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When there is another adult in the room
Old 11-13-2009, 07:27 PM
 
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The "strange para" post got me thinking about something that happened today. I was teaching and towards the end of the day a person from Junior Achievement came into the classroom to teach 1 hour. She came 30 mins. early to prepare in the back of the room. However as I was conducting class, it was clear that she was familar with the class and she started yelling at a few of the children towards the back. I thought to myself, ok she is just trying to be helpful. I had things under control, the students were in their seats and listening to me. I am not the type of teacher to yell at students frequently (only when I am at the end of my rope will I do this). Fast forward 30 mins. later, she had raised her voice at least 5X. Whenever she saw anything a child was doing like putting a pencil in their mouth she would discipline them. At this point, I felt like she was not respecting teh fact that I am the substitute and it felt like a weird power struggle. I wasn't familiar with the class and with her so i didn't know how much of a repoire she had with them so I wanted to respect her but it felt a little much for me. I personally would have been happy if she had just prepared her work in the back quietly and then when it was her turn to teach for the 1 hour, then to take charge. It was interesting because once she "took over" the class went beserk. It was chaos and no order. As a substitute, when you have another adult in the room how do you handle it?


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Old 11-13-2009, 09:13 PM
 
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She probably thought she was being helpful (although in a way that curiously highlighted herself) but obviously hasn't been exposed to current classroom management practices.

Was reading the Substitute Handbook I got from Kelly Services during my break today and here's an interesting quote:

"On the average, teachers allow 98 percent of all appropriate behavior to go unrecognized and are two to three times more likely to recognize inappropriate behavior. It has been shown that strengthening desirable behavior through positive reinforcement rather than trying to weaken undesirable behavior using averse or negative processes, does more to make a classroom conducive to learning than any other single skill. A ratio of one negative to eight positive interactions is recommended." (p. 8-9, The Substitute Teacher Handbook)

Seems to me she got pretty obvious feedback when the class went berserk. It's tricky to say anything in the moment in this situation -- you don't want students to think the teachers are at odds with each other. I would probably only say something outside of class if I had the opportunity, but as subs, we usually don't.
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Old 11-14-2009, 03:27 AM
 
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That is a really awkward situation. Sounds like you did the best thing by not adding further stress by saying something to her during the class. I agree with the other poster that positive reinforcement is key (I've learned this the hard way subbing and with my own kids!). But, if you have someone in the class with a totally different philosophy, that stinks. Really, unless it's your own room, I would not say anything. Maybe by modeling the better approach (treating kids with respect, positive reinforcement,etc), the other person will actually reflect a little. If not, it's her loss!
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Old 11-14-2009, 05:27 AM
 
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when this first started happening (early in my sub years) I had that "deer n the headlights" look UHHHH!!!!! and move on

Nowadays, I just move on with the lesson and pretend he/she's not there....if you don't finish a lesson and have to stop every time to talk to someone or wait for a response from a para you'd get nothing done...

just put it down in your notes if it's that important (most likely the regular teacher knows about this behavior already)
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:40 AM
 
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I really hate when there's another adult in the room. They somehow feel it is their responsibility to 'jump in' and discipline the class. Ultimately this undermines a sub's authority and yes, IMHO, chaos ensues.

I would probably do what you did because you couldn't exactly say something to her in front of the kids.

This also happens when there's a para in the room who isn't exactly professional. I really prefer to manage a classroom by myself and have great success with that. But...we don't often have a choice.

On the other hand, I have had WONDERFUL paras in the room with me who were appropriate, professional, and helpful.

I wouldn't sweat it! Don't let the turkeys get you down!


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Old 11-14-2009, 04:37 PM
 
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UGH! Let me preface this post by saying there ARE some JA presenters that can do it well. Most, however, are either 1) company owners/big shots looking for some postive PR or 2) told they are going to do JA by their bosses so that said company can get some positive PR.

In my "former life" as a classroom teacher for 10 years -- I had to give up way too much valuable class time for Jr Achievement. Most of the time it was a total waste. These people are given a book of canned lessons to do - they follow the book to the letter - go too fast and lose half the class - wind up with half the class period left and don't know what to do with it - shake like a leaf because they are so nervous. They have no teaching skills and it shows.

When you said there were problems when the JA person took over -- that said it all. Most JA people also have NO classroom management skills. In my district regular tchrs were REQUIRED to stay in the room with the JA people. Our job was classroom management (and this was a "good" district where poor overall behavior was never a problem).

For this person to try to do your job is almost funny. I don't see this person as the same as having an aide in the room. JA people are just there to give their company a prescence in the JrAch program -- they aren't accountable to anything as far as the education of those kids.

NOW -- they stuff in the JA program isn't bad content/lessons/etc. It's just that the presentation usually negates it!

Don't let it bother you. I'll bet the regular tchr in that classroom finds JA frustrating too!
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