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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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If you're happy and you know it...
Old 10-14-2013, 01:52 PM
 
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Clap your hands! An old Sunday School Song that's surely not appropriate in public school. But I find myself thinking of it during my decreasingly frequent visits to this board.

I suppose there's value to venting and one must expect a certain amount of hostility on forums that are fundamentally impersonal. So my point is not to criticize what seems to be a growing negativity and hostility. I'm just wondering who is happy and enjoying subbing?

I know I am! No, it's not a perfect world, but it's a pretty good one and it's what we have to work with...

My hope when I visit is to talk about kids and teaching. For example, I recently subbed kindergarten and found myself frequently drying the tears of a young girl who hasn't learned the term "over achiever." Where do we find the balance? How do we teach failure without destroying motivation?

I'm fortunate in many ways, but the challenges of subbing include short relationships and trying to understand the individual students in my class quickly... How do others do this?

What do you enjoy most about subbing? For me it's the challenge... And hearing the kids say, "We miss our teacher, but we're glad you're our sub."

Just a few ideas to create some positive posts and the sharing of ideas!


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Old 10-14-2013, 02:24 PM
 
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I actually really enjoy subbing. I love the challenge and the interesting stories that come from it. I even love having inconsequential things to complain about knowing that I'm lucky to only have those types of things to complain about. I love meeting a ton of students having nearly the whole school know who I am and be excited to wave hi to me.

I love learning how to be quick minded and adaptable. I love trying to learn everyone's name within a day. I love the kids that are challenging and make me work my mind to figure out how to meet a group and not only manage them but encourage them.
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ConnieWI ConnieWI is offline
 
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Subbing Is Wonderful!!
Old 10-14-2013, 05:51 PM
 
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I enjoy subbing too!! Maybe that has to do with the fact that I am subbing in the school from which I retired, I know the building, and the kids and staff know me too. I love the hugs I get from the students, and the way the staff is glad to see me.

I remember before I got my teaching job 35 years ago. I subbed for two years.

I always appreciated the secretary who gave me a quick tour of the building so I knew where the gym, art room, lunch room, and music room were located (and if there was not time for a tour with the secretary, I got there early enough to do my own tour).

I always appreciated the teacher who left me a list of two other teachers I could count on, and a list of three students who knew the procedures.

I always appreciated the teacher who had taken the time to leave me detailed lesson plans, procedures concerning behavior goals for needy students, the materials needed for the day already on his/her desktop, a list of things I could do to help during prep time, etc.

Perhaps that is why I felt I needed to make a sub's day as easy as possible. I walked in those sub shoes for two years, so once I got my own classroom, I bent over backwards to pay it forward.
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I have
Old 10-14-2013, 07:00 PM
 
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also noticed a growing negativity here.

I do love this job and have for many years. I like the students. I like being involved in the learning process and the classroom environment. I do not want the stress of being a full-time teacher. I like being somewhere different each day though I also like returning to the same classrooms. I like helping children. I have chosen this job knowing the rate of pay, the lack of benefits, etc., however, I understand subs deserve higher pay and many need the benefits. I love the hugs even though I had to sit through a guest lecturer in a first grade class about how to hug friends: pat each other with both hands but don't hug bodies. Less than an hour after that a kid came up and gave me a big hug...I'm not going to tell them not to. I love teaching in junior high math because I am often given things to teach, not just worksheets, and I love math.

The positives greatly outweigh the negatives for me.
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:14 PM
 
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I sub in my old school Love it. The best thing about subbing is leaving for the day without a bulging book bag!


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Old 10-15-2013, 03:12 AM
 
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<clap> <clap> <clap>

I'm happy! Subbing is just the right fit for me.

I love:
The novelty of teaching different grades
Watching the kids grow from year to year
Working part time, the days I choose
Learning how different teachers do things
The feeling of helping people
And so much more


But, I don't blame the regular teachers for complaining. Teaching has changed so much. The balance is not there anymore. And lately, they are being told they will lose their jobs if they don't do things that they know aren't best for their students. I am happy as a sub, but would not go into full time teaching.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:21 AM
 
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I'm retired, and sub for the district I taught in.
I stick mostly with the building I was in, grades K-5, so I know all the teachers and staff.
I love subbing because:
It is so gratifying to teach and interact with the kids again
I can leave at 3:00 and leave it all behind
I can visit and see my former colleagues, who I miss so much!Snacks in the teachers' lounge
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:29 AM
 
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I also love subbing. I've been doing it for 7 years. I have good days and bad days. THe good days are priceless and make me forget about the bad days

FOr subs, it takes longer to build the student relationships. I've been subbing for a number of years so this year I've been subbing for seniors who I subbed for in 7th grade. I have 7th grade students that I subbed for ever since they were in 1st grade. They know me well and I know them by name. I like it.

