my junior high class unattended after they got back for lunch. A security guard ended up watching them and my senior high class until she decides to come back 2 hours later.

I'm told that she told the office that she "lost track of time and she is sorry for the mishap". This school is so desperate for subs. I am hoping they would ban her from coming back, but they didn't. She is here today subbing for another teacher.

Yet another reason why I cannot wait to leave this school.


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Old 05-06-2019, 07:39 AM
 
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Wow! That is really bad! My district is very desperate for subs too, but I hope they would block a person like this. Maybe, maybe not!
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:01 AM
 
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i am surprised they hired her back because leaving a class unattended like that could have caused a real safety concern if someone got hurt if they fooled around. Even if they are desperate, an administrator should have covered or they could have divided the class among others.

I had a sub once who supposedly played Candy Crush on her phone while the students were there. She did some other things too, and she was blocked from subbing in our building. I think she did continue to work in other buildings, though. Our district doesn't pay for subs as much as others and apparently requires a lot of extra training on things like bullying that a lot of people don't want to go through, so sometimes it is like scraping the bottom of the barrel. You should be able to take a day off without worrying about what is going on in your classroom. I always left detailed sub plans and hated when they weren't even remotely followed yet the sub gave them free time.
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No one wants to sub
Old 05-06-2019, 01:15 PM
 
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Just letting you know, it is a thankless job so expect more of this. i would rather work at STARBUCKS!

Perhaps raise the pay to be responsible for 20+ kids with no benefits. Teachers staring me down with dirty looks. No thanks! The pay is ridiculous, so good luck getting subs.
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It is true
Old 05-06-2019, 02:54 PM
 
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Subs are NOT treated too well. I know because i chose to sub for years. I developed a system and had fun with the job, but most do not.

Teachers, you could step up and change this.


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Old 05-06-2019, 02:54 PM
 
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My district is desperate for subs as well. I only know of one sub who was banned, actually security walked her out. Bad story. Anyway, I can block people from the sub list when I put in for a day off. We have about 20 people on the sublist and I had bad experience with 2. They will no longer see, when my room needs a sub.
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Subs
Old 05-06-2019, 03:01 PM
 
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Happygal and bteach99, I am sorry you had horrible sub experiences. I subbed for two years and it was fine. The job was a choice for me.

After getting my credential, I worked in a district that treated subs very well, especially in my school. The pay isn’t great, true, but we welcomed them into the lunchroom, chatted with them, the P would leave candy with the sub plans, and coworking teachers would check in with sub to see how things were going.

I’m unclear on how you think teachers can “step up and change this.”
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:08 PM
 
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I subbed for several years and LOVED it. This is why I am teaching now! They pay was not great, but neither is a teacher’s salary.
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:27 AM
 
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Quote: I’m unclear on how you think teachers can “step up and change this.”

I can't speak for happygal but I can think of ways that teachers could make subbing a more appealing job.

1. Communicate your concerns directly to the sub rather than gossiping with other teachers about how terrible your sub was or blocking them without feedback. Not all subs have teacher training, not all subs have experience, not all schools have the same routines or expectations. (I will say, though, that I would be pretty angry at a sub who left my class unsupervised. That's pretty much a no-brainer.)

2. Don't halt your conversation and cast resentful glances toward a sub when s/he walks into the staff lounge. We have to eat somewhere, you know. I may be the exception, but I really couldn't possibly care less about your school gossip or your beefs with your principal. If you're talking about something so sensitive that you're worrying about a sub hearing it, then it doesn't belong in the teacher's lounge either.

3. Leave lesson plans that are concise and "doable." Think about the reality of your day. If you're absent on a day when you have morning duty (breakfast or recess before school) and no prep until afternoon, your sub will not have time to read 6 pages of detailed information. Either find someone else to cover your morning duty or keep your expectations and instructions very basic.

4. Help subs out when they're there for other teachers. If there are last-minute changes to the day's routine that were communicated via e-mail, take a minute and tell the sub next door about it. If there's going to be some kind of drill that day, take a moment to check and see if that information was included in the sub plans.

5. Know that students will rarely behave as well for a sub (especially one that is new to your class) as they do for you. Don't expect your sub to do things like rotate kids through 10 minute stations or any other type of "organized chaos" activities. Hold students accountable for work they're supposed to do for a sub. Nothing is worse than trying to make kids complete busy work that they know full well will never be graded. Never, ever leave plans that say "The kids know what to do." because that always translates for a sub as "There will now be 10 minutes of chaos while the kids argue about what the procedure is." Don't commiserate with the kids about a bad sub because that will undermine the authority of every sub who comes into your class thereafter.

The best teachers to sub for are always the ones who have done some subbing themselves. I wish I had subbed before I taught full-time. I know I committed a couple of these errors. I was probably better than most beginning teachers, though, because my mentor had subbed for half a year before she got a permanent job so was able to give me good advice.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:26 AM
 
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Very well said. I have one more, this is for office managers/personnel:

I know for a fact teachers in this district have no more than 1 duty assignment on any given day, please don’t dump others duty on me. I get that emergencies happen, but really? Two or three duties per day? I find it hard to believe that there are that many “emergencies “ on a given day.


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Old 05-07-2019, 10:12 AM
 
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Admin also, once some a#### principal had me sharpen pencils,a bachelors degree, a teaching credential, and sit here and sharpen pencils.

The most often overlooked thing is time management. Nearly every plan I got had either errors or and did not allow any time for the Sub to set the tone for the day, you know, breathe a bit, introduce self to class. Right there is a great activity --- to have each student get a chance to speak

I second the hold kids accountable
There was a marked difference in productivity and behavior when the teacher had done this.

I dont need the regular teachers to be overly friendly, but the ones who left a treat got my respect,. To make someone feel valued and welcome goes a long way.
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:59 AM
 
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To the original poster, I have never heard of a subbing job go so wrong. I have never seen those type of subs before. I have judged my most difficult subbing jobs too hard and think more highly of them now . Subbing day-to-day is like the first day of school every day, I give myself and other subs leeway, but I agree this sub could have done a much better job. Sometimesub's post made me have to reply to a mostly teacher vent sub-forum. I graduated with a teaching degree, but I got it at the wrong time for me to easily get a teaching job. I continued subbing because I loved being in the classroom, but I'm ready to see what else I can do with my degree now. I'm not feeling subbing this school year like previous, and your pointers brighten up my day. There're good. It's like somebody took my concerns and voiced them for me. I would like to add two more. Subs actually use the conference time. I had some teachers give me outside classroom duties because to me it appeared that they thought we don't need it or shouldn't have it. I could use it though and appreciate it. I would choose their school to sub at more. Sometimes I needed it to get more time getting familiar with the lesson plan, write sub note, do something in the classroom that would make the day go more smoothly, or a needed break. Last one, subs need autonomy with their phone. I had to stop giving my phone number out because of it. A family member got me to see I was living with a phone and was not living my life to the fullest carrying that phone around.

Last edited by TeachforAll; 05-07-2019 at 11:24 AM..
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