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McGarrett
 
 
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McGarrett
 
 
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Clear Directions Please
Old 03-09-2018, 05:35 PM
 
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I really need clear directions from teachers. I know they are sick often when they are writing the lesson plan, but quite often I have to put the puzzle pieces together. And if I am unable to do this, it makes me look incompetent.


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Sublime Sublime is offline
 
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:22 AM
 
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I subbed in a 5th grade last week. The teacher had been ill and must have been really sick because I got about one paragraph of instruction she emailed to the office. I just went with it and filled in the blanks (luckily it was a minimum day). The sub from the day before had also received brief plans and left the teacher a long message saying that the plans should have been more specific and thorough because there wasn't enough information. I just imagined the teacher must have been pretty ill and cobbled together what she could. I wonder what her reaction was to the first sub's reprimand.

I don't think teachers know that even if they leave us detailed plans we walk into a room that is a blank slate. Where is this or that? Where is the black file cabinet? Where is the thermostat and why is it behind a shelf where we can't see it?! Every day is a new experience!
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II Understand
Old 03-10-2018, 12:38 PM
 
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Sublime, I definitely understand. I have had my share of little or no lesson plans. Sometimes I would rather have no plan at all than an incomplete one. When I get a poor lesson plan, I try to be professional about it. I might mention a preferred way to do something or offer a suggestion to the teacher nicely. A bad note can bite you back, and its in writing. I was once a teacher and it would take me at least a couple of hours to get things ready for the sub. It was a big pain when I was very ill, but I would do it anyway. I wasnt perfect, but I tried my best.I do know that many teachers never had sub experience so they don't know how important it is to provide as many details as possible. They assume too much or maybe some just don't care enough at all. I get this one a lot: Reading. Students will turn to page whatever in their books. Which book is this? You think they would let me know the title and chapter of the book. Or this one: The students know what to do. Well, not always. They do know how to confuse me with different information. I often have information that is left out a plan and get a call from an office: You're supposed to be at the auditorium right now. Okay, then when I finally arrive with the students, they ask me why I didn't bring such and such. It drives me up the walls.
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mooba1 mooba1 is offline
 
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The six most dreaded words
Old 03-10-2018, 05:21 PM
 
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ďThe students know what to do.Ē Well, most of the time, no, they donít. I can deal with just about anything else, but it makes my heart sink when I read those words.

Iím a retired teacher, so I get it. Itís so time-consuming to prepare for a sub, and I deeply appreciate the effort teachers make to leave good plans and gather all the materials.

Just please, please donít type those six words. The students may well know what to do if the regular teacher is in the classroom, but that knowledge seems to vanish when a sub enters the classroom.
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luv2teach2017 luv2teach2017 is offline
 
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Old 03-11-2018, 02:12 PM
 
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I guess I have a different take on it. I agee about the value of complete instructions, but realistically, I don't expect to get that. Part of what I enjoy about subbing is the challenge of putting it all together and making things work smoothly.

No teacher is going to include everything, and most do leave out important details in their plans. So for me, as long as it's understood that I can't possibly know everything that's in the teacher's head, I'm happy to figure things out as best I can.

I consider myself successful if I can keep the students safe and on task and cover the most essential material identified in the lesson plan.



Last edited by luv2teach2017; 03-12-2018 at 03:49 AM..
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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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Old exercise...
Old 03-12-2018, 07:18 AM
 
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There's an old "exercise" we used to use with adults to get this point discussed. One person has a coat or sweater... and is instructed to be very ignorant. The partner "instructs" the person to put on the coat. Depending on the acting ability it can get hysterical as the "victim" tries to put it on upside down, backward, etc. because he/she is following the "teacher's" instruction--or lack thereof.

The exercise leads to several conclusions--one being giving instructions is not that easy a task, particularly if the student has very little frame of reference. It also demonstrates the value of "tell, show, let them try." That's a luxury we don't have when we're subbing. (I think subs should find opportunities to watch regular teachers whenever they can but that's not usually going to happen prior to our actual assignment.)

I've occasionally told the kids, "I'm not sure where we actually are, but we're making really good time." Sometimes we figure it out together.
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:12 PM
 
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I agree with Mooba...those 6 little words leaving the plans essentially up to the students can leave a sub looking and feeling like a circus clown and ringmaster rolled into one.

My favorite...a teacher tells me for a health-related class that incorporates some phys ed..."The students know where to go." Ok...so where is that exactly? Oh that's right, they won't report to the class to tell me because they will just go to "wherever it is that they know where to go to". Yep, that would have been nice to know. Turns out that place was on the top level of the gym. Who knew? Certainly not the sub who was left in charge of the class!
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:09 AM
 
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Mooba you are so right!
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Already said
Old 03-18-2018, 06:34 AM
 
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It would be nice if the teacher provides a little background too in the instruction,

"We are in the topic of ______ and we have just finished a task regarding ______. What students should be doing today is ______. All the materials they will be using are found in _____. They will be staying in this room or some might need access to_____. The helpful staff are _____ if you have any questions..."

Those six dreaded words don't leave much for the subs as they don't necessarily know and I doubt that other staff in the building knows as well. There's nothing wrong with asking students but if you get responses that seem inconsistent, it's better to leave the subs with clearer instructions including if they are allowed some latitude to modify, extend, or alter some parts.
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"The students know what to do."
Old 03-26-2018, 04:21 PM
 
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I agree: I practically groan out loud when I see that because it translates as : "You will endure several minutes of chaos and arguing while the students demonstrate that they absolutely do not know what to do."

I'm a retired teacher, too, and I know that you can be too sick to think clearly when trying to write sub lesson plans. I always wrote up an "If all else fails" plan for the day and kept it in my sub folder and also on my computer at home so I could e-mail it to the sub coordinator or another teacher. I tried to have enough material to get someone through three days.

ETA: The most helpful thing for me, and I always did this for my subs, too, is to let the sub know which particular student to ask if something is unclear. Sometimes there just isn't one, though.


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JustaSub JustaSub is offline
 
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Emergency Sub Plans
Old 04-12-2018, 05:45 PM
 
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In addition to the regular lesson plans, teachers should, and a lot of them do, have emergency sub plans. This includes extra worksheets or lessons depending on the grade level. That is very helpful in case the regular plans aren't clear enough.
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