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Sublime Sublime is offline
 
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When the teacher leaves nothing for the sub to do
Old 01-25-2019, 06:18 PM
 
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I looked over my plans this morning for 5th grade and thought, "uh-oh." Silent reading 1/2 hr, a math game they play whole class w/out teacher, 1 hr (this lasted 20 min.), projects to work on 1 hr+, kids read aloud 30 min, more project work 1+ hr. Nothing for me to do but supervise. I've come to find that when you tell kids to work on something for 1 hour, it's too much time. They get restless and distracted. I manipulated the schedule a bit and the kids were fine, but even well-behaved kids get antsy and wander around and get off-task after that long. I really don't like having nothing to do. Glad it's the weekend.


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Old 01-25-2019, 06:47 PM
 
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I agree! I subbed yesterday and the teacher had left a HUGE packet for the whole day. No direct teaching planned, just “have them work thru the packet by themselves” for the WHOLE DAY. Oh and silent read if they finish. Yeah right.

I broke it up into sections and did a mini lesson on each topic. It had a bunch of math the kids supposedly had never done before, but even if they had, they couldn’t do it at all: I did some examples and worked thru it with them. Then I found a short video to shoe that related to the science worksheet. We didn’t finish the packet, but at least they stayed (mostly) on task and didn’t get too antsy!
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Old 01-25-2019, 09:07 PM
 
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I am truly amazed, and not in a good way, by the lesson plans that some teachers leave.

Wednesday I'm a 5th grade classroom, I was switched there by the office because "I can handle it." The room was a complete mess, so much so that I was afraid to walk around it for fear of tripping over the "stuff" that was everywhere. Teacher wasn't planning to be out so during homeroom I "cover" the classroom across the hall while that teacher quickly writes up lesson plans.

There was a SmartBoard but this is a district where subs are not allowed to use technology (because we might break it). Because of the SmartBoard the chalkboard space to the left and right was being used for display space. The only thing I have to write on is a small whiteboard a little larger than a piece of paper.

Every time I have a day like this I think back to when I was a student teacher and it was mandatory that I didn't leave until the next day was set up ready to go front and center on my desk with lesson plans on top. The day went okay; there were some rough spots. I 'm sure if it didn't go smoothly it would have been my fault even with the extenuating circumstances.
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yep...been there
Old 01-26-2019, 08:39 AM
 
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I teach the lower elementary grades (K-3rd), where the kids really DO need to be kept busy or chaos reigns.

I usually get lesson plans that are jam packed with varied activities (to the point where I may not have time for everything), along with extra assignments, just in case. But occasionally, I'll get what you described: nothing but a day of silent reading (silent? seriously?), chrome books, worksheets, simple art projects, and "extra PE" (usually just running laps).

I've had teachers tell me they do that because they never know how competent the sub will be, so they try to keep the lesson plan as lightweight as possible. That's fine. But it helps if they also include a note inviting the sub to make "adjustments" as the sub sees fit.

I'm like you. I find that a day of "busy work" makes for a bunch of restless kids who start acting up a lot. It's a classroom management nightmare. So while still following the lesson plan, I try to introduce instruction and group participation wherever possible throughout the day.

For example, instead of so much "silent reading", I will include a couple of Read Alouds and ask the students questions about the story as I go. With worksheets, we can go over some as a class, inviting students to volunteer answers (or even having volunteers use the white board to write the answer). We can have team competitions too. The kids love that!

I also give out team points throughout the day, rewarding participation and good behavior and giving "prizes" to the winning team(s) at the end of the day. This really helps give them incentive to keep engaged and on task.

It's a case of "making lemonade" out of the lemons (in this case a lousy lesson plan). Saves your sanity and the kids' sanity too!

Last edited by luv2teach2017; 01-26-2019 at 12:34 PM..
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:45 AM
 
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Oh man, I feel your pain. There’s nothing quite like that sinking feeling when you read the plans and there’s nothing of substance. Fortunately for us war-hardened subs, we pull rabbits out of our bag of tricks and make it all work.

Here’s to a relaxing weekend for all!


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Old 01-27-2019, 09:56 AM
 
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I believe some teachers look upon subs as babysitters and deliberately leave nothing substantive. I generally go with whatever the teacher has left. If the kids are getting antsy and it's not working out, I pick a book from the shelf and read aloud -- always a winner in the lower elementary grades as is a few minutes of "free choice." I am more often called upon to actually teach something in middle school, but have no problem with just providing supervision. Makes for an easy day. I no longer sub in high school, but when I did, I was never asked to teach anything. It was always show a movie, let them work on an already assigned project, or monitor a test. If there was time left over, I just let the kids work on something from another class, read a book, or just socialize quietly -- anything to keep them in their seats.
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Old 01-27-2019, 03:44 PM
 
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I hope you don't get banned from the school for not following the lesson plans, like I was four years ago from a 2nd grade teacher who left crappy plans that I enhanced
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dietcoke99 dietcoke99 is offline
 
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why ban the entire school? Overreaction?
Old 01-27-2019, 05:03 PM
 
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Quote:
I hope you don't get banned from the school for not following the lesson plans, like I was four years ago from a 2nd grade teacher who left crappy plans that I enhanced
I don't understand this. I've heard about this many times on this board. If there is a problem with a PARTICULAR TEACHER, why doesn't the school just ban the sub from subbing for that particular teacher? Why the entire school? Some teachers (like myself when I was teaching) liked subs that could think and think outside the box (we insist that they have a degree, but they can't think?). This sub may not be a good fit for that particular teacher, but may be a GREAT fit for a different teacher.

This benefits all because the teacher doesn't have that sub again, the sub doesn't go where she isn't wanted, the school keeps a good sub?

What am I missing?
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My district
Old 01-27-2019, 05:52 PM
 
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They require a one day sub plan and a three day plan in case of emergency in their sub binders. I've never had to use them. Came close once, but the teacher emailed the plans to another teacher who printed them out and got them to me just before I headed to the copier ten minutes before school was starting.
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Old 01-27-2019, 06:26 PM
 
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.
Quote:
. I hope you don't get banned from the school for not following the lesson plans, like I was four years ago from a 2nd grade teacher who left crappy plans that I enhanced
Although I have been blocked from schools in the past, it's always been due to essentially a personality clash with a petty and vindictive parent or aide. Never a complaint from a teacher.

I haven't ever been criticized or blocked for my teaching approach or my efforts to keep a class engaged and busy. (In fact, I often get praised for that).

I think as long as you cover all the material in the LP, how you present it is largely up to your discretion. What matters is that you are effective. Most lesson plans I've seen allow that leeway.


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Old 01-30-2019, 10:53 AM
 
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In one school district where I sub I did a two day assignment for High School Chemistry. OMG.. I only do high school because I can handle anything for one hour! or so I thought...

Of course you can't do much with the lesson plan because subs aren't allowed to touch anything physical related to chemistry. For both days he had work sheets for the kids to finish. That in itself is bad enough but he emailed them the night before he was gone and told them they didn't have to turn the worksheets in, it was just practice. You can imagine how many did the worksheet.

I love the school but will not sub for a chemistry class again, and never for this teacher.
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