On Tuesday I worked in as an ELL( English language learner) teacher. I had to share the room with two other ELL teachers. Most of the time I was in the students classroom and did not need to bring the students to the room. I asked one of the teachers who shared the room if she could leave it unlocked so I could come and get my lunch at noon. She said "No, we have our purses in here and if we keep in unlocked we will have to lock up our purses. You can just go ask at the office for a key". Well, the office does not give subs keys. So at lunch I came back to the room and could not get in. I waited a few minutes and finally one of the ELL teachers came back. After she let me in she said "Are you staying in here?" I said "yes, I have lunch and prep so have an hour and a half off." She gave me a look and went and locked up her purse.
I wish all schools would give teachers keys!! I also felt like they did not want me there, but hey, without me as a sub there would be noone! This happened last year in the school too, where I worked as an LD teacher and shared a room also. I had to bring students to the room and had to knock each time or work in the hall because those teachers did not keep the door unlocked for me either. It is like I feel like they don't want me there and will do anything to make me feel unwelcome.
I worked at one school that kept telling me they didn't have enough keys to go around. I had to take classes out to the playground, but didn't have a key to get back into the locked building. If someone was nearby and I could hammer on the window to get their attention, we were fine. But more often than not, I wound up having to troop all the kids around the building to the front door and ring the buzzer to get in. Ridiculous.
Yes, keys are a problem with me too, but not to your extent. We have new secretaries in the high school now and they won't even go and unlock the door for me, I have to track down another teacher! Yesterday, all the teachers were in a meeting so I had no one to ask when I arrived at school. I went to the office and luckily a teacher from another building had a key and let me in.
Then a lot of times the teacher would ask for me to take a class to the computer lab, etc and when I do so I can't lock their door (even after school I can't) so if anything turns up missing, it could be blamed on me.
If only schools could learn to trust substitute teachers, especially in our district. It is small and usually it is the same subs over and over who sub, so it isn't like they get a new face everytime.
These stories are crazy! Another reason why I am so thankful to be part of a union; the union stays on top of the schools about making sure subs have keys. If you don't get one, there is a website where you can report it.
Try this: Casually say to the secretary, "You know, I was at [other school] the other day and we had a lockdown drill. Thank goodness I had a key (or the kids were at specials or whatever)! But that really got me thinking about how the kids would be at risk if anything ever happened and I couldn't lock the door!"
where I live...I sub in MS and they USED to have the doors locked and before the morning started the "head" teachers would have to unlock all their own "assigned" doors--in other words a cluster of teachers would have the keys to unlock certain door (usually 2-3 doors).
the problem was multi fold:
a) if they didn't come in until 2 minutes before the kids came in I was jammed and had to wait for the teacher to open the door
b) if I couldn't wait I had to run down the FREAKIN' long hallway to the main office to BEG them and EXPLAIN to them WHY I'm even there (like I can break the doors with my own two hands!!!!)
c) upon deciding if my story was legit, I was handed the golden key only to be told to return it IMMEDIATELY---apparently there were subs that wee walking home with the keys
d)if either source didn't pan out, the main office would make a call to the "jantor" to let them know which room needed to be unlocked--of course, we all know how "urgent" this request is to the janitor
so starting last year, all the doors are to remain unlocked during the school year and then the janitor locks them at night only to unlock them ALL the next day
This subject has come up before and I find it ridiculous that some subs don't get keys.
In my district, I am always given a key with the sub folder and am expected to return it at the end of the day. I also make sure to lock the room when I am not in it. If you are being asked to perform a teacher's duties it only makes sense to give you a key to get in the room! I just don't get it.
Can't use the line of another school was on lock down. I live in a small town and only sub in this district and most all know that I only sub in this district. So they would all know if another school had a lock down drill or not.
