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subasaurus subasaurus is offline
 
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subasaurus
 
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They expect you to know where every child is
Old 03-19-2019, 09:37 PM
 
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Disclaimer: I know this should probably be posted in "The Vent" section, but there is no "Sub Vent" unfortunately. You've been warned. This is a rant.

Long story short here...

Was asked to cover a study hall for a different teacher on one my planning periods. "Not a big deal," I thought. "Study halls are cake," I thought. "I don't mind helping out right now, I'm bored anyway."

Boy was I wrong... Should have said no!

When I arrived to the room the phone was ringing off the hook and students were running at me like sharks.

I answer the phone.

Random staff: "Do you know where Johnny so-and-so is? No? Why not? (Sigh...) Never mind."

(Hangs up on me.)

Hey, don't sigh and hang up on me. I literally just walked in. I don't know any of these children. You have a big school. Over a thousand kids.

This is not my assigned classroom today. Why would I magically know of Johnny so-and-so's whereabouts?

The kids are telling me he might be in the resource room? Why don't you try the resource room if that's where he normally goes for study hall? What does Johnny typically do this period? And what's your name and position? Give me some background here, that might help.

But thanks for hanging up on me while I was trying to figure it out.

Thanks for making me feel stupid and useless and like the worst sub ever. Hopefully you complained to your colleagues about me.

Stay classy.

Gotta love it when random staff treat you like you're stupid for not knowing every little detail. Especially for situations you have no control over. And especially if you're trying to figure out a situation while twenty unknown kids come at you asking for passes.

Just another example of how "going above and beyond" helping out extra periods for other teachers can be a huge hassle.. and ironically... bring trouble your way.

Amazing how the simplest of tasks like attendance are always the hardest as a sub. Arrogant staff on the phone certainly don't help. I know I should ignore this stuff but intentional rudeness angers me.

Rant over.



Last edited by subasaurus; 03-20-2019 at 03:06 PM..
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Ah, yes
Old 03-20-2019, 05:17 AM
 
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My school (where I taught for 20 years) has a school-wide study hall last period. That helps. BUT...I don't have access to the attendance online, unless the teacher has given me the password (most do) for the computer. And the user name/password for different programs. So, there's that. Then there are the students who go for math tutoring. They have a pass, but show it to me and go straight to the math teacher. There are students who get passes from other teachers for help/homework catch up/finish tests/etc. If I don't get their names, oops. If I wait until attendance to let them go, they don't have as much time. Then there are students who sit in the wrong seats. By this time of the year, I know who most are. But I mark them absent anyway, which gets them called down to the office for a come-to-Jesus talk. The rest of the students either work quietly or don't. I hate study halls.
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luv2teach2017 luv2teach2017 is offline
 
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Thanks for venting :)
Old 03-20-2019, 08:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Gotta love it when random staff treat you like you're stupid for not knowing every little detail. Especially for situations you have no control over.
Rants are healthy. ( Are rants against the rules here or something?) I'm glad you posted this. It's something that bothers me a lot too.

Subbing in elementary schools, I often have lesson plans that lack important details about which kids get pulled out for speech or ELD or testing or whatever, or which IAs or volunteers come in when or for what. Sometimes with all the people coming and going, it's like teaching in a bus station! How can I possibly keep track? Then there are the constant phone calls from the office asking for this or that student who's not there because an IA or someone pulled them out without informing me first (often the case).

As subs who cover many different schools and even districts, we can see the big picture. But school staff see no further than their own day to day routine, which makes them myopic. They may blindly assume you know what they know. There's no changing that.

I try to track students and adults as best I can. But when school staff are condescending or mean, I just chalk it up to their own myopia and leave it at that. At the end of the day, we get to move on, and we can choose not to return. That's one of the perks of the job, if you ask me.

Last edited by luv2teach2017; 03-20-2019 at 01:32 PM..
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:24 AM
 
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I subbed recently in a high school I almost never sub in. Last hour was a study hall. The teacher had instructed me to take a picture of the wall where the students names were listed and email it to her after they noted the "choices" they had made: leaving with a pass to another class, etc. Well, I don't have a smart phone and I didn't have a clue who was who or where they were going. I had to hope they were all going where they were supposed to. Apparently everything went as planned because I never heard anything about it. It was ridiculous.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:32 PM
 
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Yes, this is another frustrating thing about subbing. We've all been there.

To Sublime: The teacher who asked you to take a picture of the wall with the students' names was way out of line. I think most schools frown on subs using personal phones to take pictures of classrooms, especially if these images include names or pictures of students.

A couple weeks ago, I was in a 4th grade classroom that had a very nice teacher. There was a special program that day, and she wanted me to take a picture with my phone of her kids and email it to her. She meant well, but I didn't think it was appropriate for me to do that. I had a classroom aide do it instead.


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Wow
Old 03-20-2019, 03:02 PM
 
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@sublime

Take a picture of the wall?

That's the most random bizarre request I've ever heard...

Lol, can't even imagine how I'd respond to that!

Times sure have changed.
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Thanks
Old 03-20-2019, 03:04 PM
 
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Appreciate the tea and sympathy all.

Some things just drive me crazy about the job.

