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Coffee368 Coffee368 is offline
 
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*meep* bad day
Old 02-25-2020, 04:05 PM
 
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I need to get this out; it concerns me.

Thereís an elementary school where every single class is filled with difficult students, and most of the administrators do not offer much, if any, support. Other more experienced subs Iíve come across avoid the school as much as they can, so itís not just me, but I go there a lot. I have a ďevery class is different, every day is a fresh startĒ mindset. I took a 3rd grade job on Monday, which started horribly but it got better. So I took another 3rd grade job today next door to the Monday class. The teacher was there but left before kids got there; meeting day. She had a folder with work in it for 1 student; she said if the student acted up and would not listen, have him take the folder to this other teacherís class and have him work there for the day. So that kid sounded like fun.

The day started strong - the kids were great. Then the one student started acting up. Using harsh language, purposefully being disruptive in the class or hallway, blatantly ignoring everything I tried saying. So I asked him to take his folder to the other teacherís room. He refused. So I called the teacher to pick him up. She came over, talked to him in the hallway, and sent him back my room and left. Okay...a little later, heís hitting others. I talk to him, he keeps hitting and ignoring me. K. He refused to leave again, so I called the teacher again, and the student yelled ďI donít give a s***!Ē to me. Told the teacher what happened when she showed up. She talked to the kid in the hallway and sent him back in my room again. This time she came to me before leaving: ďI talked to him. Heís going to stay here now, but he has the option to come to my class if he wants. I want him to do it because heís choosing to make a good choice, rather than avoiding work or something.Ē Okay...not okay, but at this point, the entire class was being difficult and I had my hands full and had no time to argue my situation.

The kid continued to hit, be physical, use foul language, ignore me (and other teachers/admin we saw in the halls; anyone trying to get him to not be horrible was ignored). I did call that teacher one more time before the day was out, and she did the same - short talk in the hall, send him back in.

At the end of the day when I was alone and writing their teacher a note about the day, the phone rang. I answered and it was a parent. ďMy daughter just got home and she told me this kid named ó hit her twice today.Ē My subbing situation is different from most; the company I work for says we are not to talk with parents for any reason. I didnít know what to say. Telling her I was aware of this kidís actions today is not good, as it sounds like I let it happen. I let her know I had written their teacher a detailed note, Iíd add her call to the note, and the teacher should be back tomorrow; would she like me to ask the teacher to call her? She said sheíd call tomorrow. Yikes. I let the office know about the call when I left. Their reaction, or lack of, was astounding. They didnít care I went through this, or that nobody intervened when the kid was physical and I was asking for help, or that the parent called and I had answered......ugh!

So yeah...and when I took my lunch, I learned my car tire was flat. Not a sub thing, but a huge stress I had to suppress the whole afternoon. Couldnít make any calls about that till after school (time wasnít my friend). ☹️☹️☹️

Logically I know the admin should have stepped in, as well as the teacher this kid was supposed to go to. I know I saw the problem and kept trying to follow the instructions the regular teacher left to deal with the situation - itís not my fault the issue was being ignored and I wasnít getting the support I needed. But this day really makes me feel like garbage. Like I failed somewhere. Like itís my fault.


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Old 02-25-2020, 04:55 PM
 
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Can you even imagine acting like this when we were in school? Unbelievable...

When I first started subbing in this large district, there was a school, and only ONE school, that kept having job offers. I thought it was suspicious that only this one school seemed to have a problem getting subs, but I wanted to form my own opinion.

Boy, was that a mistake. Students assaulting each other, threatening each other, students with 100's of dollars, it was REALLY bad. It is the only school that I can say I would never recommend to anybody. I would NEVER send my kid there. I read the reviews and a parent said they moved to get away from this school.

I learned my lesson. I believe what other subs say.
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Old 02-25-2020, 05:16 PM
 
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Welp, now you know why subs avoid this school as much as they can. While I appreciate your positive attitude about every day being a fresh start (true), I would be very leery of the unsupportive admin, not to mention the next door teacher. Sounds like she wasn’t completely on board with the plan to have the disruptive student in her room all day, and who could blame her? Unfortunately, you got caught in the middle on that one. Admin should’ve gotten involved.

You did right in your response to the parent who called, so please don’t dwell on that, or on your experience with the class today. Mercury is retrograde in Pisces right now, so naturally you’d have a flat tire to add to today’s fun. I hope you have a much better evening.
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Old 02-25-2020, 06:27 PM
 
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There must have been something in the water yesterday because I too had a terrible class. As far as the teacher who would not take your student, after my second attempt I would have called the office, told them that per the teachersís plan you were to send student X to teacher Yís room. Teacher Y has refused the student twice, so you will now be sending the student to the office with their work for the day. Tell them the safety of the other students is at risk. If they donít invite you back, nothing lost. You have to keep other students safe.
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Old 02-25-2020, 06:35 PM
 
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It horrifies me that a parent was able to get through to you. I would have died. I didn't even know that could happen! I'm not sure what I would have done, except maybe crap my pants. I would hope, I guess, that as soon as I felt myself in explanation mode, or defense mode, I would have stopped it, somehow, and fine gone straight to admin for help. I hope I never have to find out what I would do!


