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Bobbies Bobbies is offline
 
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How long is too long for sub notes?
Old 03-04-2020, 07:42 AM
 
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I had a bad class yesterday. Every period was bad. I detailed many of the incidents of behavior. I also attach the tardy absent list as well as the hall log. For those who had to use the restroom, go to the nurse, etc. I ended up writing 2 full pages front and back of everything that happened yesterday. Is this too long? How long is too long? When I leave notes, what should be left in those notes? I normally leave extensive notes.


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Old 03-04-2020, 03:05 PM
 
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I as a teacher would want to know what happened in my classes so I can address students actions. I don't think 2 pages f/b is too long if it is letting me know what happened.
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Old 03-04-2020, 04:10 PM
 
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At least in high school, teachers probably won't even read it if it's longer than 1/2 page.

I try to limit what I write after I said something to a teacher about what I wrote in the note and realized she didn't even read it. One would think that if we took the time to write it, they could at least read it, but they probably won't.

I put down absences. I don't even report tardies, unless there is a note from the office.

I don't write down behavior issues unless I have names. A teacher can't do much on a sub report that says "two girls were on their phones, the whole time," or whatever.

I do not write down who goes to the bathroom or if they're just gone for a little while.

Most of the time, nowadays, I just write "good class," if I don't have information actionable by the teacher.
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Old 03-04-2020, 04:16 PM
 
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I would read every word of however much you write. I love to know in detail what happens when I'm gone. I don't expect long, detailed notes but I do appreciate knowing how things went.
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Old 03-04-2020, 04:47 PM
 
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Unless you had some extremely unusual situations, most teachers will tell you they don't have time to read more than a half page. I have some teachers who would get bored after the second line.


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Old 03-04-2020, 04:52 PM
 
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I probably wouldn't write that much. The teacher knows who the trouble makers are. I only report something if it's blatantly disruptive or disrespectful. After that I might say that the class was poorly behaved. That's just my opinion. I've been subbing a long time and if I get a bad class I just hope it goes by fast. 5 or 6 bad classes in one day, that's an awful day. Hope you don't go back there.
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Old 03-04-2020, 07:43 PM
 
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I only sub elementary so I leave a pretty concise note. I list anyone absent, anyone who went home sick, or sustained a significant playground injury.

I let the teacher know that we covered the plan completely and any areas where students seemed to be having difficulty. If we were unable to complete something on the plan, I make sure that is noted also.

As far as behavior goes I frame it with the word cooperative, and indicate cooperation for the class as a whole. I always shout out to those who were especially helpful. The teacher already knows who the problem children are, no need for me to identify them. I always close with the offer of my phone number in case there are any questions or concerns. Most of my jobs are requests, so they already know my number.
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Old 03-04-2020, 07:48 PM
 
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Yes, I should have said that I leave my phone number and email and tell them to contact me with questions/comments. Two have taken me up in it, this year.
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Last year I started an ABC note
Old 03-04-2020, 08:43 PM
 
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Usually I type it on Notepad on my iPad. Rarely, I will just write it. It looks like this. Names changed.

Smith MONDAY MARCH 2, 2020

PERIOD 1

Attendance
John
David
Jane

Behavior
Awesome!

Comments
Students seemed to really enjoy this activity. Lots of discussion.

PERIOD 2

Attendance
Mary D

Behavior
Chatty, but most worked hard.

Comments
Not quite as productive as first period.

Period 4
Attendance
Mark D

Behavior
Wow! They were chatty at first, but then they settled down and got to work! Impressive!

Comments
Went well. Good group.

PERIOD 5

Attendance
John D
Mary D

Behavior
Great
Comments
Lance was called to the office at the beginning of the period and never returned.

PERIOD 6

Attendance
No absences

Behavior
Awesome

Comments
Great class.

PERIOD 8

Attendance
Emma Rhoads

Behavior
Wow! Give them lunch, and they wake up.

Comments

PERIOD 9

Attendance
No absences

Behavior
Ezra and Larry were off-task.
Very chatty group, but most were working.

Comments
Jen Franz came in to observe a student or students.
Many students did not turn in their packets even though I reminded the class many times.

PERIOD 11

Attendance
Same as period 1

Behavior
Not as good as this morning.

Comments
I survived, and so did they.....
Collected 4 permission slips for field trip


Each period, I ended up loaning out all four loaner Chromebooks.
Karen

This was an 8th grade class. Sometimes I leave longer comments. I email the notes right after school so the teacher knows what to expect before returning.
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Old 03-05-2020, 03:27 AM
 
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I use email... my general guideline is: What do I need to share to make the regular teacher's job easier the next day?

I tend to focus on learning, not behavior. If the students struggled with a particular concept or worksheet, I will so note. If we didn't get to something, I'll mention that. I clip turned in work and label it with a post-it note.

I only mention behavior issues if it is something that requires followup or something that might have repercussions.

I always find something positive... "We had a lot of fun with..." or "The kids really got into..."

I don't try to write a journal of the day's entire activities. I always close with something like "If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions for me..." and include my cell number.

I liken it to being a news reporter... my reports rarely run more than a few paragraphs.


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Old 03-05-2020, 04:25 AM
 
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Oh ok. Thank you all so much for the replies. Many of my classes are high schools in urban areas, where it it not unusual at all for a group of 28 kids and not have any working at all. This would feflect on me, and I have learned to NOT let admin know in this case, as I will be the one blamed. Anyways, if you have nothing but negative behavioral experences, and no one ( no one at ALL) listening to my repeated attempts to get them to do anything, should I include that? It would reflect bad on me.
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Old 03-05-2020, 08:58 AM
 
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"I survived, and so did they."



