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MartyGraw MartyGraw is offline
 
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What students tell their teacher about the Substitute
Old 01-28-2015, 07:00 PM
 
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Recently taught a seventh grade math class.

So...
The teacher assigned twenty problems from the textbook and students were to use the class time to do them and if they didn't finish them, then they were for homework.

The regular teacher usually selects various students to put four or five examples from the assignment on the board to get them started and to show the worked out problems for those who have difficulty remembering all of the steps. (It was a pre-algebra class.)
So that's what I did.

They were so many questions from students on how to do various problems that we ended up putting twelve out of twenty problems on the board. That's over half of the assignment on the board.

I went over EVERY step of each board problem aloud and tirelessly explained and explained and explained.

(I wrote down the numbers of the problems that we did on the board for the regular teacher so if any of the students didn't have those done, then it was because they didn't want to do them, not because we didn't go over them.)

A few days later, I ran into the regular teacher in the hall, and we were chatted a minute. He told me that about half of the students told him that I only did two or three examples on the board, and that I didn't explain anything and that's why their homeworks weren't completed!

I almost fainted when he told me that! He knew they were lying because I wrote him a note stating the numbers of the problems that we completed on the board. He confronted his students about it, but they LIED and LIED!

Anyway, just a warning to all of the Substitutes out there about what students tell their regular teacher about what the Substitute did when they were gone!


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Old 01-28-2015, 08:02 PM
 
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Any teacher with common sense would know all the tricks and lies students rely on when they have a sub. This is one example. You were smart to document everything you did....therefore you covered yourself. Kids lie all the time, really sad.
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:16 PM
 
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Children can be awful. After you helped them, they try to screw you over. Teachers should know what kind of students they have. It is their problem if they believe them. I once had a group of students say that i got mad at every little thing and that i sent students to the office for no reason. Fortunately, other students defended me and the teacher believed me. In general. Children are terrible and you should not exert yourself for students that don't appreciate you.
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who cares
Old 01-29-2015, 07:52 AM
 
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You left a detailed note. Too bad teacher is so inexperienced that they believed the students over your note. Too bad if students didn't copy down the work.

I also think the students were playing dumb so you would do more on the board jmho - maybe next time get examples from the text that are written in there so they can refer back and you don't do their work for them!

I never worry too much about what students say and I probabloy would have flat out told the teacher the students were lying if teacher brought it up.
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What students tell their teachers about subs
Old 01-29-2015, 10:49 AM
 
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I once subbed for two English teachers in the same week from the same high school. On the second day, I had trouble showing a video and went to the teacher next door who I didn't know but I had subbed for a few days earlier. I mentioned I had subbed for her the other day and she replied, "Oh you're the one who my students said was never in the classroom." My mouth must have dropped since I had only left the room to go to the restroom between classes and during prep. I had even eaten lunch in her room.

I replied that it definitely wasn't me and she said, "Oh yes, it was you."

I think some teachers are really naive about what students tell them. Some students get off on making up stories and love it when teachers actually believe them.


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Old 01-29-2015, 01:42 PM
 
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I won't believe the things they tell me about you if you don't believe the things they tell you about me.

I have a note sheet for the subs,mand I have one for a few kids in each class. I also ask the neighboring teachers.
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:29 PM
 
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I was a regular teacher for many years, and if it makes you feel better, students often lie to their parents and administrators about them too. I had it happen to me a couple times.

When I'm subbing and have a nice class, I don't worry about it. I'll write a brief description of what we accomplished, and that's usually the end of it. It's the unmotivated classes that can be real substitute teacher traps. When I have doubts, I document everything, sometimes in excruciating detail. I'll also leave a list of students who went to the bathroom, including the time they left and the time they returned.

I once had such a rotten day that I left a ten page note for the teacher. It was extreme, but I felt I had to protect myself. After that, she didn't request me again for a couple years, but I must be back in her good graces because she has started asking for me again. Her classes this year are very nice.

To IMA teacher: I sub for all grade levels, and I don't often hear students say bad things about their teachers. There is a high school teacher, though, who I've subbed for many times, and I know she's excellent. For some reason, many students (mostly the unmotivated) don't like her. When I stand outside her door before class starts, I'll hear some students say, "Yes! We have a sub!" I feel bad for this teacher, and when I hear anything negative about her, I quickly try to squelch it.
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When I was subbing, I once had
Old 01-29-2015, 03:47 PM
 
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a fifth-grad class known to be awful (lots of warnings from teacher, other teachers, principal before the day even started). I thought things went fairly well, sent a few to principal's office, etc.

Next day I get a call that I have been removed from subbing until I go visit principal about the "incident" that occurred.

Some girl had reported to the P that I had "dragged her off the tetherball court by her hair" during PE (while two other classes were also outside having PE on a very small yard).

Because she had "witnesses," i.e., other liars, and because she waited till the next day to say something, the P had to conduct an "investigation." During the interview, the P mentions that he was actually out on the yard during almost the entire PE class and is aware that they are lying.

