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hikinghiker hikinghiker is offline
 
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Annoyed is an understatement....
Old 10-23-2020, 02:33 PM
 
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I took a day off today. We're doing distance learning. I have a team mate who doesn't have a class, due to low enrollment, so she's just been doing random things. Well she was my sub today.

I left solid, easy to follow, plans. My kindergarteners and I have a solid routine down. We do the same things every day, and it works. 90% of my kinder are able to independently read and write CVC words with no assistance, and about 60% are able to write 1+ simple sentences without assistance. Their sentences aren't beautiful...but they can do them 100% by themselves with no more instruction than me telling them to "write a story about ___"

The google meets recorded her teaching and out of curiosity, I watched some parts of the videos. She did EVERYTHING different. She wrote the words for them first (which I don't do). She ignored our morning routine. No whiteboard writing. No independent work. No blending review. She had them draw whatever they wanted instead of our directed draws, which I use so kids can practice multistep directions and spacial awareness. She did letter name songs instead of the ones I linked. I could go on and on.

Basically, she did a lot of feel-good things and surface-level teaching that might look really impressive to parents, but really isn't helpful in the long-run. The issue is that it probably looked a lot more fun and engaging and educationally challenging that my normal classes and now I'm worried parents will like her more than me...shallow, I know.

And while it did look fun for the kids...but that's because she completely switched around group times, she didn't actually teach independent skills, and she taught them things that are actually more harmful, like having one girl spell out goat like g..o..a..t which is teaching her to ignore everything we've learned so far about phonetic writing. That looks impressive, but that girl will forget how to spell goat in 2 minutes and she didn't learn a skill. Just copied the teacher. But parents don't know that, all that mom saw was her child spelling an advanced word.

It was a really good show, but if I did every day like that it would take us until spring to do things independently. But I am genuinely worried parents are going to be drawn in by how she did things, even though I know it's not great in the long run.

Someone make me feel better, please.


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Old 10-23-2020, 03:26 PM
 
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It was one day. I wouldn't worry about it. And kids like routine, not having everything scrambled up and unexpected. I bet when you see them Monday, they will say they missed you.
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Old 10-23-2020, 03:40 PM
 
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It really is a lot harder than it seems to follow plans someone wrote and to understand them the way the writer intended them understood. I would just be happy someone was there for my kids.

I totally get your worry, but I feel that way with a couple of our in person subs. They give rewards every class period. They give them gum at the end of the day. Rules that apply when I am there don't apply. It is annoying and the kids love them! I would love them too, as a kid...but love and learning aren't the same thing.

Let it go!
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Old 10-23-2020, 06:09 PM
 
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Edited to remain more anonymous...just in case!

Last edited by hikinghiker; 10-24-2020 at 03:51 PM..
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Old 10-23-2020, 06:19 PM
 
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I subbed for a few years and always followed plans, but Iíve been on both sides of the coin.

My theory is that as long as the kids didnít burn down the building or bite the sub (yep, that happened), Iím happy.

If itís really bothering you, you could always approach her with, ďHey, I worked really hard to write what I hoped would be East to follow plans. I noticed you didnít follow them all. Could you give me some tips on what I could do to make them easier to follow next time?Ē and see what she says. Just use ďIĒ statements so she doesnít feel like sheís being attacked. That would make it worse.

I do agree that itís one day and the kids wonít remember by Monday. If a parents asks, explain your reasoning. You clearly have solid reasons for all your teaching. And, youíre training them for when we go back f2f.


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Let it go
Old 10-23-2020, 10:04 PM
 
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How long have you been teaching?

A sub can't replace you. A sub can't do things exactly as you do them. A sub's job is to keep the children alive while you are gone. Parents aren't going to judge you because of what a sub did. If she did something the kids really liked, give it a try yourself. It's bonkers to me that you're jealous of a sub who spent one day in your classroom.
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Old 10-24-2020, 02:01 AM
 
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I agree with other posters that the sub’s job is basically to keep them safe and alive until you return. As long as the methods you are using are based on sound practices, I wouldn’t give it a second thought. In the end, parents are going to appreciate the growth their children make and their ability to do things independently. Flashy does not equal strong teaching skills.
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Old 10-24-2020, 03:40 AM
 
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I get it and would be annoyed too. You obviously work hard and know what works to get your students to grow and become independent. You put a lot if time into writing plans to keep that momentum going when you couldn't be there. The sub broke that momentum when she disregarded your plans. I feel like I need to trust my sub teachers to carry on with the plans I left so we can stay on track and keep building skills. It stinks when that didn't happen and now you feel like you're left with a mess to clean up and get back on track.
I would thank this teacher for taking your class this time because subs are not easy to find in my area, but the next time she subs for you make it clear that what you left needs to be completed as you expected because the students will need these skills for the next day's lessons. Since she works in your building you could talk to her before hand and leave some time in the schedule for her to plan something for the students. Since she doesn't have a classroom this year she might have been excited to try out some new ideas, activities, or lessons, or was just happy to be in front of kids again. We have a sub whose is famous for going off script. I've started leaving time open for her to do/plan what she wants to do and I always leave activities in case they're needed but they usually are not used. She is a retired teacher and enjoys the planning and the students like the small break from routine. Not ideal but it's a compromise that works. It's way better than coming back to find the lang arts lessons were not done and then needing to find time to squeeze them in to stay on track with the 5 day unit testing schedule.
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Old 10-24-2020, 03:46 AM
 