I was thinking about lock downs yesterday while I was subbing. Wondering what subs do. Do I rush to the door and try to catch another teacher who is locking their door to lock mine or do we just have to risk ourselves because we don't have a key? Wouldn't that go over well with parents if we were in real danger and their kids were in an unlocked room because the sub has no key?
I find not giving a key preposterous! You're trusted enough to be with the children all day long, but not trusted enough to have a key to unlock and lock the door?
I've been really fortunate. The school where I usually sub is very good about keys. Sometimes, if I arrive before the secretary, the principal just tells me to grab it myself. What a stark difference in experiences!
The only time I am not given keys is when I am a "floater." Of course, one of the times a school had a half dozen of us running around from room to room, a fire drill was announced. None of us could get back into our rooms after the drill was over, so the custodian had to scurry around to let everyone back in.
I've been the sub in the room with no key during a lockdown--no fun. I called the office and asked for someone to walk down and lock the door. That got their attention. At some of our schools the teacher has to go outside to lock the door, scary.
Lynette12, I'm sorry you were treated so badly. The behavior of these few individuals was beyond rude. Invited back, I think I'd be tempted to make a point of removing my purse whenever I left the room with them in it--even taking in a purse for that use. (I always leave my purse locked in the car after kids got into one in the classroom years ago.) Perhaps you can chalk it up to poor nurturing by their parents that failed to build trust.
Nice to read all the comments and know I am not alone. Usually, if a school does not leave me a key they keep the door locked so I have to keep it proped open, (if I am the only one in the classroom) that is not too bad as long as when I take the students somewhere the last one in line does not shut the door!! I tell them, but sometimes they forget.
Broomrider. Thanks for your tip about the purse. I actually don't carry a purse. I put what I need in my pocket if it is valuable, or in the zippers of my lunch box. But I will think twice before taking a job at that school where I have to share a room.
There is another school I don't go back to often cause you need a key for the teacher bathroom and they don't give the subs one. We have to ask another teacher. I usually then just use the girls bathroom even though we aren't supposed to. I just make sure noone is in there. I guess they think subs don't need to use the bathroom? SILLY!
Usually, if a school does not leave me a key they keep the door locked so I have to keep it proped open, (if I am the only one in the classroom) that is not too bad as long as when I take the students somewhere the last one in line does not shut the door!! I tell them, but sometimes they forget.
At one school I've been to, everyone (regular teachers, too) keeps their doors locked but has a big rubber band that they loop from the inside doorknob to the outside one. If they want to keep the door unlocked, they adjust the rubber band so it's depressing the little latch thing on the edge of the door. That way you can close the door but keep it "unlocked." If they need to lock it, they just slip the rubber band up or down so the latch can engage. I'm not describing this very well, but can you see what I mean? Anyway, maybe you could add a big rubber band to your supplies and guarantee your door stays unlocked.
lock up your purses. I dont' want to get accused of anything. it is easier if you just lock it up. *I* know I won't steal from you, but you don't. So please, go ahead.
AS for the door I usually insist they give me a key for safety. Explain that they are having to leave the door unlocked (even if they arent') and for safety you need a key to keep it locked. All you have t odo is say - remembe rcolumbine and that usually does it. There is one secretary however that still won't give me a key so I bring a large magnet w/ me and put it in teh door jam so it will be a tiny bit ajar while I am not in there. It works great and no one has noticed it yet.
another great way is to contact the janitorial staff every time you need in. They will get tired of it and help you find a way to be able to access the room.
They fingerprint us, send for background checks and leave us alone with children for 7-8 hours. You'd think they could give us one lousy key!
In one high school that I sub in 1 out of 3 faculty restrooms is locked. Of course the classroom I was in last week was in the basement with the locked restroom. I do NOT use HS girls restrooms. I'm so glad one of my friends teaches at the school and I ran to her classroom, also in the basement, and grabbed her key. I looked up their key policy and in case of lockdown, a janitor or security guard will lock up a sub's room. Let's hope the intruder doesn't pick my room first....