It's the little things that bother me. And I wish they didn't.
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@luv2teach
Old 03-20-2019, 03:15 PM
 
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Totally.

Elementary is TOUGH.

I rarely (if ever) sub for k-6.

There are so many details that you aren't informed of in that age bracket.

Stressful is putting it lightly!
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I feel your pain...
Old 03-21-2019, 06:31 AM
 
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I get so sick of getting griped at for things that are definitely not my fault, or for trying to do your job well/go above and beyond as a sub. I have been in similar situations and it can be the most frustrating/annoying thing.

This morning I showed up to a classroom that had no plans or schedule. After looking around the room and talking to another teacher, I sent an email to the teacher, just to ask if there was a schedule or something that i could do with his classes (I knew that there would be testing this morning that I would proctor) this afternoon. After he did not respond to my email for a while, I decided to check with the office to see if they had additional information.

The clerk/secretary from the office came down to the classroom to "search for plans"...even though I had already done this. She tried to tell me that the attendance sheets were his "schedule"...okay, even though there are no times on them (this is a music technology classroom, so students come in for am hour). Then, I checked my email and the teacher had actually sent me his plans, with a detailed schedule. I informed her of this fact, and she griped at me ..."never, ever email the teacher"..."here at this school the office will always take care of things"..."why would you think it was okay to email the teacher?" I told her "please do not gripe at someone who is just trying to do a good job"...and that most teachers leave their emails in sub plans and encourage you to email them with any questions, but she griped at me some more, then left the room.

I am trying to let this go and have a good day. But, it really is the worst sometimes to constantly be subjected to new staff, etc. who just assume that you have no idea what is going on, and who think you are below everyone else because you work as a "sub"...

Any techniques to snap yourself out of an annoyed/mildly angry state after an encounter like this in order to try to have a great day?
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Old 03-23-2019, 06:46 AM
 
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I stopped going to this one middle school that had study hall last period of the day because having study hall last period makes NO SENSE! Students treated it like a free period , they were already in after school mode. There were a few who did work, but vast majority wanted to talk, play games. I let them at it as long as it didn't get too loud.
If we all about education, then I think students would be better served watching a documentary, or put on one of those news programs/have a discussion afterward. Because right now I just see study halls as filler time where very little learning is going on.


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Old 03-24-2019, 10:00 PM
 
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Ugh.

Seriously, is there any class more useless and breeding ground for bad behavior than study hall?

Honestly, I feel like schools are getting lazier these days and giving less priority to academics.

I feel like I cover more study halls than actual classes these days.
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Seriously, is there any class more useless and breeding ground for bad behavior than study hall?
How about "nap time" for kindergarten students?

In one district where I sub they have nap time for kindergarten students. It is in the afternoon for about 40 minutes (it is considered their "special"). Dumbest thing ever.

Children get to nap with their "cuddle buddy," a plush animal. Some students have asked if they can cuddle with their friend (hmm, that would be an emphatic NO! when I am here; if your teacher lets you do it, that's on her).

A neighboring school districts implemented full day kindergarten in their schools. Nappy-time district does it as well but doesn't have time in the day for kindergarten students to go to specials (art, gym, music, library, stem) so the students get nap time or if the weather is nice and teachers feel like doing it - extra outdoor recess.
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Old 03-26-2019, 09:26 AM
 
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It all comes down to just finding a decent district (or schools within a district) that at least shows some respect towards subs. There are many times I am questioned about things and I answer honestly, but in a "I dont really care what you think of me" tone. Many times my responses to secretaries or other teachers are "oh well, no problem, it is what it is, no big deal, more was lost in the war, and even I understand" (even though I know they are full of crap)

My point is just do the best you can with what you are given and move on the next day to something else. If you ever are in a class you could not handle or drove you crazy, then make a note not to ever cover for that class again this year. Where I work, they are so desperate for subs that I can make many mistakes and I am sure they will still beg me to come back again and again.
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Old 04-09-2019, 06:25 AM
 
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It's a poorly managed study hall (or classroom for that matter) if there is no official procedure for students to sign out and in so you can always look at the sign out list to know where a particular student is. And, given today's technology, there's really no excuse for not having seating charts with pictures to prevent students from lying about who they are. Or at least a class list with pictures. Some teachers have a "seating chart" but don't adhere to it as long as the students behave. Sometimes kids have forgotten where their official seat is, but if you have pictures it doesn't matter. Generally, when I have found myself covering a poorly managed study hall it's because the person who normally covers it is not a teacher or a trained para.

And I agree that the revolving door that is an elementary classroom these days will drive a person nuts. I go to one school where some students spend at least half the day with spec. ed., title, speech, trauma coach, etc. In the interests of not disrupting the classroom, those teachers will often come to the room, stand out of sight of the teacher and beckon the student out. In this same school, there are a fair number of children who suffer from trauma and are "runners" - they'll just leave the classroom, and maybe the school, when confronted with a person they don't know. So, if you're the sub in that school with no schedule of pull-outs and no heads-up about the "runners" (often not communicated in the interests of privacy) you can spend your entire day trying to keep track of where everyone is. There's little opportunity for actual teaching and you live in terror that you will have some type of drill (or, worse yet, actual emergency) which requires you to account for the whereabouts of every student. *sigh*
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