I was livid and told him to get the parents in right now, so I could warn them that I would sue them up one side and down the other, along with the district if this didn't get settled today. He wrote up his report exonerating me immediately. But can you imagine if it was one of those Ps who simply believed the students? Kids lie all the time. They are often NOT made accountable for the lies, esp. when it comes to subs. I know many subs who have been banned due to students' lies and failure of admin and teachers to properly handle students.
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:32 PM
 
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Quote:
To IMA teacher: I sub for all grade levels, and I don't often hear students say bad things about their teachers. There is a high school teacher, though, who I've subbed for many times, and I know she's excellent. For some reason, many students (mostly the unmotivated) don't like her. When I stand outside her door before class starts, I'll hear some students say, "Yes! We have a sub!" I feel bad for this teacher, and when I hear anything negative about her, I quickly try to squelch it.
I have some classes that are very critical of their teacher. The worst situation is a HS teacher who misses a lot of school. The students accuse her of being on drugs, being an alcoholic, not teaching anything, and that she doesn't even talk to them.
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:09 PM
 
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Marty,

I'm glad you brought this up, because what gets me is the gossip that some teachers engage in with their students. Some time ago, on my way to another class, I passed by the classroom in which I had substituted the day before. When I walked passed, I overheard one of the students in the class excitedly say to the teacher, "Oh, there's the sub who was in here yesterday!" In response, the teacher asked the boy, "Oh yeah, and what was she like?"

First of all, why are you asking a child what are adults like? You're not the student's friend. And of course, all the student is going to say is that the teacher was strict, telling us to sit down, making us do too much work, etc. I mean, what else do you expect???

And if you want to know what people are like, you don't talk about them behind their backs! You get to know people yourself, rather than hearing about them (from someone else's experience and perspective). Adults aren't going to relate to other adults in the same way they would relate to children, anyway.

I thought that teacher's behavior was very inappropriate, asking children what they think about adults. Really???


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Old 01-29-2015, 07:34 PM
 
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Quote:
First of all, why are you asking a child what are adults like? You're not the student's friend. And of course, all the student is going to say is that the teacher was strict, telling us to sit down, making us do too much work, etc. I mean, what else do you expect???
I've had many students (unprovoked) tell me about subs they've had. If they told me something like what I bolded, you can bet that sub would go to the top of my sub list

I agree that kids will lie about what the regular teacher allows them to do as well. And of course they lied about subs at times. Sometimes they lied to me about what the sub did in a way that was positive for the sub For example, once, my teaching partner (whom I trust implicitly) observed a sub start a food fight with the kids by rubbing some cake in a kid's hair (a parent had brought in a cake, apparently, for a student's birthday). She then laughed and egged them on as they threw food at each other (this was outside). Then she said "shh... don't tell your teacher!" And they didn't. My teaching partner did. This is not my only example, just my favorite (This "sub," btw, was not a certified teacher, was a parent to another child in school, and constantly wanted to be the kids' friend.)

The quality of subs on this board is much greater than the majority of subs I had available at that school. Of the 6 most common subs at our school (we had a target "specialty" -like magnet, not behavioral difficulties- school, so many subs weren't comfortable at our school), 2 were ones we all loved and fought over (they followed plans, left us notes, knew when kids were trying to pull one over because they had subbed for us enough to know the teachers well enough) and the other 4 were, well, not good. Some worse than others. Oh the stories I could tell... But the 2 who were good? Man, we loved those subs, and they had almost daily work with us (small school). At that school, I didn't find the kids to lie much about subs. What they said, what the sub wrote, and what I could see happened in the room was generally in line. And when a kid tried to pretend he didn't misbehave, someone would aways tattle him/her out.
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Manage everything!
Old 01-29-2015, 08:21 PM
 
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I once had a staff member assess my skills (her opinion) with sixth graders right in front of me. Fortunately she doesn't have much credibility with the kids. I reported it to admin. I might have confronted her privately, but decided not to waste the effort.

Sometimes you win by not playing the game.

Conversely, I have on rare occasions had kids say things about others to me that I felt required intervention. I'm always very cautious and deliberate. Sometimes it's about perceptions. A reality is con be hard to sift through the feelings and arrive at the facts.

"My teacher hates me" is an example of a perception I have heard. I don't rush to sympathize. If the student seems deeply troubled I might ask some questions without becoming an investigator. Unfortunately the school environment is fast paced and there's tons of drama. Jumping to conclusions can become the norm.

Students can get very skilled at taking advantage of that.

I can't help but wonder if the problem started in the original class... Did they really not understand over half the assignment or were they making you responsible for their homework? I truly am not judging, just wondering.
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Documenting
Old 01-29-2015, 09:00 PM
 
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I'm not an expert at SmartBoard/Prometheus Board use, but I believe that you can save what you do on them to the teacher's computer. So it looks like it might be a prudent idea to do that so you can show the teacher what you went over, and when.
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:15 PM
 
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What I "love" is the kiddos who'll tell you to your face that both you and their regular teacher must be lying when you tell them they're supposed to put away their cell phones / work individually / hand in the work by the end of class, etc.

