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NANCYDANICA's Photo NANCYDANICA SparkPoints: (0)
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3/23/11 5:27 P

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That's lucky. Some schools around me have subs do other things during prep, usually grade papers, but when they do it's usually incoherent. Most of the schools around here treat prep as time off for subs unless they're needed for something else, like covering a class or helping with stuff in the office. That rarely happens. I always check in with the office on my prep and see if they need me, but usually I end up spending the time catching up on my reading.

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GNUATTITUDE's Photo GNUATTITUDE SparkPoints: (0)
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3/23/11 5:03 A

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Of course, that could be true, though our subs generally get assigned to some other duty during prep time.

"Don't confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other."
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3/22/11 10:52 P

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What if it was prep, though? Some people forget to bring books... Or run out.

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3/22/11 8:04 P

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Great thread!

I'm fortunate that I'm in a small school and most of the subs are familiar with my expectations, school-wide policies, and the students. I leave step by step plans with approximate times for each activity. I've never had a sub say they were too detailed.

Pet peeves? I hate seeing that the sub has been using my computer to visit shopping or sports sites. If they're shopping or making their fantasy sports picks, they're not working with/supervising students. You'd be amazed at how often this happens.

"Don't confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other."
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3/15/11 6:16 P

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Very rarely do I find too much information in general. However, I have found too much information for first period. Subbing systems often have the arrive time as the time school starts, and then you have to quickly start teaching a huge lesson--it doesn't work well. I think it's acceptable to leave more detailed lessons after the first prep, but anything before should be simple.

Best sub folders I've seen have sub expectations, school rules, classroom rules, attendance, lists of helpful students, emergency procedures, and a school schedule with the teacher you're subbing for highlighted.

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KEL_BEL_FX3's Photo KEL_BEL_FX3 Posts: 4,711
3/15/11 12:58 P

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Ok now after reading through your responses and taking note (yes literally I have a note card here with notes on it now LOL) I want to thank all of you for sharing your thoughts and ideas. There were definitely things I didn't know or don't have in my sub folder and they're things that should have been obvious to me, such as discipline and consequences, or bathroom policy. I mean DUH why didn't I think of that before.

Ok so question for you subs: how much is too much information for you to wade through? I want to give you all the necessary information you need but I also don't want you to have so much to read you don't get through it all.

and another question: how were the best plans/sub folders organized that you've seen?

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KEL_BEL_FX3's Photo KEL_BEL_FX3 Posts: 4,711
3/15/11 12:47 P

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Teachers - Same question but reverse roles! What are some of your sub pet peeves?
It drives me crazy when I come back and my room is a mess. I leave specific instructions in my plans that students are NOT to work in the back of my room when I am not there and yet I will repeatedly come back to my blanket and pillows in large piles that show me the kids have obviously been in the back. Also PLEASE follow my plans as they are written and if for some reason you can't leave me a note. I also hate to return and getting no notes from my sub as to what happened that day, who was absent, who was good, who wasn't. Fill me in please.

What things do you wish substitutes would do when guest teaching in your classroom?
Follow my plans, really this is just key for me. I've gotten to a point that I write very detailed plans so that I know there are no questions, and if there are issues please tell me about them. My kiddo was sick last week so I had to stay home, the sub misread the plans and the first few hours weren't done correctly but when she caught her mistake she noted it on the plans and apologized. This was wonderful. I love feedback.

Ok now that I've answered it's time to read your answers bc I want to know what you subs have to say. I need that input. It was so helpful to have one of my best friends as a sub tell me things that were good and bad in rooms she subbed in, and one of my former coworkers has subbed now in various places and also filled me in. I think I'm getting better about preparing. I have a binder with the plans, emergency plans should they be necessary, crisis plan, seating charts and rosters. But I'm always looking to improve.

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REDHEADMOM2U's Photo REDHEADMOM2U SparkPoints: (169,082)
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3/9/11 9:16 A

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I've never subbed, but I've covered classes and what an eye opener.

