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AZsub AZsub is offline
 
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Disrespect
Old 08-03-2019, 08:27 AM
 
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I sub for high school. Noticed last year, huge problem with disrespect from students. I have been subbing a long time and none of my usual go to's worked ie: waiting until students quieted down, moving students, counting to 5, etc. I walked out at end of year very upset.

Also, kids were playing cards and not doing assigned work. This was in multiple high schools last year. I left notes for teacher, but no seating assignment, so did not know names.

School starts monday. Coming in fresh and do not want same situation as last year. Any new suggestions for classroom management?


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Old 08-03-2019, 09:10 AM
 
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Let me start off by saying that in HS level, our job is NOT to make students do their work. They are old enough by HS age (even MS age) to know the consequences of not doing their work. I also noticed last year the increase in laziness among students. I wouldnt call it disrespect, just pure laziness. About 5-6 good students do the assignment and the rest play in their phones or socialize. I blame it on the administration for not enforcing rules due to fear of backlash from parents. If admins dont back you up or fail to punish students for not putting in any effort when they have a sub, thats their problem not ours! As long as they are not running around the room, fighting, or too loud, I let it be. I normally give them one reminder that they have work to do, then write a short note to teacher and let them know how many students approx chose not to do the assignmment even after reminding them. That way you documented it, covered yourself, and it becomes the school's problem.
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Old 08-03-2019, 10:40 AM
 
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Let me start off by saying that in HS level, our job is NOT to make students do their work. They are old enough by HS age (even MS age) to know the consequences of not doing their work. I also noticed last year the increase in laziness among students. I wouldnt call it disrespect, just pure laziness. About 5-6 good students do the assignment and the rest play in their phones or socialize.
I disagree with this, especially for middle school kids. They may seem like they would know the consequences, but they really don't understand it. Don't let them get away with things they shouldn't be doing.
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Old 08-03-2019, 12:33 PM
 
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I dont let them get away with it. Like I said above, I do remind them they have work to get done and I do document to the teacher those who refuse to obey and dont do their work. If I know their names, I will list them. This day and age, it is about all we can do as subs. It is not like the old days where we can slap them with rulers. Lol. I know a teacher who was actually suspended for taking the next step and taking phones away from a student's hands. They claimed he was rough and made physical contact with the student. Therefore, these admins rather go after teachers trying to do the right thing, than going after students who constantly disobey and not follow directions. When you do not have strong support from those above you, our hands become tied.Therefore, in the districts I work in, I even see regular teachers letting kids get away with a lot due to lack of admin support.
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Yup
Old 08-03-2019, 04:30 PM
 
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You nailed it!


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Old 08-03-2019, 05:02 PM
 
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I had a MS teacher tell me before I subbed for her on day, "If a student doesn't do his/her work for you, then that is totally on them, not you. And they will suffer the consequences." I've never forgotten that convo.
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:29 PM
 
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This is why I rarely work in high school anymore. Not because they're disrespectful, but because I don't want to deal with the cell phones and the teachers rarely leave any work for subs. Just hand out the work and let them do it. Granted, they can't expect us to teach some of those classes, but I hate having nothing to do. Junior high, though, I like...I'm usually able to help with something and they are NOT allowed to take their phones out during the school day. Yea!
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Being realistic...
Old 08-04-2019, 03:50 AM
 
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I'm not sure I see some of these issues as disrespect. The high school environment is very different than the lower grades... and I do believe our roles change some as does the definition of "classroom management."

One big change might be that students won't work for us; they work (or not) for themselves. To some extent, that's always been true but that might be a different conversation. That doesn't mean we're absolved of responsibility. It does mean it takes different skills to create a learning environment where all students are engaged in the work.

For subs, this is particularly challenging because we are typically only in the room sporadically and for comparatively short periods of time. The age-old "choose your battles" advice becomes more valid than ever. The more battles you choose, the more likely you'll end up in trouble.

High school students expect freedom and, like it or not, the current trend is to give it to them. Personally, I think it's going to get "worse" before it gets better. At the core is the reality that our approach is usually fundamentally adversarial and polarizing.

Work with the students, making your very reasonable expectations clear from the outset. Try to shift from enforcement to thinking "We're all in this together..." and limit the number of "deal breakers" you're going to enforce. I tend to believe that classroom management is a myth, particularly at the high school level. We're really challenged to manage a group of individuals, many of whom have very different agendas, skills, and attitudes. Maybe it's time to look at what we have in common.
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Class Management
Old 08-04-2019, 09:34 AM
 
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Interesting thoughts. If I let the students be on their phones, then when I walk into class those that have had me before know they can get away with slacking off that hour. I have experienced students socializing loudly, cells and even sleeping when I am easy on them.

At this point, students know I am strict and they will do what their teacher asked of them. I just hate being the bulldog.

I want a pleasant day with these kids. That is why I asked for new ideas.
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High school kids
Old 08-04-2019, 09:41 AM
 
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The other issue is, that some of these students have little parental control. The kids run their house. When a teacher tries to discipline, the student pushes back hard.

