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Southern Sub Southern Sub is offline
 
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Older Subs - like 65 or older
Old 07-27-2012, 07:24 AM
 
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If there are some older subs out there, I would like to hear from you. What age groups do you prefer to sub for. What are the biggest problems you have with subbing? Do you work full time or part time?

I'm curious because I'm wondering how long I will be able to do this job and still keep my sanity! I need to work and I enjoy subbing most days, but just wanted to know how many subs are out there in the same boat as me.

I have been subbing for about 6 years now and never tried High School, I've heard high school students are easier to deal with than ele. or Jr. High, but they intimidate me, don't know why. Any of you had experience with high school students? I have done Jr. High and don't care for the attitudes of this age group. I prefer 4th -6th, what do you think?

Are there any words of wisdom for us older subs?

Thanks ahead of time for your input!
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i'm not
Old 07-27-2012, 08:02 AM
 
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I'm not an older sub, i'm actually quite a young teacher, but from my experience as a sub for three years and what I've seen in my building, you can sub for as long as you want, as long as you are still on top of your game. I'm sure you've noticed that kids will definitely keep you on your toes, and once you lose that "with it" ness (for lack of a better phrase) the kids know it and will jump on it.

For example:

I had to go to a PD session all day this past school year and left my first grade class with a sub. Upon my return, I was informed that my kids were running around the room, playing hide and seek and having a wonderful time! Apparently the teacher next door had to call the principal and the principal went into my room while the sub just sat at my desk ALL DAY!

Basically, just make sure you still have the energy, mentally and physically and that you WANT to be there. If you don't, it will show and the kids will know it.

Best,

Kate P.
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Individuals vary
Old 07-27-2012, 08:55 AM
 
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I have been subbing for 4 years now and I have seen a wide range of ages & effectiveness of substitutes. There are older subs who are extremely effective & "with-it", while others are not. Then again, I have seen subs who require a walker and were not able to handle a fifth grade class. I subbed in the classroom next door & stuck my head in the room several times to tell the students that they had better straighten up or my next call was to the principal to come visit. I did have to call the principal to inform her that the sub was struggling to manage the classroom. This sub wasn't bothered that the fifth graders weren't listening to her & were throwing things around the room. WTH??

I prefer working with 2 -4 graders. Middle & high schoolers scare the heck out of me. I would never survive with this age group because they would smell the fear and run with it. I am not a fan of the younger students pre-school, kinder and sometimes first grade. They are too needy and criers which I have little tolerance for.
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:49 PM
 
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I am not an older sub, but from what I have experienced in our small town, is that high school is pretty easy. Because I live in a small town behavior is not a major problem. Older sub s like it because they get more sit time than if they were snubbing in the elementary where you are on your feet pretty much all day.
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I am in...
Old 07-27-2012, 02:34 PM
 
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my 50's and prefer 1st through 6th. Maybe because I have high schoolers at home, I really don't want to spend my day with them. The day seems to go faster with the elementary grades. Funny though when I started subbing I preferred middle school, less switching gears thought the day.


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Missed your cutoff date by 1
Old 07-27-2012, 10:15 PM
 
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I'll be 65 next year and this is my 9th yr subbing. While I have done all grades except HS, I prefer 3rd through middle school.

Most of the kids at all levels are pretty good but the Kinders and Kinders+1 DO take quite a lot of energy that I find myself short of sometimes.

This is a part time job for me to supplement paying bills.

I too wonder how much longer I'll be doing this but at least I know it will be one more.

...Mike
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I meet you age qualification
Old 07-27-2012, 10:38 PM
 
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and have been subbing since retirement. I sub at my old elementary school. I prefer K-4, but will do the older kids. I don't like the coming and going of different classes, so I wouldn't like middle or high school.
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My thoughts
Old 07-28-2012, 11:40 AM
 
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I find middle school tough. Anything above third grade and the students are out of control (many are held back and are older at the fourth grade level and up). I haven't worked high school in years because I was trained at the elementary level. I don't feel comfortable teaching high level math or chemistry so I have avoided high school. There is no discipline at the levels I teach at. Really I think the world is going to be a mess when these kids graduate because the behavior is atrocious. But maybe it is just the area I live in. I try to stay positive but reality is reality.
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Many Thanks!!
Old 07-30-2012, 09:01 AM
 
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Thank you all for your responses, especially to those who are in their 60's, I feel better just hearing everyone's opinions. I really have some food for thought now.

It would be nice to have a magic wand to wave over the students when they become "trying", but since there isn't, one has to make the best of the situation.

I, too am part time, making extra money, it's the best job for me at this time in my life, even though it can be challenging at times. It would get pretty boring if it wasn't.

As long as I feel I'm doing a good job and can keep up with the students, I will continue. I try to stay a step ahead of the discipline problems, (that's the biggest challenge of the job in my opinion.

