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subasaurus subasaurus is offline
 
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subasaurus
 
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Subbing is BAD for self-esteem
Old 02-26-2019, 11:50 AM
 
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I was just watching a motivational style video from Will Smith. He was talking about self-discipline and self-esteem and how fragile they can both be. He was talking about how we base our self-esteem on how others think instead of how WE perceive ourselves.

It made me instantly think of subbing and how thankless it can be at times due to other staff or students, and how it's hard to feel confident while subbing, but easy to feel like a failure.

Recently there have been some threads here I can COMPLETELY identify with. Mainly the ones about other staff trying to "tattle" on subs for minor infractions, or if they simply don't like the substitute's teaching style.

Ever have a day subbing where you thought everything went great, only to never hear from the school again? Why is that?

Why is subbing so thankless at times? Most importantly -- Why put in effort into a job where reputation and effort technically don't matter that much?

If you're not looking to become a full-time teacher, subbing is bad for self-esteem. It's not a motivational job. It's not one that "rewards" for professionalism. It's not a job that gives you freedom or inspiration. And it's certainly not a RELIABLE job. That's a definite.

And it can be an extremely judgmental position to be in as well.

Sure, you may be requested as a "preferred sub" from time to time, but what does that matter? If you have one bad day you still risk the chances of being "banned" from the district anyway. No second chances or a trial. That seems sad and grossly unfair to me. Every employee deserves a chance to defend themselves.

So why stress? Why worry? Why stick around a school that mistreats you? Why be a "victim?" Just do what you can and ignore "haters" trying to attack you.

That's how I view the job sometimes. Just do what you can and ignore the negativity. Don't focus on impressing people, it doesn't matter. Don't focus on if you're being "too tough" or "too weak." Just focus on the JOB.

Follow the lesson plans to the best of your ability, and most importantly, don't engage with negative people more than you have to.

Stay focused on your goal for the day: Getting the students engaged in their assigned work and staying appropriate. If the school doesn't like you, just vote with your feet and go elsewhere.

Just my two cents...

"Spend time with people that are feeding your flame. Are your friends putting logs on your fire, or are they p***ing on it?" -Will Smith



Last edited by subasaurus; 02-26-2019 at 12:47 PM..
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luv2teach2017 luv2teach2017 is offline
 
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luv2teach2017
 
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Great post!
Old 02-26-2019, 02:07 PM
 
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Thank you, subsaurus! Very validating. I'm glad we have this forum...the help and support here is truly awesome!
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wilecoyote wilecoyote is offline
 
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Thanks a million for this Subasauraus...
Old 03-01-2019, 08:55 AM
 
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Thanks a million for this Subasauraus...especially where you say:
"other staff trying to "tattle" on subs for minor infractions, or if they simply don't like the substitute's teaching style...Why put in effort into a job where reputation and effort technically don't matter that much?... Sure, you may be requested as a "preferred sub" but what does that matter? If you have one bad day you still risk the chances of being "banned" ...No second chances or a trial. That seems sad and grossly unfair ...Every employee deserves a chance to defend themselves..,"

I couldn't agree more!
It doesn't matter at all how great a sub you are, even if you're on a preferred school's list.
All it takes is one bad day, heck, one bad moment, and you can be written up, put on probation, banned from that school, or even fired!
It doesn't even matter how long you've worked there, or how many teachers prefer you. All it takes is one nasty techer who's out to get you and you're job can go bye-bye like that!

Look out for yourself at all times! It's sad, but true!