I really do not like to be in a situation where a student is trying to one up me. That is when referrals happen.


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Old 08-04-2019, 12:39 PM
 
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Although my credential is multiple subject, I still get 90% middle and high school.
I do not like high school because it is boring and one hour periods seem like two hours.


There is one class room where the teacher always requests me, and most work is in chrome books
Her scripted lesson plan always says that if I see them using their chrome books incorrectly, to tell them to put it away and work on something else.

I sometimes tell them to focus on their assignments when I see them playing a game, but it is rarely the chrome book that is an issue. Most students are multitasking by doing their work while doing unrelated activities on their cell phones at the same time.

The teacher gives no cell phone instructions, but I usually will calmly mention to each student once to focus solely on the assignment, while making a list for the teacher of the students who are fully compliant. The cell phone issue is a losing proposition because so many students are addicted to it, so to insist on having them put away cell phones is a battle that I will nearly always lose.

When writing my report, I focus on listing the best most focused students, and will only list unfocused students if they are disruptive to others.
As long as the teacher keeps asking for me, I will keep doing the same thing.
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Old 08-04-2019, 12:55 PM
 
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For me, my day becomes much easier when I am not the strict bulldog. I sub mostly at the HS level and rather than having every student gang up on me with zero admin support, I tend to give them their assignment and give them a few reminders that they have work to do throughout the period. I do kindly tell them the phones shouldnt be out. However, I do not grab phones away from them, I dont yell and scream at them for not working, and if they continue to refuse to do their work, I normally document it for the teacher. If you choose to be the really strict, bulldog, take no crap from them type of sub, I notice the students lose all respect for those subs and even try and get those subs in trouble by even lying about their actions. It is just not worth our stress or the money we make to be the "bad guy". Of course, you dont want to be too soft either. For me, all I have to do is give them that cold hard stare, and they know not to test me in general.
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Old 08-04-2019, 03:44 PM
 
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This is why I won't sub at a high school or most middle schools. There are only 3 middle schools out of possible 9 that I will go to. If I have a bad experience I vote with my feet and don't go back.
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Old 08-04-2019, 05:50 PM
 
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This is why I won't sub at a high school or most middle schools. There are only 3 middle schools out of possible 9 that I will go to.
I was just the opposite. I wouldnít sub for primary or intermediate. I wanted only high school and middle school.
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:24 PM
 
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I prefer K-6 and special ed because I feel I can engage and help the students rather than babysit them. Middle school can go either way.

If i did not accept high school, I am afraid I would sit home a lot.
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:03 AM
 
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Understood
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:47 PM
 
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I was just the opposite. I wouldnít sub for primary or intermediate. I wanted only high school and middle school.
Bless you! I wondered why the sub coordinators were no longer begging me to go back to those schools!
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:18 PM
 
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High school can seem dispiriting and intimidating at times. Just remember, you will have bad days where it seems every class is noisy, you feel like a warm body, nothing seems to go right, but better days lie ahead.

I would stay stay strict but don't be that overbearing and nagging teacher. HS hate that. They need their space at that age.

If there are no instructions regarding phones, then I let them on them. I do tell students no photos, no videos. And I say if I see any of that, I will call the office or security to have the student removed.

Bathrooms - Reinforce and stick to your one male, one female at a time policy because I've noticed that students in ms and hs have a habit of wandering the halls.

We can do more than give instructions and let them have at it. If you are in a subject area you feel comfortable, why not use the beginning of class to teach the students something.
I also make a point of circulating the room just to show students I care about them and am keeping an eye on slackers.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:42 PM
 
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After three years, I can say there is no trick or easy answer. Stuff like counting down and waiting for them to be quiet wonít work. If you treat them like little kids, they will instantly take offense and go to battle with you. They are going to be on their phones. If they pick it up every once in awhile and still attempt to do work, I let it go. A lot of them are going to try to get out of class with some excuse, I just say I canít let anyone go. I find freshmen classes acting more like middle schoolers and they are getting harder to deal with, even late in the year. I like seniors best because they are usually more independent and donít need much discipline. Some classes are just going to wear you down until you just give in, because that is what they do to the normal teacher.



I really tried to only do high school last year, after two years of mixing with middle and hs. The jobs were harder to get and usually last minute, but I like being with older kids. The trade off for me is that ms kids are always trying to leave the classroom and need so much attention. Hs kids either do the work or not, or just walk out before I even take role.

I would say it depends on the culture of the hs and the classroom teacher. A lot of teachers make it a ďwork dayĒ and allow stuff to be done on phones, so those kinds of days are obviously a waste and I donít bother with much. I have had teachers leave me regular plans and I taught the lesson they would teach. I feel like ms is more like watch videos and hs is either work day or itís another normal classroom day. Like anything else, itís a total crap shoot. Iíve seen teachers who wonít reprimand kids for using cell phones in other classes, while there is a guest speaker talking. Her reasoning was that it is on them if they are wasting their time. So, thereís only so much you can really do if thatís what youíre up against. If a class is all on their phones and has given up on you, just write down what happened and try to focus on the kids who are working. I am more reluctant to use security at some schools because they just take them away for 20 min and bring them back, and it usually makes them end up being worse. Our job sucks.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:48 AM
 
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Funny, I was just complaining to my wife about the technology in class issue.