I used to be very detail oriented and leave my subs great, over planned lessons. However, many MANY times I have had subs who just did what they wanted.

Now, I try to leave a bit of a lesson (real content) and then time for kids to read the material or work on vocab or ?? That way there is a chance they get some material in.

I LOVE when subs leave me nice long notes, but I will say that most of the people I work with hate it.

I guess like in everything, it's just a personality thing.

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3/4/11 4:28 P

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Here's my expectations as a sub. Let's compare and contrast two days at two different schools, both of which involved me getting pelted with paper in a room with another member of staff.

Day 1, School 1 - Other teacher ignores paper being thrown at me, general disrespect, rudeness, because I threw out a student she liked for beating on his cousin. I was not able to call administration because I wasn't in a normal classroom, and I was afraid to ask until it got desperate because the aforementioned teacher had made a snide comment last time I'd asked for her help. Later in the day, I get a small lecture about what I could have done differently.

Day 2, School 2 - Parapros in the room ignore the paper being thrown at me ostensibly, but begin furiously scribbling incident reports and calling for assistance. They get the equivalent of a principal down to talk to the class about their behavior. Other teachers nearby pop in. At the end of the day the person who's basically principal and two teachers who weren't involve thank me for coming in to what I know is such a chaotic and even dangerous situation.

I wonder which school I prefer. It's all about respect.

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SONYALATRECE's Photo SONYALATRECE SparkPoints: (99,464)
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3/4/11 12:30 P

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Ok, I guess I have to respond with ALL positives.
Every time I have a sub, I want him/her treated with the utmost respect. I define "sub" for my middle school students. That sends the message that the sub is a temporary "me". They'd have to deal with me if they don't show respect. As for the comments about what teachers are desiring...I simply want my room in tact upon my return and any notes about any irregularities during the day.

Edited by: SONYALATRECE at: 3/4/2011 (12:31)
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TEAWUNGEE's Photo TEAWUNGEE Posts: 25
3/3/11 1:33 P

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RED: oh wow you totally hit one of my pet peeves "nails" on the head! as a sub, i hate being treated like an inconvenient or inferior lesser being. at one middle school that i subbed at frequently, i walked into the teacher lunch room and sat down at a long table near some teachers that were in there. can you believe they actually got up and moved?! one left which she could have been intending to do anyway, 2 others went to chat by the refrigerator, but the last 2 actually moved to another table. and not a single person said a word to me! i hadn't even sat NEXT to them, just at the other end of the same table in the hopes that maybe someone would say hi, but I had a book so if they didn't, no biggie!

and at the high school i sub at a lot now, the school secretary honestly talks to every sub as though they are just a huge inconvenience to her day. oh I'm so sorry you have to get up and hand me a slip of paper with a couple keys.

same high school... i was being given the run-around trying to get into the room i needed to be in for the afternoon, the secretary was away from her desk, and the woman that works by her didn't know how to hand out keys. so i went to the room where that teacher is in the morning and said to the teacher in there that i was the morning teachers sub, i didn't have a key for her room, and the office told me to find campus patrol who was supposed to be headed to that room. she said, "no i didn't call campus patrol. i can't help you." and turned her back on me! gee... think you could pick up that phone by you and dial the office? offer to let ME use that phone? look out the window and POINT at someone who is campus patrol? anything?? thanks for the friendly help!


*WHEW* wow i guess i needed to vent! sorry so long!

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3/1/11 5:22 P

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One thing I like to do when I'm subbing in schools that have paper attendance to be returned to the office hourly is to wait until a student asks to go to the bathroom and hand attendance off to them. It lets me appear to be the "nice sub" in no pass classrooms, but it also gets stuff handed in.

And amen on the sub folder notes. Today was my first day at a school that never had sub folders before, and they finally got them today. I think they still need a little work on the contents, but I thanked the principal.

I really hate it when you only get one roll list for each class, and you have to turn it into the office during the hour. Always have an extra list for EVERY class!