"You want to see it on the lesson plan?" That usually gets the cries of "You're lying!" down to a low grumble.

I figure my call is to stand in solidarity with the regular teacher. And that's even when the state of the classroom, the illiteracy of the lesson plans, and the nonavailability of necessary materials make me privately wonder why the heck she has a full time classroom and I don't.
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Absolutely singingsub
Old 01-29-2015, 11:00 PM
 
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Quote:
I figure my call is to stand in solidarity with the regular teacher. And that's even when the state of the classroom, the illiteracy of the lesson plans, and the nonavailability of necessary materials make me privately wonder why the heck she has a full time classroom and I don't.
I've been in several classrooms where I wonder this exact same thing!! I have pretty much daily jobs, teachers and admin brag on me all the time, the kids love me, and I've landed back to back long term sub positions to finish out this year but I can't get a full time job to save my life! I go into certain classrooms and they are disasters! Very little structure, choppy (if any) plans and complete disorganization. How do these other people have their own classrooms and I don't?!
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Most kids lie
Old 01-29-2015, 11:39 PM
 
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If a teacher believes every word that comes out of their student's mouths I'd question that individual's logic or sanity. Kids are full of it. I love working with them but rarely trust them.
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Old 01-31-2015, 04:52 PM
 
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Believe it. I think teachers get a kick out of it. Like "I'm a teacher, and you're a sub". Even if the "sub" is also certified. Now, I'm a full time teacher. I get it. Teaching, as there are too many teachers in most states, is a lot about luck. It's easier for some to think "I'm a teacher (instead of a sub), because the subs aren't good" instead of "I lucked out and someone else just didn't get a chance". I once sent a student who was a known trouble maker to the principal. In returned me called me on the school phone and said "Is it true Johnny really did that? He told me, he didn't". I just said calmly what he did. I said to myself "I will never sub here again".
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Old 01-31-2015, 07:18 PM
 
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GraceKrispy,

Thanks for your response. I guess we're all different. Personally, I would never ask a student about an adult. In the morning, who has time for that anyway when there is so much to do before the students arrive? I don't have time to engage in gossip with students when I'm busy reading plans, writing objectives, studying the behavior system, writing my rules and expectations on the board, meeting with neighboring teachers, etc. Anyhoo...
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Old 01-31-2015, 07:32 PM
 
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As a sub, I've never been concerned about kids "lying" about my work performance, because ultimately, the proof of what you've accomplished is demonstrated by the quality of work the students submit. After each assignment, I review the answers to assignments with students. I also model several problems on the board before letting students complete assignments independently, with guided practice. Even during guided practice, I'm constantly walking around the room, looking at each student's assignment to see who might need scaffolding.

I believe the work students submit is a direct reflection of the teacher who is responsible for their learning. That's why I don't accept poor quality work, not even from students who are considered "low", as I hear people in schools call them.

I do this not because I'm trying to win accolades, compliments, or a position at the school. I do it because I just want to do my best at whatever I'm doing. And as long as subs know in their hearts they did the best they could, there is no need for them to worry about what the kids have said about what they didn't do. The students' work will tell it all.

What I don't like are teachers, who are adults and know better, engaging students in gossip. Gossip is an invitation for a disjointed and failed school community. Teachers shouldn't talk behind each other's backs and they shouldn't encourage students to do that either. Early in my sub career, I had to abandon a school, because I noticed the women at this school all talked about each other. I watched them and learned what not to do. The terrible outcomes of their bad habits taught me valuable lessons. That's why I don't talk to anyone about anything unless it's school related and positive. I also avoid small schools and gossip.

And so, let this be a warning to new subs: Don't ever go around telling children or other adults what you think about Mr. or Ms. So and So. It will get around. Mark my words. Kids talk just as much about teachers as they do about one another. Don't do it!

Last edited by AllTeachers; 01-31-2015 at 08:09 PM..
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:04 PM
 
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When I spoke with the regular teacher, they were completely on my side, which was great!

They saw my note about what I had done in class, and they reprimanded the students for lying. In fact, I think he said he gave them extra problems to do since they had had so many done for them on the board.

That's what it's all about -- supporting one another!

Good teachers know that the Sub's day can be a difficult one, and it's so nice when they back us!
And, ultimately, that's what keeps behavioral problems in general to a minimum -- when full-time teachers and substitutes work together.
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who has time for that?
Old 02-16-2015, 06:00 PM
 
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Very rarely do I have time to review the quality/quantity of work the kids turn in. I will correct work if time permits, but our days are packed to the brim. I am not responsible for the quality of work that these children turn in. I've seen writing assignments turned in by 5th graders that are worse than 2nd grade levels but I can't take the time to help a kid learn to write in 1 day. Especially when 1/3 of the class is at the same skill level. You can't make them stars in a day.
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