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luv2teach2017 luv2teach2017 is offline
 
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luv2teach2017
 
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teen "helpers" in 1st grade classes
Old 06-01-2019, 06:58 AM
 
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Has anyone else dealt with middle school/high school students showing up to "help out" in a younger elementary class you're subbing for? I could really use advice/feedback with this!

Subbing with 1st graders is all about classroom management. Sometimes it takes a major effort to get the class settled down and focused. The last thing I need is a teen with attitude to manage as well! These kids are supposed to be "helpers," but they turn out to be a burden. What are these schools thinking???

Yesterday is case in point. I was subbing a class of typical first graders. It took some effort to get them on track and listening. Towards the end of the day, an 8th grader walked into the room, completely ignoring me. When I stopped her to ask what she needed, she got belligerent with me, saying she "always comes to help the class," and continued to ignore me. The lesson plan had said nothing about a "helper." I didn't like her attitude, which was already disrupting the class. I explained that we were finishing up and didn't need help for the day. I said she could check back when Mrs. regular teacher returned on Monday.

In this case, I was able to send her away since she was a student at that school. But I've had other cases where the "helper" was a student from a local high school. In general, what I get is an attitude the moment they see there's a "sub." Either they sit in the back of the room playing with their phone, or they become a problem because the children try to get around me by running to the "student helper" for permission. When I intervene, the "helper" either sulks or gets testy. Instead of a "helper," I end up with just one more behavior issue to manage. Seriously???

What is the point of sending immature teens to elementary classrooms if they just add one more burden for the teacher? Anyone else have experience with this?


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geoteacher8 geoteacher8 is offline
 
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We have a tutoring
Old 06-01-2019, 09:11 AM
 
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program in my district, and there are frequently high school students who assist at the elementary school. We also have students at our middle school who help out with the lower grades in our own building. I can see your point, but to head things out, you might ask the student who is coming in what they usually do. Let them do that, and then carry on with what you need to do. In my district, sending high school students back wouldn't work, because they are actually taking a tutoring class for a grade.

I will add that I had a very positive experience with a student tutor recently. I was aware that he would be there, but he really did a nice job in helping to lead the phy ed class, and I could see that students enjoyed him being there.
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luv2teach2017 luv2teach2017 is offline
 
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:46 PM
 
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My concern is about the helpers, such as the 8th grader I mentioned, who are cocky, disrespectful, and belligerent because they feel they don't have to answer to a "sub". The younger students then begin to mimic that behavior. Instead of being helpful, the teen creates additional problems.

Oftentimes if the lesson plan mentions the helper, it will say they are there to correct homework and put together homework folders, etc. But what I'll often see is they begin playing with the children and distracting them from the lesson or classwork. When I intervene to redirect them (and I do), I get attitude from the teen helper because they feel entitled and regard me as "just a sub."

I've had a couple of positive experiences with helpers, but unfortunately, most have been what I described here.
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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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So far...
Old 06-02-2019, 01:14 AM
 
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Our program is a bit structured... the helpers don't just show up. Typically, the helpers are kids who have some interest in working with younger kids (they have the approval of their homerun teacher) and the program is limited to specials (art, for example) and pre-k--places where it's not difficult to find useful jobs. It's usually mentioned in the lesson plan and is not unexpected. My experience has been almost entirely positive... we tend to use the helpers to work with specific kids or small groups.

I've actually had times when the homeroom teacher knew I was subbing and called me to see if it was okay for the helper(s) to come as usual. (I aways say "yes.") I also try to give feedback to the homeroom teacher after using a helper.

We have a similar program of "buddy reading" where third-grade classes visit kindergarten classes and pair up, so there's a bit of a culture of/for this... One of my more interesting experiences with that was a day I subbed third and there was a sub in kindergarten. We agreed to give it a try and it actually went quite well!

While it hasn't happened, if a helper got "cocky" with me, I'd probably send him/her packing.
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luv2teach2017 luv2teach2017 is offline
 
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Structure is key
Old 06-05-2019, 11:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Our program is a bit structured... the helpers don't just show up.
Thank you! MaineSub brings up a very good point. Kids (including teens) need structure. I've also taught 1st and 2nd grade classes where an older class comes in to do buddy reading . As long as they're supervised, it works great.

But sending a teen to help out in a younger class without any specific tasks outlined for the teen just doesn't work. It can be a real headache for a sub If the teen resists direction



Last edited by luv2teach2017; 06-05-2019 at 12:33 PM..
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GoodEnough85 GoodEnough85 is offline
 
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Our school is an A+ school and
Old 06-06-2019, 06:06 AM
 
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the kids are required to do so many hours of "tutoring" or other approved types of community service for at least two years. If all of the criteria is met, the HS students can get tuition assistance for up to two years of post-HS college.

It is a structured program and has a Supervisor, log sheets and everything. The HS students arrive at their work stations within the other classrooms during a set time everyday. It is part of their schedule. There is not another class for them to return to necessarily.

In a case like yours, you might call the office/secretary and clarify. In our school, the supervisor is the HS librarian. If a student is not needed in their assigned room, the librarian can sometimes find them another station for that day.
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