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Oh, what a first day it was!!!
Old 05-21-2019, 03:34 PM
 
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I have a degree in social work and thought about substituting before the summer ends for a little bit of extra cash and experience. I decided to pick up a kindergaten class and it was an absolute nightmare. The parapro and the teachers plan was extremely helpful, but I felt like this class was beyond horrible. A lot of the teachers watched and starred and seemed to be judging, but not willing to help. The parapro was able to give me a lot of good advice, but was only with me for portions of the day. The helper kept coming and going, before being pulled to sub and leaving for good. The teacher left extra recess time within the day (which may have hurt with keeping the kids listening and engaged). The students were cursing at one another, not listening or following directions, and I felt like I spent the whole day yelling Mrs. X class, please use inside voices or lower levels. Also, trying to gain control, because the class was constantly getting out of control. (Kids making paper airplanes with their work, stealing snacks, running out of the classroom and down the hall with no answer from the front office, etc.) I am not sure how a first day was suppose to go, but I am scarred from wanting to substitute for another class. I think I might not go back, because in level K was this bad, how horrible will students be when they get older? Does it ever get better?


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Old 05-21-2019, 04:52 PM
 
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I won’t intentionally sub for K ( Kindergarten Cop) lol or 5th unless I know the class and the teacher
Kinders are cute from a distance or a short time in the room
Hugs. Try other grades 2nd or 3rd
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:18 PM
 
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This is why I never sub K-3. You can't reason with them. Try a higher grade next time.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:19 PM
 
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My first sub experience was elementary school PE, so I experienced every grade from K thru 5. The littlest were the worst - very needy, crying, constantly complaining about somebody hitting them, hurting them or touching them. I had 3 kids sitting on the sidelines with "injuries" but I didn't send any to the nurse. A custodian (yes, a CUSTODIAN) had to admonish and quiet the kids down at one point! I have been happily subbing at the local high school ever since. Great kids! Even the "bad" "trouble makers" are basically good kids and don't give me a hard time.
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Every age has it's challenges...
Old 05-22-2019, 04:44 AM
 
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When I started subbing I was sure I wanted to work mostly with second and third grade... my first assignment was kindergarten. Much to my surprise, I loved it! Any generalities can be proven false, but those littles generally are still seeking adult approval and they'll respond well to "fun." Yes, they can be "higher maintenance" but they also tend to give more hugs, figuratively and literally. You have to like tying shoes and zipping zippers... although I've seen some very independent kindergarten classes.

An important word for subs is "flexibility." No matter the grade, you have to be ready for anything... I once subbed a third-grade class with a great lesson plan. The only problem was right after I started I got a call from the office that we were due in the gym for a ninety-minute assembly. The good news was I was able to "re-plan" the day while sitting with the kids in a very boring assembly. I've had third graders act like kindergarteners... and kindergartners act like little adults.

During the decade of subbing I've done I've even subbed high school Spanish (which I do not speak) and band... I'm not sure if it ever gets any "better" but it does get different! Part of what happens is you get better with experience... so it does get easier.

I might suggest subbing as an ed tech where you have limited responsibilities and the opportunity to observe. Another option might be to see if you can shadow several different teachers and see how things work... it'll also give you an opportunity to see what age groups and grades you might be most comfortable with...


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Old 05-22-2019, 09:21 AM
 
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Personally, I'd rather be shot at dawn than set foot in a kindergarten classroom, but that's just me. You'll soon discover where your strengths are and what age group you're most effective with. Also, this:
Quote:
Part of what happens is you get better with experience... so it does get easier.
Funny you mention kinder. After I retired, I lost my mind and decided my first sub job would be a half day in kinder, just to see if I liked it. Nightmare. Only the Sped aides were helpful. I could've written your post, and I was always known for having good classroom management skills. Some of the other teachers glared at me instead of helping me get the little darlings into the cafeteria for lunch. One teacher even allowed her 4th or 5th graders to plow through my group. Of course, she shot me the death glare as if it was my fault.

I put that school in my rear view mirror, and went on to do a three day job in third grade. Ahhhh....SO much better!

Whew, your post must've hit a nerve! Please don't judge the subbing experience on this one day. Try some different grade levels, and know that even those of us who've taught for a hundred years still occasionally have a bad day. The good news is that you don't have to go back to a bad school or a bad class. It does get easier with experience, and as you get to know the schools and the kids. Good luck on your next subbing adventure!
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:38 AM
 
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)
Quote:
my first assignment was kindergarten. Much to my surprise, I loved it! Any generalities can be proven false, but those littles generally are still seeking adult approval and they'll respond well to "fun." Yes, they can be "higher maintenance" but they also tend to give more hugs, figuratively and literally. You have to like tying shoes and zipping zippers...
Very well put, MaineSub!

My experience has been the same. My first assignment was a half day kinder class. I didn't know what I was doing or how to manage the class. There was an aide, but she did nothing but sit in a chair and yell at the kids. It was pretty chaotic. But to my surprise, I absolutely loved being with the little ones.

It is a lot of work, but the rewards are lots of hugs, being gifted with drawings of hearts, hand picked dandelion flowers and an opportunity for playfulness and "fun."

I've tried every grade from pre-K to HS seniors, but I've settled on K through 2nd as my favs. As others have said, it's a good idea to try subbing different grade levels at first. You will soon figure out what works best for you. You might be surprised at what you discover!

I too have seen kinders who are amazingly mature and well behaved while older kids can be worse than preschoolers. Every class is different. Expect the unexpected.

Things also got a whole lot smoother for me once I learned effective classroom management techniques. In my book, that's the most critical skill to master.

Last edited by luv2teach2017; 05-26-2019 at 07:08 AM..
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Kinder
Old 05-28-2019, 11:15 AM
 
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To survive and keep kids safe takes some know how.

1. No matter what the lesson plan says MAKE time to get acquainted with the students.

2. Tell them that you are in charge and that they will have a great day.

3. Speak slowly and clearly and say that anyone who chooses not to follow directions will suffer the consequences...make sure you know what the consequences are beforehand.

4. Offer incentives for good behavior.

5. This age needs a new task every 20 min or so. They usually work in gtoups that rotate to different activities. Know the routine.

6. Once they have been set to work go around verbally noticing and gently praising everything that is being done well. "I see you are working hard" " i like the way you are doing that" etc.

7. Ignore what is incorrect but later pull kids aside and write down their name. Explain quietly what you saw, ask for X behaviour.

8. Keep in proximity to the student. Just moving your hand toward the paper can redirect. Say as little as possible.

9. Take a head count frequently. Know the number of kids you are taking care of. Count out loud, line em up, whatever, but do this.

10. Let them stand up to work.

11. Sing little songs for kids and lead them thru movement.

I love the age, but tiring.

12. Smile and laugh a lot
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