Thanks again to everyone, I love this board, it has helped me a great deal!
SS
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Classroom management
Old 07-30-2012, 09:13 AM
 
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lv2read,
Thanks for your reply and story about the older sub w/walker. I have known some subs that have a hard time controlling the classroom and they weren't older subs, I have also observed teachers who could not control the classroom. There is definitely a knack to this.

I would be interested in your method of control, I can always use tips on this subject. In some classrooms, principal's visits help for a while, but not all day. Since you can't keep calling the principal back, what other suggestions would you have?

Thanks so much!
SS


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In complete agreement
Old 07-30-2012, 09:19 AM
 
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Mystery 20/20,
I agree with you on the discipline problem, I don't know where you live, but it seems everyone on this board has a problem w/discipline, so that tells me the problem is wide spread!

Sometimes the attitude and disrespect gets to be too much, I don't know how these kids are going to learn much the way things are today!

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k-4
Old 07-30-2012, 09:24 AM
 
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Thank you for responding!
I find k-4 very tiring, especially k-2 which I find are still babies. I admire your stamina with this age group which you definitely have to have!
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MikeRocode
Old 07-30-2012, 09:31 AM
 
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Thanks for your input, but how do you find the attitude of middle school? I feel they have no respect (not all of course, but some). Sometimes it gets to be too much, I try to ignore this kind of behavior, such as they know everything and don't have to do the work assigned to them because they have a sub. Do you ever find this in middle school and how do you cope?
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short_bread
Old 07-30-2012, 09:36 AM
 
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That is not a good thing! I agree with your last paragraph! I could never just sit at a desk and let the kids run wild, she must have been on some kind of drug to be able to ignore a class like that! It's time for her to hang it up!
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My 75 year old relative subs
Old 07-31-2012, 04:08 AM
 
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My relative is a retired teacher and still subs as needed, no more than 2 days a week or so for special ed in middle school. She says it is tiring but rewarding. She is in good shape and has to chase kids with various levels of the autism spectrum so bless her. It can be done. I am in my 50's and wonder how she does it. I do elementary school only and will serve as aide to special ed classes as well. Lots of running there to keep up with kids.
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So glad
Old 08-01-2012, 08:59 AM
 
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to hear that it is possible to continue in this job. Your relative is an inspiration for sure! I hope I can keep my health so I can work as long as I need and want to.

Thank you for your comment!
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Older subs
Old 08-05-2012, 06:28 PM
 
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I'm in your target age group, retired for the last 4 years after 30+ years teaching, mostly younger grades.

I've still got energy and the teacher evil eye so I mostly enjoy the contact with the students. I haven't ventured into the secondary world, largely because they start their day too darn early. I have a 30 minute commute to most schools.

Last year I had a regular once a week gig at my old school to cover teacher meetings. I liked that a lot, could explain why I "wasn't available" for any long term jobs. Actually I never know when DH and I will decide to take a trip somewhere. And the old school was fine if I missed now and then.

I think dealing with behavior has a learning curve. And it isn't age dependent, but experience dependent. The analogy is legal driving age: it varies from state to state, but the first year (and sometimes second) of driving at any age yields the most accidents.

Teaching full time, I took about 3 years to be able to really handle a class and the curriculum; being worth my pay in year 4. Having all that classroom experience allows me to walk into a room knowing I can handle the students and they know it too.

Although, I must admit that I had a learning curve for 5th and 6th graders when I started subbing. My bag of tricks were honed in much younger grades.
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:47 PM
 
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This is just my experience, but here goes.

I subbed when I first graduated college. Seems that was the norm for my area. I subbed mostly elementary, a tiny bit of high school, and a fair amount of middle school. I swore I would never, ever sub again at middle school if there was any way around it!

However, after some years in the classroom, I am subbing again. I still love elementary. I had one day in middle school this past year, and I was shocked at how well it went.

I sub in a rural/small town school. I sub at only one school.

I think broomrider said it well
Quote:
think dealing with behavior has a learning curve. And it isn't age dependent, but experience dependent.
When I first started subbing last year, I wasn't at the top of my game. It didn't take long, though, for me to find my stride. I did have a long-term job from January through part of April. By the end of the year, so many kids would say "Hi Mrs. Hideeho" to me wherever they saw me, so I felt like they were definitely getting used to me.

Here's to a great subbing year for all of us!!
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spotted out of context.
Old 08-11-2012, 11:01 PM
 
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"...kids would say "Hi Mrs. Hideeho" to me wherever they saw me"

I've been spotted out the classroom a bunch of times. The last time was at church.
Our church isn't in the school district, it's very small and a new family showed up.

When I introduced myself to the dad, the daughter asked: "Don't you remember me, Mr. Mike? You subbed our class, Mrs. xxxx's class"

I honestly don't remember kids "out of context" of the school yard but she DID look somewhat familiar.

(It happens much more when I go to Costco or MCD's that are located in the school district boundaries)

Where's the weirdest place that you've ever been spotted outside the school yard?

...Mike
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