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DISCOVERLLH's Photo DISCOVERLLH Posts: 1,882
3/1/11 10:51 A

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I have subbed for five years at all grade levels and am also a certified teacher. It is absolutely amazing how much better some sub folders are than others! My biggest pet peeve is when a teacher leaves a post it note that says to "follow my planner". I then have to scramble to understand what she wants me to do for the period based on three or four words scribbled in a planner! Also, I find it much more helpful to follow a typed up, specific plan for the day rather than wading through some unwieldy sub folder. What I really need to know is: 1) the names of one or two helpful students, 2) if there is a student with a disability who may need extra support - you don't have to disclose confidential information, but you can let me know that so-and-so may need to be gently reminded to stay-on-task, that she is petrified to read aloud, or that he may need extra time on the test 3) if there are students who should NOT be seated next to each other, 4) for primary grades or EC, if there are hand signals for using the bathroom, 5) PLEASE list the period end times if you are a middle school or high school teacher! Just listing "Period 8" or "follow White Team schedule" doesn't help when I am not in your school every day, 6) please indicate the attendance and lunch routine! Some schools ask for a note to be brought to the office every period, others take a lunch count and leave it outside the door, etc. Most of all, those of us who substitute teach would appreciate a little kindness and welcome from regular teachers during lunch. It is amazing the difference between schools in this regard! Some schools completely ignore the subs and treat us as if we are inferior. Other schools are very welcoming, and the teachers will welcome the sub at their table for lunch or tell them they are welcome to share the snacks or coffee in the teacher's lounge. It makes a huge difference!

Edited by: DISCOVERLLH at: 3/1/2011 (10:52)

"I'm not telling you it is going to be easy - I'm telling you it's going to be worth it" -- Art Williams


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TEAWUNGEE's Photo TEAWUNGEE Posts: 25
2/23/11 7:23 P

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NANCYDANICA: if no bathroom policy is left then I either do “one student at a time” or “one boy & one girl” and not within the first or last 5 minutes of class. I’ve always had an overactive bladder (sorry tmi!) so I’m always afraid of making students wait. My teachers never believed I had to go as often as I did :/ I agree on the grading too… especially in math classes! I don’t care if I should know this stuff… what if I don’t?? what if my calculations are wrong? And that means I have to do the work, too! Where’s MY grade?? Hehe

HWESTAD: thank you for overplanning!!!

SAMODER: I love that idea with the pictures! If I’m subbing in a class for an hour or a day, I don’t have enough time to get to know each kid's name. And when a kid is acting inappropriately, asking their name is useless. I mostly work middle/high school – they just lie if I ask their names! But with pictures I can match a face to a name and leave more detailed sub notes that way!

Thank you everyone for your great responses!! I always try to leave detailed notes, but now I won’t be as intimidated to report on poorly behaving students!

Oh on this subject, an experience I had last week – I was scheduled to sub half day but I showed up in the morning by accident. The secretary asked me to cover the 1st period of a teacher that was out all day, and she already had other subs lined up to cover the rest of the day for him. So I walked in the room and low-and-behold NO PLANS!! Not even a scrap of paper with a quick note scribbled on it! ***PANIC*** There were sub plans from earlier in the week but none for that day! So I asked a student what they had been doing (started a movie the day before) and decided we’d finish that. But the DVD had to be played with the laptop using the projector… laptop was password protected!! So another student texted the teacher (sometimes texting rocks!) and got the password. THEN the dvd wasn’t in the laptop! It was in another classroom and was delivered 10 minutes after class started, still without any kind of instruction or lesson plan! I left the password and brief instructions for the 5th period sub who was going to have the same topic.


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SAMODER's Photo SAMODER Posts: 11,887
2/20/11 8:45 P

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When I get my class list at the beginning of the year, I copy the yearbook pictures from the previous year. I then make a picture class list. Once I know my kids, I put it in my sub folder.

