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Quite possibly THE worst class in 6+ years of subbing

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mooba1 mooba1 is offline
 
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Quite possibly THE worst class in 6+ years of subbing
Old 10-12-2018, 03:47 PM
 
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Oh. My. Goodness. Iíve posted about this class before, the one that I will be subbing for throughout the school year. Today they outdid themselves and nearly broke this veteran teacher.

Nonstop talking, leaving their seats, and the tattling, omg, the tattling. Second grade is notorious for that, but todayís reporting was over the top. It didnít help that it rained AGAIN today, so the weather change combined with indoor recess exacerbated the situation. By the last hour, I was completely over their behavior, and I just about lost it. I mean I was on the edge of tears, but I refused to let them see me cry.

When I subbed in that class last month, I really thought Iíd made some inroads by the second day, but any progress seems to have evaporated. The regular teacher doesnít have good management skills, making my job a lot harder, but geez! It shouldnít have been the train wreck it was today.

If youíve gotten this far, thank you for reading. I just needed to let off steam, and things are looking better now that Iíve had most of a second glass of wine. My fellow subs, I salute you and have the utmost respect for you.


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Old 10-12-2018, 06:06 PM
 
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Ack. So sorry. I feel your pain. I also have a class (5th) that is very tough that I'll be going back to a few times. The last time I made it to 2:15 before I lost it. I thought that was pretty good as there was only 1/2 hour left. I turned off the lights, told them to put their heads down, and read to them for the rest of class. (Ok, I kinda yelled at them.)

There was a lot of tattling in there also and eventually I started telling them I didn't want to hear it.

Hope you have a relaxing weekend.
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Keeping perspective...
Old 10-13-2018, 03:01 AM
 
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Perhaps you could write a horror novel... "The Class from Hell..." A little venting is certainly not a bad thing and adult beverages can be a great reward.

One of my coping techniques to remind myself of two truths:
  1. The only behavior in any classroom I can truly control is my own.
  2. I'm not likely to make a major change in a class/group in one day.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't try, obviously. But we also need to recognize there are times when we are too hard on ourselves. When we do that, we become the problem, not the kids.
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Old 10-13-2018, 03:20 AM
 
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You have my sympathies. The tattling at that age drives me nuts too (though I'm finding the "asking for rewards" lately bugs me even more!) And the rain definitely makes it worse!!
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too many
Old 10-13-2018, 04:28 AM
 
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We all know what spells disaster. Having a class with students in the 30s, being in middle school, the physical space of the room, attention-seeking behaviours... chips away at classroom management. Mind you, I've had a classroom full of 15 students and it feels like there's 50 of them too and then I've had a class in the high 30s and it felt like I only had 10 of them.

And obviously I can imagine how more of a trouble it is if someone is just guesting.


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Old 10-13-2018, 07:28 AM
 
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I have a class I regularly cover that has one child that feels like 20. Thank goodness the rest of the group is amazing, cause I donít know if I could take anymore like him. Despite my best efforts to ignore him, I leave with a headache every time.
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Thank you for your support
Old 10-13-2018, 08:54 AM
 
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Did anyone else hear the old Bartles and Jaymes commercial in your head when you read my title? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7WeZbRbxwg

In all seriousness, I do appreciate the responses, because all of you "get it". It lifted my spirits, and was a good reminder that I can only do what I can do, and I'm not a miracle worker.

Many thanks to you all.

Mooba
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I feel your pain!
Old 10-13-2018, 09:04 AM
 
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Lately I've been thinking, what if I haven't hit bottom yet? (I don't want to imagine what "bottom" looks like.) I totally understand how you felt. No matter how many days you're with a class, being a guest teacher is never the same as being the regular teacher.

Normally, I never accept anything above 3rd grade. I enjoy and can easily handle the little ones. But last week, I got wrangled into teaching a 4th/5th grade combo class at a rather rough school. (I arrived thinking I was teaching 1st grade, but that got canceled last minute.) I survived the first day by exhausting every tactic in my bag of tricks. Then the secretary appealed me to stay on since the regular teacher would be out the entire week due to illness. I foolishly agreed. After day 4, I was exhausted and seriously regretting it. It just reinforced why I stick with K-3rd. Many kids in 4th and 5th are already acting like teens. They get into mean cliques, group bullying, gossiping, spreading malicious lies, homophobia, racism, ...and defiant power struggles with adults (especially those they perceive as "powerless", e.g., guest teachers). I'll take wiggly, tattling 1st graders any day over that!

I'd also rather just spend a day with any given class and move on. Seems like I have my best experiences when I'm new and a novelty for the kids. As guest teachers, we will never get the kids' full respect and cooperation, at least not for long.

The problem isn't just the kids, it's also the other staff, parents, etc. who model disrespect by treating guest teachers as "less than" 2nd class citizens. But then that's another issue for another thread.
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Old 10-13-2018, 09:10 AM
 
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It seems that unruly classrooms are more common than ever before. I have had some horrific experiences in education, and I thought that they were unusual. I was going to write a book about them. But, I now see they are very commonplace. I still work with kids in education, but I am trying to get out of this soon because it just gets more negative as the years progress.
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Old 10-13-2018, 09:11 PM
 
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Student: Johnny is chewing gum!

Me: That's terrible. There are two things I really hate. One of them is kids who are chewing gum.

Student: What's the other one?

Me: Tattling.


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Old 10-14-2018, 05:48 AM
 
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I was a sub for years with a BA in another field, then went back to college in Early Childhood Education. I'm currently doing a year of student teaching in a class just like you described. I've had teachers apologize to me for being placed with that class. It's a nightmare with the stress of being evaluated all the time, teaching in a contrived environment where I have less control than I did as a sub, and the huge workload for the 4 college classes I'm also taking this semester. It's affecting my health.

I can relate to feeling on the verge of tears. My teacher doesn't have good management either, so it really concerns me that there's no foundation for when I take over completely for a few weeks next semester and this semester when I teach a lesson soon and my supervisor comes to evaluate me.

I saw something similar with one class when I subbed. The school had a difficult time finding subs for that class. You could go over the rules and why they're important, model, remind until you're blue, move clips, take away recess, move kids seats, use positive reinforcement (I did every time.), give rewards, etc., etc. and it had very little impact for a short period of time only. I was so thankful I was only there for a day or two at a time. It got to the point that I turned down days with that class when I didn't feel tip top. And, I'm guilty of taking the next day off sometimes if I wasn't scheduled already to recover.

When I turned in my keys after being in that class one of the secretaries always asked how'd it go. She didn't ask that way with other classes. I never let it show until one day when it was particularly bad. She said, "Your face is bright red, are you okay?" I told her I wasn't feeling well. She said, "You need to learn to say no sometimes." I went home and checked my blood pressure. It was sky high. I haven't had that happen until I started in my student teaching placement. One of the 2nd grade students asked one day what was wrong with my face. She said it was bright red. Again, sky high blood pressure, which is now a weekly occurrence. I'm only there 2 days a week this semester, but will be there 5 next.

Do you have to take sub assignments with that class in the future?
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