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Fractured Fractured is offline
 
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Fractured
 
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You just canít win in this job
Old 04-09-2019, 11:04 AM
 
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Long rant: I am at a rough school today. Teacher leaves me crap plans- watch videos for 90 minutes for freshman engineering class. Itís too long for them to sit. They are on their phones, talking, playing video games and maybe two kids out of 30 are watching the video. I keep asking them to quiet down. When I am changing out the videos I am asking what I have to do to shut them up. One kid takes offense( and he has been a pain in the ass all class) and says ďdonít tell me to shut up, watch your mouthĒ. I tell him to watch his mouth and then he tells me to shut the hell up. He walks out and security finally comes, they do nothing and I regret calling them. The kid gets sent back and continues to act like a pos. At the end of class some girl tells me Iím racist because I told him to shut up, when I was addressing the whole class( he was black). Itís always the damn racist card if you are trying to get kids to settle down. I told her he def told me to shut up and she defends him. I tell her the world doesnít revolve around her and I was addressing the class and their behavior and not telling them to shut up. I also tell her she was on her phone and off task all class. She says I still got my work done, so who cares? It was simply writing down a few facts from the video. This job sucks and these kids are getting worse. I am going to talk The the vp and demand something happens to this kid. Iím sick of this bullsh*t. I donít care if they ban me bc no way in hell am I coming back. When are schools gonna hold kids responsible for sh*tty behavior? And when are teachers going to leave real plans?


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Old 04-09-2019, 01:26 PM
 
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Saying "shut up" is a big no-no. HUGE! I taught middle school, and those words instantly rile up a classroom. As far as high school. I do as the teacher asks. Yesterday, I had two large freshman classes. They are VERY immature, still. Basically, I just stood and stared them down with the disappointed teacher look. And, to tell the truth, once they did what they were supposed to do, I didn't get on them about phones. It wasn't a fun day, but it wasn't awful.
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Fractured Fractured is offline
 
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:24 PM
 
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I was asking what I had to do to shut them up, exact words. I wouldnít say shut up to them,but even if I had Iíd be justified. Horrible kids today.
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YayaSub YayaSub is offline
 
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Set the example
Old 04-09-2019, 05:25 PM
 
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First, let me say I have been there myself many times. I have definitely had some classes that were hugs PIAs and just wanted to rattle me for the fun of it. Only a couple of times have I had to call for backup, and yes, it is frustrating when they pop back in a few minutes later with a big smile on their face. They don't care.

That said, you are the adult and you have a higher expectation placed on you than the kids do. As you should-- you have the benefit of maturity and experience. Even if you didn't think you said shut up "TO" them, they heard it that way and will definitely tell the story that way. So that gave them some ammunition to use against you.

Would it be possible to have another teacher help you out? I have had a team of bratty 8th graders where the teachers urge me to send down anyone who gives me a smidgen of trouble. The teachers are sick of it too. But I know not all teachers are willing to help.

Engaging with them places yourself on their level, which is not where you belong. If possible, keep your cool and keep your remarks brief and unemotional. I would not have any discussion with another student about it. If they pushed, I would inform them that I would leave details in my note, and the teacher will handle any needed followup.

At least you know now not to return here. I'm sure we all have at least a mental list of "Ten-foot-pole" classes.
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InTheZone InTheZone is offline
 
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Old 04-09-2019, 07:34 PM
 
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There are some classes with very defiant students that also try to aggregate substitute teachers for entertainment. I would need more time than one day, bond with them, and given more authority to squash the bad behavior. It's no reflection on me; I just have to survive it for a day. My last rough class really brought that home. It's best to just tell all students what rule they broke and consequence with no emotional response (avoid power struggle). When I falter, I'm reminded to do just that. I keep everything academic as possible, word things positive, and conscious of sound bites that can be twisted. Tell the class what you want to see and try to find any lavage to encourage the good behavior (what would motivate them to be quite like a specific time they can earn to talk). I would leave in the teacher’s report if a student called me out my name. I would just move on and not return. I'm concerned it might open a can of worms. Students that are defiant can be very messy. They could twist the shut up into a really bad situation. I am so grateful I only had two classes beyond a substitute's reach to change this school year. Those two classes made me stronger and improved my nonchalant stance with students that want to give substitutes a hard time. Do your best to forget this class and know it's not a reflection on you. It's just one of those days. I hope you done something at the end of the day that made you smile. It's what I have to do to get over those types of days.