I usually add extra papers in a folder as time fillers, just in case the class gets through work quickly.

Sam

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ANGELMANDI's Photo ANGELMANDI Posts: 971
2/16/11 2:18 P

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When I used to sub-- here was my largest pet peeve-- NOT PLANNING ENOUGH MATERIAL for the class period. I can't tell you the amount of time middle school/high school teachers would leave me lesson plans like: "period 1-- vocabulary test. Individual Reading for the rest of the period." Or something similar. I appreciate teachers who OVERplan and give me more things than they think I will need to keep students engaged, or at least busy and out of mischief for the period.

Now that I have my own classroom-- I want subs to leave me specifics! If you had a class/student(s) that gave you trouble, I want to know names and specific infractions-- so I can "bust" them for "sub abuse" when I get back!

Edited by: ANGELMANDI at: 2/16/2011 (14:22)
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2/15/11 9:30 P

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A particularly bad sub, or a sub who's certified in that age group and area, can usually speed through something, but you don't know which until you see how the kids do on it the next day! I have friends who kinda mail it in when they're outside their subject area. Me, I can't do that. Feels wrong. Plus, I like teaching math; it's like a vacation from my Englishy stuff.

On the contrary, a sub who takes his or her time might either be trying to do a really good job, or might be horrible with the material to the point of being unsuited to teaching it.


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HWESTAD's Photo HWESTAD SparkPoints: (0)
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2/15/11 9:15 P

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Thank you! That's really good to know! I never know if they will just speed through things, or take time on it... or if the kids are driving them crazy and they can't get to it.

Check out my teaching blog!
amateurteacher.yolasite.com/


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2/15/11 9:05 P

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Hey Hwe! I have a particular bit of advice for elementary. If you can, emphasis which activities are priorities and which can be let slide if something goes wrong in any given block of time. It will almost always take your sub longer to teach something than you, especially if it's math, science, or grammar, and they may have to either cut the activity short or hold off on the next.

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2/15/11 9:00 P

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I really enjoyed reading these responses! I am a second grade teacher and my blog on my site today was about having to have a sub tomorrow. HA! As a teacher, I am definitely going to use some of the advice here. I hate thinking the person who is 'me' for the day may not have everything they could possibly need to do the job they are there for. I always try to over plan and throughout the year I add worksheets and activities to a folder just in case of emergencies.

Check out my teaching blog!
amateurteacher.yolasite.com/


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KIM--POSSIBLE's Photo KIM--POSSIBLE Posts: 3,273
2/15/11 6:22 P

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I have been on both sides. I subbed for a year and a half before finally being hired full time in December 2010. I haven't needed a sub yet, but keep a set of emergency plans in a prominent place in my classroom just in case!

I do not ask subs to grade work. I have a "mailbox" that my students are expected to put their finished work in when it is ready for grading.

My rule when I was subbing became: I will enforce whatever rules I have been told by administration or the classroom teacher (if any) or those that seem the most reasonable (if admin didn't specify). I usually subbed in my kids schools, so I generally knew the rules well.

My general comment to "our teacher lets us" became: I am not your teacher. They can do what they feel is appropriate. However, I am your teacher today and this is how I will handle...

My bathroom policy as a sub: I reminded at the beginning of class (before the bell) that they were to be in the classroom before the bell rang and I would not allow them to leave the room during class. My reasoning: their regular teachers know the kids, I don't. They know whether they will behave out of the room, I don't. One middle school I subbed in had gotten to a point that a large number of 7th graders had to be walked by class to the bathroom, with the teacher standing in the hall outside as each child went because some boys had destroyed things!