I forgot to say that this topic came up, before, and one teacher complained about long notes because "When did they have time to do anything besides write?"

We can't win. No good deed goes unpunished.

Like someone else said, high school is less anal. I would probably leave longer notes in elementary where the teachers seem to think that if one little thing doesn't happen, their class will explode.
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Old 03-05-2020, 12:07 PM
 
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Names used below are not actual students or teachers

I write notes in the margins of the lesson plans (if there is room) or I leave a one side of a sheet of paper.

Mostly it is short thoughts.

HR - Sue absent, Bob tardy @9:30

PD 1 or Math - students were chatty but seemed to grasp the concept. We completed the lesson just before the end of class.

PD 2 or Reading - students from Mrs. Smith's class were very chatty as a result we only read 2 chapters of Charlotte's Web.

PD 3 or intervention time - Kenny and Nolan were quiet, Bob and Sue tried to play Fortnite on their iPads.

Remember, this is not a creative writing assignment.
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Old 03-05-2020, 02:46 PM
 
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I am very brief, but I do tend to follow the teacher's example. If they left a very detailed note, I may give more detailed notes. If I get "Their lesson is posted online. They know what to do," I'm just leaving a list of absent students.
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Why is elementary so anal?
Old 03-05-2020, 03:39 PM
 
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Before I found these sub apps that I use, (I had no idea of them until another sub mentioned it to me), I went on AESOP to get jobs. There are the jobs NOBODY wants; here it's the elementary, and some of the bad middle schools, half-days, ANY para position (pays just $65 a day) When I went to elementary one day, I was rated on ALL THE TIME by some person(s). Someone saw me on a phone in a hall apparently and reported me, the bell did not ring that day, so the kids were a full 2 minutes late to the pick-up line and that upset them I did not get their early enough, and they complained about that, none of these were valid nor true, excpet the bell DID NOT ring that day, no one informed me it would not ring in that part of the building. Anyway, I get all this written into my dossier, and I am sure it is still there all these years later. Like I've said before, I'll NEVER take elementary nor middle ever again. Hope ALL their jobs go unfilled and that all their stupid paras are sent as roaming subs all over, forever along with the teachers on their break.
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Old 03-05-2020, 03:41 PM
 
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I usually sub for elementary, and middle school maybe once a week if at all (I don’t like their attitudes). I leave a few names of helpful kids and a few names of students who had behavioral issues. I include how the entire class did as a whole. Lately, teachers have left a class-wide behavior goal, such as “fill in the seven sprinkles on this drawn donut to earn free donuts” or earn all letters in “prize” for a class reward. Making my note easy - include why they did or did not earn everything.

One teacher asked me to include names of students with behavior issues. When I did, he reported back to me “I always ask subs to include names and they never do. These names you gave are what I expected, but thank you for actually doing this!” So I include these things even though it should not surprise their teacher.

Every once in a while, I have a horrid day and leave an extra long note. Sometimes things happen that the teacher needs to know, and that administration can have your documentation of (if need be). I wouldn’t fret.
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Old 03-05-2020, 03:53 PM
 
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It's too bad that when behavior issues arise, they wont give you their name, or they'll ask why, and NO ONE in the class will "snitch" to you plus, no one ever jas a seating-chart given you, and on the very are cases there is one, the.stude ts ignore it or ot is outdated. Only way.to.find the perpetrator is to take roll call once again, and even then it is not guarenteed, plus the schools want the role turned in no later than 15 minutes after the bell. I have resorted to listening to what their frie ds in the class are calling them, I even go so far, and this is NOT racism, as to look at the room roster when an African-American is acting up. Since 95% of our schools are hispanic students, I will look for the English last name on the list. There are usually just one or two tops in any class, so I'll call the first name, and their head will bobble up. I know I have the offender. I do the same thing when it is a white student, too. Look at the last names and see which aren't latino. Again, since this city is like 80% hispanic (whites (or as they are called here gringos, or Anglos) stand out like salt in a pepper shaker) as do the surnames.
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Old 03-05-2020, 03:58 PM
 
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It's funny to me that teachers think it's so strange that we don't know the names of the students. Seating charts (unless there are pictures) are often not current, the students switch seats, etc. In high school, at least, they won't snitch. Then teachers wonder how we don't know all their names? Amazing that college educated adults can't figure out that one.

One more thing. If teachers are complaining to you about other subs, there is a good chance they are complaining about you, also, to others.
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Old 03-08-2020, 09:19 AM
 
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I do bullet points for each hour/subject. If it's more than 3/4 a page long, it's TOO long!
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sub forms
Old 03-08-2020, 10:39 AM
 
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I have two different forms that I just made up in Word and keep copies of in my sub bag. There're both one side of a page, though I will occasionally go over on the back if needed.

For elementary, it has a spot for absences, a behavior scale, about a half-page section for academics (that's what sometimes goes over) and a spot for misc. notes on the bottom.

For middle & high school (or things like art and music, where elementary is also different groups) I have one with boxes for each period - kind of mini versions of the above.

Both have my contact information, and while I don't think anyone has ever called to ask further questions, I do think it has gotten me requests for future jobs.
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:44 AM
 
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I have a similar form for high school. The secretary has told me that the teachers have told her that they like it. Twice I have been contacted, and both times it was to follow up and tell me that the problems I had in class were addressed. I appreciated that.
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