Last edited by InTheZone; 04-09-2019 at 08:55 PM..
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:57 AM
 
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Getting into a "battle" with a student is a no win situation. The student and their parent(s) will focus their attention on what the (substitute) teacher did and not what the student did. Anything and everything can and will be used against you, parents will go on FaceBook to rally support; you are guilty until you prove your innocence. Even if you prove your innocence there will always be a cloud of doubt lingering, a sense that you got away with something because you are a part of the system. Best to avoid this at all costs.

Win the battle, lose the war.
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:55 AM
 
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Several years ago, in frustration because the kids were not listening (I was the gen ed teacher) I told them all to shut up. 2 girls went to the p to say they didn't feel safe. P told me to apologize. I kindly refused. I did nothing to make those girls not feel safe. I used kind words, several times before I told everyone to shut up. They needed to just. shut. up. I never apologized and never had the problem with them again.

Ridiculous where we are. Truthfully, I see nothing wrong with an adult telling a child to shut up. Still don't, although I don't use the term at school with my class. I would try to stay away from it in any context for reasons such as what you dealt with. Right now people are too over the top and too many kids and parents run the henhouse with little factual basis for actions.

I was listening to a retired teacher who subbed in her old middle school who found the same thing that you did. Kids doing whatever they wish to do, total disrespect in actions and words, and she went to the p (after security, discipline procedures) and said she would never sub that class again. Maybe not the school. It is sad to me that kids are like that.
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:43 AM
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:30 AM
 
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I once showed a video in a high school class (it was boring) and no one paid attention so I turned it off and told them just to stay in their seats until the bell rang. This was before cell phones were in the schools. Now, I just don't go to high school anymore, not because of the behavior, but because of the cell phones. I can't fight it and frankly I'm appalled at the way kids are addicted to the phones. I just don't want to see it. Middle school is fine because they are not allowed ever to take their cell phones out from the time they arrive until the time they leave. Even if they want to take a picture of the assignment I say no. No, no, no. They still ask, though.
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Disrespect
Old 04-10-2019, 11:36 AM
 
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I'm sorry this happened to you. My best advice would be to not get into a battle with the kids. You won't win. The kids will continue to engage in this kind of talking back and language as long as they can engage you in it. It's generally more annoying to them to not say anything except to keep repeating your expectations. You could say something like, "You are all expected to know this information by next class according to the notes."

I can't answer your question about how that school functions but you can only control your own actions.
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:56 PM
 
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I agree that it's usually much better to avoid an argument with a kid, NOT that I always have the self-control to refrain from it. Some kids are unbelievably manipulative about drawing a teacher into an argument because they know that once they've done that, they're the ones in control. You're not teaching, you're not moving the class forward, you are, in most cases, more upset about it than they are. And, they have become a hero to the class because they've provided entertainment that doesn't involve learning anything. Like I said, I'm not immune but once I realize it's happened I usually try to end it with something like "I'm done arguing about this. We can discuss it after school, maybe in the principal's office, if you're really concerned about it." They usually don't want to do that.

Sometimes I am able to achieve some order by distancing myself from the outcome. I'll just tell them that their learning and their grade in the class is their concern and their teacher's concern and that I, personally, don't have a vested interest in it. So, if they think they're hurting me, they're not. They may be hurting their fellow classmates who may be concerned about their grade in the class. They may be hurting their regular teacher who, most likely, IS concerned about whether they learn the material or not. But, at the end of the day, it doesn't make a hill of beans to me if they learn it or not. I get paid either way. Believe it or not, sometimes that's a completely new wrinkle in their self-absorbed little brains.

I also agree that it's absurd to think that kids are going to sit and watch videos for 90 minutes. This school must be on the Block, huh? I go to a high school like that, but I've NEVER encountered a class where I had to try to make kids watch a video for 90 minutes. Usually there are 2-4 activities and honestly, more often than not, they have assignments in Google Classroom that they need to complete so all I really need to do is walk around and to be sure they're on-task and maybe help them if they're having a log-in issue.