Unless it was last minute, I usually tried to touch base with the classroom teacher prior to subbing in their classrooms. It made it a lot easier to enforce their expectations! When I took the long-term sub position that became my current job, I spent about a week observing and meeting with the teacher to get to know the students and the current routines (which I have since changed greatly to fit my teaching style and the kids' needs)

Edited by: KIM--POSSIBLE at: 2/15/2011 (18:25)
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2/15/11 4:34 P

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I actually enjoy grading multiple choice/true-false/matching. Why? Because as long as I have an example of how to do the marking, I can't screw it up. But I don't really feel comfortable grading writing because I don't know expectations. I have developed a reputation among some students as something of an Evil Spelling Monster because I tend to be super thorough when I'm told to work on spelling with them. Including marking them down for capitalizing everything. The way standardized tests are graded in Michigan, an incorrectly capitalized word is considered misspelled. When I was student teaching, it was drilled into me that I must mark them as misspellings. Then I substitute teach at a different school and discover from angry students that they don't do that there.

I love getting a chance to talk to the teacher I subbed for, especially when the kids tell me about how nice she is. (It's always a she around here!)

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TEACHERMOMFIVE's Photo TEACHERMOMFIVE Posts: 1,148
2/15/11 7:08 A

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Don't feel bad for complaining - unless it is an emergency, teachers should be prepared. We are required to have our sub folders filled out at the end of the first week of school. I fill one out for the office, but I keep one in my desk that is easier for me to keep up to date. I always type out my class expectations and leave a copy for the sub in the front of the book. It includes seating charts and extra assignments for emergencies - also info on my diabetic students and those with severe allergic reactions to bee stings.

I love it when a sub grades papers, but I don't expect it. I DO definitely want a list of students who can't behave and be respectful. I teach middle school and they know better. I threaten them with dire consequences for misbehaving for my sub. Sometimes I even write out all my threats & assignments on the board if I have time. I try to make my threats funny, but they know I am serious. We usually have the same subs in our building, so I have a chance to touch base with them and iron out any problems. That's one of the nice things about being in a smaller school. ;)

Jenn

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The first step to getting what you want out of life is this: Decide what you want. - Ben Stein

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2/15/11 2:14 A

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You... don't like tattling? I love talking about rude students. I don't like telling on students for cell phone offenses or minor rule breaks that aren't intended to peeve me. It's all about respect.

I want to second your peeves there. My biggest pet peeve is when teachers don't leave a bathroom policy. I just don't let people go, and then they ask, "But what if I can't hold it?" and I'm still working on shutting that down.

I also hate it when lesson plans are unclear, and when worksheets are stacked in ways that are hard to track. Most of my sub jobs are pre-arranged, so coming in to a messy desk is unnecessary most of the time.

I also hate being asked to grade or correct assignments without an answer key. Even if you expect me to be able to do the work myself, you CANNOT expect me to do it quickly and in my head.

Not getting a schedule in my sub packet is annoying too.

Sorry. I'm full of complaints.

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TEAWUNGEE's Photo TEAWUNGEE Posts: 25
2/15/11 1:32 A

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I have a two part question:

1) Substitute teachers - What are some of your subbing pet peeves? What things do you wish teachers would provide or do before you guest teach in their classroom?

2) Teachers - Same question but reverse roles! What are some of your sub pet peeves? What things do you wish substitutes would do when guest teaching in your classroom?



I'm a sub so here are my answers: (I mostly sub middle & high school)
* If you have a seating chart that you want enforced, please write students' names clearly and keep it up-to-date! I understand sometimes this isn't possible especially if you need a sub last minute... but pweeeeze! Oh speaking of names... how about a list of names (including nick names) other than the school attendance sheet which always cuts off at least 2 students names?
* If you have any special rules or privileges for your students, please put them in your sub plan. Example? Do you allow your students to listen to their mp3 players during silent reading or when they are finished with a test? Some teachers do.
* Please have a consequence when a student (or class) frustrates a sub to the point that they feel they actually need to make you aware of it. We don't like tattling so when we do, we're probably at our wits end and think the behavior was that abhorrent!

I love being in the classroom! I love and respect all classroom teachers so much! I can't wait to be one of you at last! Until then just know... I'M JEALOUS! :D Keep up all the great work!

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