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Old 02-26-2020, 12:27 PM
 
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So sorry for your terrible, no good, very bad day.

I have seen and heard stories more and more, countrywide, about classrooms with one or more horribly disruptive students. My friend works with a teacher who has a student who throws chairs in the classroom and the teacher has to be prepared to evacuate the students at a moment's notice.

A teacher recently told me if the parents do not authorize special help or special ed classes, the schools cannot do anything. She has a student with an aide, who cannot do the work, who walks around the class, who has shown a tendency to lash out at others, but the parents don't even want him to have an aide.

These students have the right to a "least restrictive environment" and have as much right to be in the classroom as the other 25 students, even if it creates a poor learning environment for those 25.

I think we will see more and more of this as time goes on.
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Old 02-26-2020, 12:54 PM
 
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It always seems like things go from one extreme to another.
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Old 02-26-2020, 02:24 PM
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problem student
Old 02-26-2020, 02:40 PM
 
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Quote:
As far as the teacher who would not take your student, after my second attempt I would have called the office, told them that per the teachersís plan you were to send student X to teacher Yís room. Teacher Y has refused the student twice, so you will now be sending the student to the office with their work for the day. Tell them the safety of the other students is at risk. If they donít invite you back, nothing lost. You have to keep other students safe.
This sounds like good advice if it ever happens again.

And I hope you put in your note to the teacher that her colleague wouldn't keep the student as her note instructed! - They need to hash that out between them.
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Old 02-26-2020, 02:43 PM
 
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This is commonplace from what Iíve experienced (parents not wanting an aide for their child with violent tendencies and that needs help with work). And Iíve had classes where a student is swinging metal bars around or throwing tantrums. One class I took to art and then sat back in the room with the counselor and 1 student, who was flipping all the tables and throwing things. I was hovered at my desk, hoping he didnít flip the nearby table on me. With days like that, though, other aides or teachers or counselors all kind of chipped in where appropriate. Someone couldnít be there all the time, but it was more ďit takes a village.Ē Yesterday was everyone sticking their head in the sand and denying me any way to de-escalate the situation. So it just kept getting worse instead; woo!
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Talking to parents...
Old 02-27-2020, 04:31 AM
 
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Just a comment specifically on the "talking to parents" aspect and not knowing what to say. I live in a rural area where it's literally impossible to avoid talking to parents... in the grocery store, etc. While at school, I answer the phone in "my" room and truly never know who is going to be on the other end of the line.

I'm friendly with parents but very careful if I'm asked a question about school or their child. My standard answer is, "I'm sorry but as a substitute teacher (or school employee), school policy prohibits me from discussing (your child's performance, what happened at school, etc.)" I've never had a problem with a parent who didn't respect that. If they ask a second time, I just repeat the same statement. I've also explained that, as a sub, I'm actually not qualified to answer their question--they really need to talk with the regular teacher who is with their child every day.

I'm not saying this is easy. I had one situation where a parent accosted me in a store and started complaining about the school and how her child was being deprived of her education and "when are you going to do something about it?" I knew the child well and I wanted to tell Mom "She's the most disruptive kid in her class and is depriving herself of her education." I had holes in my tongue after that conversation during which I basically just kept repeating my mantra... I actually added "I appreciate your concern... but as a school employee..."


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Old 02-27-2020, 10:27 AM
 
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I would also take a picture of the note the teacher left, stating to take the student to the other class, and the note that you eventually left for the teacher. Could be helpful, especially since you know a parent complained. Probably won't need it, but better to be prepared if you do need it, later. I have taken pictures of notes, before, and notes I've left. Never needed them, but at least you would have something to defend yourself with.
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Old 02-27-2020, 11:27 AM
 
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Yep...I've been there. I used to take jobs at the "bad schools" thinking that I could handle anything. Now I realize that no matter how great a sub I am, there are just some things I can't and shouldn't deal with.

At the top of my list of "don't go backs" is any school that won't give me the support I need. I've often seen where the lesson plans tell you to send the disruptive student(s) to the "buddy teacher", only to find that the "buddy teacher" sends the kid back after 10 minutes. In that case, I escalate things and send the kid to the office. If the office sends them right back, that's when i cross that school off my list. As you experienced, when the other students see that there are no consequences, they are encouraged to act out as well. The classroom becomes a battlefield. Returning to that kind of school is just banging your head against a wall.

And of course, it's at the dysfunctional school that you'll have parents who want to blame everything on the sub (because no one else takes responsibility). It's a house of cards waiting to collapse. I've learned (the hard way) that if I see big red flags waving, then I need to heed the warning signs and stay clear.

That said, give yourself credit. You did the best you could. You weren't given support in a difficult situation, which put your other students at risk as well. You were also very right to disengage from the parent. In many districts, a single parent complaint is grounds to block you, so it's best to grey rock or avoid parent encounters altogether if possible.
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Do not go back ever!
Old 03-07-2020, 05:24 PM
 
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Stay the hell away from that school unless you don't have any other options. Let them "suffer". There's a reason why everyone as you said avoids that school! If I called another teacher in my room to discipline, I'd be afraid I'd be reported to admin for bad classroom management or not being able to control class, which I was actually, and got banned
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