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Fractured Fractured is offline
 
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:09 PM
 
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I’ll try to address everyone’s posts- I usually don’t engage in battles. It was more like the way this kid said it and followed it up by just leaving. A true piece of work. The girl who accused me of being racist came up to me after class. If she had said that in front of the whole class I would have directed her to stop and followed up with her after class. It’s a popular thing for white kids to accuse a teacher of being racist so they can look for that “ street cred” at a school like this. It’s a joke.

I am usually pretty calm and collected when dealing with kids. I had talked to kids individually, at their tables, and as a group. I use I statements and positive reinforcement. There was also a college student( not white) who was working as an aide and he was getting nowhere with them either. These kids just sucked. I’ve been in this school and I’ve had bad classes before, but never like this. They come from notoriously bad middle schools and I see that those schools are doing nothing to curb their behavior. This kick the can stuff is not helping anyone. A whole group of freshmen like this concerns me. What the girl said about it not being a big deal to be on her phone and talking all class since she wrote down her ten “facts” is what disturbs me the most. These kids are so entitled and coddled. They should be able to sit for 90 minutes and watch a damn video. At the least, they should be able to be quiet and sit still. I’m done with subbing and I’m not trying to get a job in this district( which is notorious for being one of the worst in the country), so I don’t care if I burn bridges right now. The vp was in a meeting after school but they took a written statement and promised they would call. Didn’t hear from them, no surprise there. I think admin needs to know subs need good plans and that their kids are just not doing anything and that security is not doing anything to back us up either. They prolly already know, but if I can make it easier for a future sub or teacher, maybe it will help. I subbed for this guy last year and based on his plans and how his kids act, I’m also placing some blame on his classroom culture. Anyway, I’m sick of this sh*t. If I don’t get a full time teaching time I’m just quitting teaching after this year. I’m done.
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Sounds like a bad school
Old 04-11-2019, 05:03 AM
 
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I'm stating the obvious here, but if you have the option, never return to this unruly school. Sounds like a lot of liability. Yikes!

I refuse to work at schools that treat me poorly and let the students act disrespectful or inappropriate.

Vote with your feet. Silence is the loudest message sometimes.

PS: If you ever run into a terrible class like that in the future, don't engage with them. Ignore their immature provoking and just call the office immediately. That way you can document that you did nothing the kids can spin on you. (Of course, if admin are useless it's a waste of time.)

Like they say on the internet: Don't feed the trolls.

Sadly, the only way to "win" is by not playing the game. Children aren't being taught to respect their elders much anymore.

Last edited by subasaurus; 04-11-2019 at 05:53 AM..
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:52 AM
 
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I suppose this school is "trauma informed." While I absolutely agree that teachers need to have some understanding of what some students may be dealing with at home, I object to this notion that "trauma informed" means "no consequences." It does seem to me that some kids are being actively taught to be hostile and disrespectful. I go to a couple of schools that are predominately Native and, as it happens, I am mixed blood myself. Kids that don't know me don't always realize that, though, so they'll try to play the racism card. The fact is that once they realize they can't play that card, they'll desperately look for another reason to be hostile. I had one middle school student tell me how I just "hated all Natives." I said "Tell it to my mom, who's a registered tribal member. Tell it to my cousin, who's on the tribal council." She immediately moved on to "But I bet you had everything you wanted when you were growing up." If the racism card doesn't work, try the poverty card.

The truth is that systemic racism does exist in schools. The truth is that the deck really is stacked against kids raised in poverty. But I don't see how it's at all beneficial to the kids to be encouraged to blow off all discipline as "racist." Dealing with kids who are victims of childhood trauma is the absolute worst for subs who don't have an opportunity to build relationships and establish trust, but it's no picnic for the regular teachers, either.

Honestly, though, if there's any school in the country where kids don't feel entitled, where they don't expect to be coddled, where they aren't addicted to their cell phones, where their parents will sometimes support the school/teacher rather than blaming them for everything, where bad behavior isn't ignored and minimally acceptable behavior isn't lavishly rewarded, I want to know where it is.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:14 AM
 
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I understand your frustration about that class and the teaching profession. It is emotionally exhausting instructing mostly a noncompliant class that thinks they have an option to follow instructions, especially when all I desire is a smooth and great day for everybody. The details of your day with that horrible class was different than mines, but I have still walked in your shoes. I am glad you decided to vent here. You always had my support. It's the right place; I relate and I know so many others do too.
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@sometimessub
Old 04-11-2019, 08:10 AM
 
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You are absolutely correct about systemic racism in schools. Well put.