I don't do anything about cell phones unless students are being blatantly inappropriate with them.


I look at it this way: I'm not being paid to monitor cell phones and iPads. I'm being paid to: Teach, keep students appropriate, follow lesson plans, and pass out assignments.



If schools truly cared about the distraction of phones, they'd enforce a "no phones in class" rule with no exceptions. But they don't.



It's not in our job description to be a phone and internet cop.



Schools should really think about how much they enable time-wasting, by allowing students access to an unfiltered internet.



99 percent of the time I see students playing games on their iPads instead of doing work. Back in the day this wasn't a problem. Students would never be allowed to use cell phones or play video games in class.


These days schools let the students and parents make the rules. Times have certainly changed, and schools no longer care much about giving teachers authority.

Last edited by subasaurus; 08-13-2019 at 01:33 AM..
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:49 PM
 
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Many rooms do have signs that read" no cell phones", or they have the red line in the circle over the sign that reads "cell phone".
We read in our sub folders given out by the office that we are not to allow cell phones.

So the rules against cell phone use do exist. they are just sometimes impossible to enforce, even more so for the subs.

With cell phones being such an addiction, I am afraid having to deal with the behavior repercussions of student withdrawls without their phones is worse than just letting them use their phones, as long as they are not distracting others.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:52 PM
 
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There is no easy way around the phone. I’ve had kids actually making calls and using FaceTime during class. That and shooting video are always an immediate reprimand from me.

I’ve been leading a discussion or something and just asked people to put down their phones because I’m tired of talking and seeing everyone on them.

Once we were reading a play and some of the sections were really long, so the kids who weren’t speaking took out their phones and would miss their turn to talk, and I had to keep prompting them.

There are always signs up, or school rules are no cell phone use unless teacher allows it. I’ve had places ask me to take phones and of course I’m not going to do that. It’s always a losing battle, but if i ignore every kid on their phone, pretty soon everyone is using it. It’s the culture of the school. One teacher had it in her directions to take phones when the students went to the bathroom. I didn’t do that, but they were pretty good about staying off of them.
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:33 PM
 
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"So the rules against cell phone use do exist. they are just sometimes impossible to enforce, even more so for the subs."

Very true, point taken. You nailed a major part of the problem right there: There's literally no way to enforce it.

I'm more referring to a rule that would apply to ALL classrooms. Like a zero tolerance rule enforced by the principal, with letters sent home to parents.

Some teachers allow students to use them for "research purposes" or "music."

I've seen teachers mentioning it in lesson plans before.

My argument is that there's no consistency, so students don't feel like they have to put them away.

Teacher A says no phones allowed at all. Teacher B says you can use them if you're appropriate.

Last edited by subasaurus; 08-13-2019 at 07:10 PM..
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:37 PM
 
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"One teacher had it in her directions to take phones when the students went to the bathroom. I didnít do that, but they were pretty good about staying off of them."

Yeah, I wouldn't dare try to take their phones at all. Sounds like liability. The students may claim you were trying to take it out of their hands and claim you were hurting them. And you never know if parents will complain.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:32 PM
 
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This teacher wanted kids to leave it on the desk as they went to the bathroom, as a deterrent for using them in there. If they were gone for more than five minutes I was supposed to call security. This was one of her 10 million rules.

Yeah, I don’t take phones. A few times I have told a kid to put it on the teacher’s desk themselves, so it is never out of sight and they can see it, but it’s usually not worth the effort. Everyone who has ever been punched as a sub said it was usually trying to take a phone from someone. I wouldn’t even do that as a regular teacher.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:42 AM
 
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Let's face it. Cell phones are like crack to these kids. We all have had student melt downs when we tell them to put it away.

Students on cells generally are texting or playing video games, not doing work. This makes subs look bad when they turn in assigned work and only half of class did work. Teachers feel we had no control over class and we are not asked back. Lose/lose for us. That also applies to laptops. I have told my classes they are allowed on cells when work is turned in.

Still looking for new class management techniques. What are you doing about getting class going when students will not stop talking? Me waiting for them to be quiet is not effective lately
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:17 PM
 
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Still looking for new class management techniques. What are you doing about getting class going when students will not stop talking? Me waiting for them to be quiet is not effective lately
One district I go to has laptops for the subs; and SmartBoards with projectors in the classrooms. For noisy classes I will project a Word document with the word "Absent" on the top. As I take roll I type the names of students who don't respond. I usually get a few students who will say "Wait! I'm here!" Then I point out if they are talking they can't be listening to me.

Another trick, works better with younger students, is to use a remote control (any will do) to mute students or to lower their volume level.

Some days it's a matter of just getting through the day, other days you miss them at the end of the day.
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