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I would like to add that in my building ( elem) subs don't report until 20 minutes before school starts ( or at least don't get paid until then) which does not give them much time to read through extremely detailed and lengthy (many pages long!) sub plans that some teachers leave.

I know it can be frustrating if you spent a lot of time on your plans to not have them followed, but a sub is not your clone. I leave things that are easy to follow and aren't usually the lesson I would have taught that day since they are often more complicated than what I would want a sub trying to do ( and maybe done incorrectly since they aren't familiar with program/ unit).
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Old 10-24-2020, 05:12 AM
 
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I learned a long time ago to not worry about what was done when I was absent. A sub will never do it exactly like you and thatís fine. I resume our routine the next day. The kids will be happy to see you and get back to their daily routine. There are other things to worry about.


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Old 10-24-2020, 06:24 AM
 
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Subbing is a crappy horrible job I would never want to do. I say it's a success if the kids are safe and happy after a day with a sub. I don't care what a sub does in my room as far as academics are concerned as long as they taught something and the kids are ok. Let this go. I have seen some pretty horrible subs in my 18 years of inner city teaching. Your sub sounds wonderful to me. I'll trade you her for the subs we get. You might appreciate her more.
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Old 10-24-2020, 06:43 AM
 
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Quote:
in my building ( elem) subs don't report until 20 minutes before school starts
Ours have 10 minutes. Sometimes the more detailed the plans, the harder it is to follow them. Making a sub basically have a script (detailed plans), especially when they are being broadcast into private homes, puts the sub in an even less enviable position. A sub can't sound and do everything just like you do-so they are going to be at a disadvantage. I think plans, where they have a little room to add their own personality and style in, would benefit the sub, you, and the students.

Imagine sitting there with a script to use. A script that you hadn't had time to study. Now add the tech on top of that. It isn't as easy as it sounds.

I do get your annoyance, but.... I did like the advice given to ask how you could make your plans easier to follow. Maybe there was a real reason why she went off-script. I would be very polite and nonaggressive when I asked. You may need a sub again.

PS. We don't get subs. We are subbing for each other, or giving asynchronous work. Makes it a lot harder to take time away, when many of us need time away more than ever!
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Old 10-24-2020, 11:53 AM
 
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Agreed with everyone everyone said.
But I also thought - she's a teacher without a class. You gave her an opportunity to be a teacher again. It wasn't what you would have done, it probably was just surface flashy, but she probably also enjoyed doing it. And one day off routine and doing things differently didn't really disadvantage your students.
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Thank you all
Old 10-24-2020, 03:24 PM
 
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Thanks for calming me down some!

I can sympathize that she probably missed teaching and that's why she went so crazy with her own plans. Truthfully, she also has a long history of doing things like this and basically just doing her own thing and ignoring others wishes. When I talked to my teammates, they were not surprised and basically said that they would have to be dying and in the hospital before they called her in to sub or do anything with their classes and now I understand why.

Also, lesson plans were incredibly easy and quick to read. I'm not exaggerating. it was only about 30 minutes of plans for teaching, just repeated for each group.

Last edited by hikinghiker; 10-24-2020 at 04:04 PM..
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Old 10-25-2020, 11:57 AM
 
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I expect very little from subs. If they show up on time, keep the kids safe and reasonably engaged for the day, then I'm all good. You are lucky to have a sub at all- we don't have them here.

I never expect subs to do things just like I do. I know that explanations of things in my sub plan that seem very specific and easy to understand to me, are not necessarily so to someone else. I know that every teacher has different strengths and weaknesses than I do and my way may not come naturally to them at all. It's ok for them to put their own spin on things, or even do things a totally different way.

I would embrace the fact that you had a sub and be glad for it.
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I know what you mean
Old 10-27-2020, 12:17 PM
 
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Once I had a half day sub for a training session held at our school. The sub was well aware that we were not off campus. When I returned very little of the assigned lessons had been completed, but my chalkboards were both filled with NFL team logos he had drawn with our colored chalk. I was furious. I asked the AP to come have a look. He just chuckled and said he'd seen worse. So I thought OK, don't moan at me about your timelines and other expectations. Since retiring I've subbed for a few years and tried very hard to stick to the plans. Often the teachers leave too much and just want to me keep the lid on.
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