Many schools hide behind the lie they're letting the students "express their own world views."

It's total nonsense.

When a student's "world view" is abusing the word "racist" to give them a free pass to be disrespectful, schools are ironically enabling prejudice, ten fold.

I've also heard a lot of anti-Semitic/Islamophobia/anti-Mexico talk in schools lately too.

It sickens me.

Schools are complicit for not calling it out.

Instead of creating a tolerant, fair culture, schools are doing the opposite and creating a toxic, hateful one by encouraging students to "express their feelings."

Students are being taught they can say whatever they want to because it's their "right," and trying to stop them from playing manipulative victim is "infringing on their rights." What a joke.

Schools should teach their students to keep their mouths zipped when it comes to race, ethnicity, and religion unless they have something RESPECTFUL to say.

Children simply haven't had enough life experience to understand the full complexities of racism. Their view is shaped through what social media conspiracies and offensive memes tell them. Not what real human beings tell them who have actually suffered racism.

Think Jim Crow laws and the holocaust.

Instead, our youth are being taught they're all victims, and they have the right to call anyone a racist if they hold them accountable for their offensive behavior.

Pure irony and contradictory thought from some of these schools.
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I Don't Blame You
Old 04-12-2019, 12:20 PM
 
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Yes. Not everything is racist. The current and future students in societies all over the world need to start thinking about their skills instead of skin color.

The movie lesson plan: I make a deal with kids.When kids make noise, I assign
them notes and grade them during lunch, and at the end of the day. Sometimes
I would stop the video periodically and ask them questions. They need guidance because they aren't responsible enough to guide themselves.

If they did nothing, I give them a zero. I write a note to the teacher. I requested they take the movie notes seriously.

I don't sub anymore. I still work in education though.You are viewed differently by employees from the district.

You're right. It's a thankless job. It's best for ex teachers who are retired. They don't have to care as much. They have thicker skins because they have an automatic cash flow coming in every month.
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:00 PM
 
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THE MAIN PROBLEM is the lesson plan. 90 minutes is too long for one activity. The video should have been for the first 45-50 minutes, when they were more alert. I would then have taken their sheets back, telling them that this counts as a grade. I've lied about that before, just to get them to do the work.

Stop the video 2 or 3 times to ask if kids are getting it, or need clarification on something. Guess what? That prevents talking and off-task behavior, shows them you care about teaching them something, and crucially eats up more time! Have a short discussion at the end. What issues does this raise? How does it affect you?

Extra time to fill: Maybe there is a short documentary too along with the movie. I did that with "Hotel Rwanda." It was informative , and it broke up the time. Sure there was 10 minutes of class left, but that's a whole lot better than 30 minutes of talking and phones.

Too many teachers think of us as babysitters incapable of doing anything more. When students are given a video, they must be challenged more than writing down facts, filling in blanks. The lack of respect? Well, they thought of you as a babysitter. That's what they were bored and played on their phones
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good tip
Old 04-15-2019, 09:54 AM
 
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"...end it with something like "I'm done arguing about this. We can discuss it after school, maybe in the principal's office, if you're really concerned about it." They usually don't want to..."


Good tip.
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:18 PM
 
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I did try stopping the video and probing. I even stopped it as some points to go over some things they might have missed and what I thought might be a good fact to write down. It just made it worse as getting them quiet was hard to do and no one was paying attention. The second class didn’t even bother turning in their sheets and most of them were blank. This school and grade were just really impossible. I had some freshmen at another school last week and the teacher even wrote in her notes that they were difficult and struggled with transitions. They ended being great and giving me no problems. This school is in the same district but they have a lot more discipline like taking away phones and not letting students go to the bathroom for more than 5 minutes minutes and they have to have a slip signed by the teacher( at least the 9th grade has to do this).I admit it’s a lot of work but it seems like that kind of stuff is needed more in hs.
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