Last edited by wilecoyote; 03-01-2019 at 12:28 PM..
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McGarrett
 
 
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II Won't Do it Again
Old 03-01-2019, 11:45 PM
 
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I agree. I don't sub anymore since I am in a different field in education. I had to get out. Subbing has gotten worse. I subbed when I first began my career in education. That was about twenty two years ago. I felt that many schools and staff members treated you like you were a fellow employee, but now not so much. Teachers would write my name on their lesson plans for the morning greeting. During my second stint in subbing, this act of politeness never occurred. And, working as a full time teacher in k-12 can be very depressing as well. They're both often a tough gig.
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OneGreatSub OneGreatSub is offline
 
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Old 03-02-2019, 06:46 PM
 
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I only sub in the small district closest to my home. My first priority is caring for my elderly mother. My biggest beef regarding subbing is the complete lack of respect shown subs by district officials who look upon us as a necessary evil.

A good friend of mine who subbed in the district for 18 years was set to retire recently. I knew the district wouldn't give her any kind of recognition without a push, so I wrote an e-mail to the head of the school board suggesting my friend be recognized at the February meeting. I never received a response. Turns out they did act on my suggestion and invited her to the meeting, but they completely kept me out of the loop. Took all the credit themselves. Just so tired and fed up with being a non entity. You are correct. Subbing can be horrible for one's self-esteem and very often a thankless endeavor.


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Subtastic Subtastic is offline
 
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:08 PM
 
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I agree with McGarrett. Subbing has become more impersonal over the years. I had one secretary not even say hello the other day. All I got was a folder and key in my hand and a "I need this back at the end of the day." I get lesson plans that say Dear Sub, (hate that word btw) or worse, no greeting, not even a thank you at the end. Teachers on hall duty that stare at you while you're walking in the hallway, no smile, no hello nothing. And several occasions when not one "Team" member comes in to check on me or introduce themselves during my day.
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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 04:05 AM
 
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I originally was committed to not commenting... and hopefully, we won't regret that I've changed my mind. Because my sentiments are very different. Subbing has been great for my self-esteem. Maybe I've been lucky... and it probably helps that I'm in a rural area. It's not at all unusual for a kid to introduce me to his/her parent in the grocery store as "my teacher" and I have to explain that I'm actually a sub.

One of my best days was the day a second grader closely examined my ID badge. He became very serious and said, "Mr. B, your badge is wrong." I looked at it with him and admitted I didn't see the mistake. He replied, "It says you are a substitute teacher. You are a REAL teacher."

I don't say that to brag but as the original poster suggested: "stay focused." For me, that means I'm working for the kids, not the district. And, no, the kids aren't perfect either. We function in a perfectly imperfect world. I decided a long time ago that the kids need a champion, much more so than I do.

Are there days that suck? You bet. On those days, I can relate to much of what has been posted here. But at the end of the day, I can always remember that little guy who told me I'm not sub, I'm a real teacher. In a formal sense, he's wrong but I'm sure not going to correct him.
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The Early Days
Old 03-04-2019, 09:09 PM
 
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Main Sub, good point. When I started out in education, I was thrilled that I was
able to manage a classroom while I was subbing. I was happy to have a job in education, and it was different than my previous field.

But since I came back to subbing from teaching full time, I forgot how tough
It is. Subbing at one point was positive because I was working on a goal.
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luv2teach2017 luv2teach2017 is offline
 
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It all depends on your circumstances
Old 03-05-2019, 07:18 AM
 
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If you work in a small District where you are well-known and liked, then you will likely have a very positive experience. But I'm guessing for many of us, this is not the case.

I have had my best and happiest experiences when I've gotten to know a school, the staff, certain classes, and have been asked back repeatedly by their teachers. I know the teachers appreciate my teaching skills, and the students enjoy it when I return. I wish every day could be like that.

However, in order to make a living, I have had to take jobs where I can, and in large districts, it becomes a total crapshoot.

I can manage the students and the day to day mishaps and problems, as long as I know I am supported in doing so. But when the district is working against me, with Draconian policies that lay blame and unfairly penalize a sub for every minor issue, then the job becomes an ordeal. I feel I am playing Russian roulette every moment of every day.

It's like any job. The management can make it a heaven or a hell.

Last edited by luv2teach2017; 03-05-2019 at 08:36 AM..
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