Last edited by Dougie; 10-15-2013 at 09:05 AM..
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Rapport
Old 10-15-2013, 09:35 AM
 
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Well, what I really appreciate about subbing is the flexibility it provides as a mom to three school aged children with a variety of activities, sick days, and doctor/dentist appointments etc. It allows me to not work if my family obligations come calling.

Second, my husband has been teaching for over ten years and I've seen what he deals with as far as working overtime on lessons, preparing materials, dealing with parents, discipline, staff meetings, student behavior issues, special ed. IEPS, and administrative paper work.

I agree that it is challenging. I have just completed my first day as a sub and it wasn't a piece of cake. But now I can pull back, reflect on the day, correct my mishaps, celebrate my accomplishments, and reinforce the positive for the next sub job. This final thought is what for me is the essence of being a sub, the fact that you can mess up one day and then go back and try again and hopefully get better and better as time progresses.
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Student Relationships
Old 10-15-2013, 09:42 AM
 
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I forgot to add that I believe that the most difficult portion of substitute teaching is due to the fact that we can't form or sustain rapport or relationships with the students.

Children and or students thrive on stable, positive relationships with those around them. Short term and quick appearances by us in the classroom can definitely shake the student's routines and daily common interactions. I guess we can only try our best to be positive and respectful of the fact that their day will be "different" because it is being lead by a different person. A person they are not used to, someone who in fact is a stranger. Poor students.

Let us be sure to leave them with a positive impression of us as caring adults who cared enough about them to maintain their classroom structure and routines as best we can.


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To Comaditra
Old 10-15-2013, 02:40 PM
 
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I disagree that you cannot build rapport in one day (let's call it short term rapport). Most classrooms I go into I am often automatically comfortable with. I get along with students and joke around during the day. On harder days, sure, it may be just maintaining an atmosphere to get through, but I feel rapport with students in one day even if I may never see them again. And when I see one of them a year later and they remember my name...well that's a great feeling.
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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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Thanks...
Old 10-17-2013, 02:59 PM
 
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For some great posts/comments. A retired teacher came up to me today and said, "I can tell you love subbing!" It was nice to know she's noticed. I'm pretty sure the kids notice too.

Regarding long term relationships, I find it amazing that most of the kid remember me--even if I was only in their classroom once during the year. When the older ones see me in the hall, they will often ask "Who are you today?" We might only speak in passing, but it's pretty awesome.

Glad others find similar rewards... I was starting to think I might be nuts! (Not really, although it would be okay.)
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:19 AM
 
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I also find that the long term relationships are there. The kids often remember me, and I get to know many of them. My main district switches buildings between third and forth grade, and the relieved look on the fourth graders faces when I show up in their new room and they realize that someone "came with them" is priceless.
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Old 10-19-2013, 03:31 AM
 
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Why would the song "If You're Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands" not be appropriate in public schools? I have seen various pre-school teachers sing that song with their class.

There were things that made me happy as a substitute -- many have already been mentioned here. Loved when a day went well... loved when I could connect with a student who might have been "challenging," and loved seeing students out in public who would give me a big smile and say "Hi Mrs. <my last name>!" I liked going to the middle school very early in the school year, and seeing students whom I'd known from elementary school. They were usually happy to see a familiar face. One young lady whom I didn't even know well seemed so pleased, "Wow, I can't believe it!" she said with a big smile. The teacher standing near me smiled too...

I have recently moved on to a related job. I now work regularly with some students I have known for years, along with a couple whom I did not know before. With my current schedule, I'm not able to work as a Substitute but if my schedule changes in the future, I will try to Substitute one day per week.
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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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Maybe part of it..
Old 10-20-2013, 05:35 PM
 
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The part I was thinking of is "if you're happy and you know it say'Amen!'" Guess if you left that part out... :-D
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:46 AM
 
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Maine Sub -- I have never heard that version with "amen." The only one I have heard of is: "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands," which apparently is the "standard" version.
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:32 PM
 
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I too was wondering why it was inappropriate. I've never heard a religious version and I hear it at the kinder level pretty often.
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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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in a sense...
Old 10-22-2013, 07:17 PM
 
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I stand corrected... Although there's probably a great lesson in this. I truly just thought of the song from the perspective l learned it (in Sunday School) and stopped there. Now that I think about it that was... biased? Or at least interesting! I honestly don't remember singing it in public school... But I'm also from the era when there wasn't preschool... In fact, no kindergarten. We started with first grade. Another thing to love about subbing--challenging my own thinking! And I finally get to go to kindergarten!
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