substitue teacher

Cassie - posted on 02/11/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I'm not at all taking anything away from actual teachers , but I have been a substitute teacher since sept 2008 and Id just like to say in regards to the statement above about the patience thing, I feel subs have to practice alot of patience when it comes to children at school, I know I get pushed alot more than the teachers must, the kids know we're not their actual teachers and feel like they can run over us, been there , done that especially at a middle school, Im not sure what authority I actually have?? and then to go home to my kids... WOW! But I have to say I LOVE being a substitute , I love being around the kids , helping them learn it's very rewarding!

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Lisa - posted on 03/15/2010

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I graduated with my BE in ECE and Elementary education in December of 2003. I have been subbing ever since. Not because I don't want my own classroom, but because I have been unable to find a full-time position. I was lucky enough for the first four and a half years to sub in a small district, where I worked mostly in one school. I was in very high demand there, having teachers who would schedule days with me months in advance. If there was ever a need for a substitute, the principal would immediately tell the teachers to find out if I was available to take it. After a short time working in the school nearly every day, the kids stopped seeing me as a substitute and saw me as a "real" teacher. The few times that I had a student tell me I was "just a sub" the other kids in the class would make "oooooh!" noises, knowing the child in question was about to be lectured about the value and need of substitute teachers and the fact that I had the same degree their "real" teacher did. I never had to lecture any child more than once. They got the idea right away. The fact that their teachers backed me up 100% also helped. I wanted desperately to work full-time in that school/district, but I got the feeling after four-plus years of applying for every available job and having only one interview that they wanted to keep me as a sub because I was good, reliable and flexible.
After re-connecting with a former girlfriend and finding that all of the feelings we'd had 20 years ago were still there, I made the decision to move to another city so that we could be together, leaving the district I loved so much. I am now in a much larger district and not working as much as I used to. I have had more problems with disrespectful students in the last year than I ever had in the four plus years in my old district. However, I still love teaching. When the students start to get out of hand, I let them know that their teachers will receive full reports from me, with names of students who misbehaved as well as the names of students who were well-behaved. This usually works very well with elementary students, but not always with middle and high school students. When it gets particularly hairy, I write out referrals or have the security officer come to the classroom to escort the students who are being most disruptive out of the classroom. Usually, once the students see that I mean business, they stop what they are doing and settle down to learn. I also let the students know right away that the only thing I require from them is respect, for themselves, the classroom, and their fellow students. And that I will give that respect back to them.
While I am not as comfortable in this district as I was in my old one, I am still happy to be teaching here. I am hoping to be able to find a full-time position here, but with all of the budget cuts that education has been undergoing, the jobs are few and far between. I am beginning to think I may need to go back to school to work on my masters and get some endorsements in other areas, such as Special Ed or Reading Specialist so that I can broaden my horizons on the job search front. My ultimate goal is to teach in 2nd through 5th grades.
And I have to add, I have never refused to go back to a school or classroom, no matter how "bad" the situation there may have been. I believe that if the students see that I am willing to come back, even after they have been rude and disrespectful, they may start to realize that I am there for them, and that I truly care about their education and their futures.

Mary - posted on 03/07/2010

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I have been a substitute and am now a contract teacher. There is no denying that provide a vital job to the system and yes, the students do push the limits, especially the middle school crew. It is a challenging role to be in and everyday is a new beginning. Keeping the part for our home life is a huge balancing act for all of us. Keep up the great job you are doing and know that you are appreciated!

Simone - posted on 03/04/2010

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I am a substitute teacher also. I totally agree. I love it. I like meeting new kids every day that I go to work. It is a bit of a challenge because I don't always get to establish a rapport with the students only being there one day. But I find that you must PICK YOUR BATTLES WISELY. Now, authority. That can be tricky. Before school starts, I try to find a neighboring teacher and ask him or her if I could send a student to their classroom if they really get out of hand. They almost always say yes. If their actual teacher finds out that one of his/her students had to "interrupt" another teachers day because they chose not to behave for a sub, the teacher usually gives some kind of punishment. No teacher wants to be known for a disruptive class, not to mention they usually don't appreciate that from their students. Sometimes just leaving a list of names of disruptive students for the teacher is enough. Of course that depends on how strict their teacher is. Also talk to the front office and pick up a few referrals before class so that you can show them to the older students and let them know you mean business. But of course try not to use them. Too many referreals from a sub tells the school that you can't handle the kids. With younger students I like to use positive reinforcement. Stickers, pencils, cool erasers, plastic rings. etc. I let them collect tickets for good behavior, correct answers, being helpful. etc. throughout the school day to go to a grab bag at the end of the day and each prize is worth a certain amount of tickets. When a student does something inappropriate, I reward a student who is showing me the desired behavior right then and there and let it be known to the whole class what they are doing. that helps a lot with keeping disruptive behavior down to a minimum and makes my day go by real smooth. I don't know everything but I try many different things because like you I care about them getting their education. Sorry this is so long. I'm very passionate about what I do.

Rachael - posted on 03/03/2010

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I am a second grade teacher. I was a sub for a year. It made me insane. I never knew the rules of a particular school or classroom. I didn't know the kids names. I couldn't call parents or offer long term rewards. I had no control over curriculum. I hated it. Thank you. The fact that there are people who can be subs makes my job possible. You're doing something that I can't do. Thank you.

Colleen - posted on 03/03/2010

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Guest teachers are an absolutely valuable member of the teaching community, as we as "actual" teachers depend on you when we can not be in our classrooms. I guest taught during the 2 years I had to return to "college" (I already had a BA when we moved to Michigan, and I decided to make a career change!), and it was incredibly rewarding.
I happen to teach secondary Spanish, so it is rather hard for us to find a guest teacher who speaks the language AND can teach it, but it's still the best things for all involved!!!

Angela - posted on 03/03/2010

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I'm glad you brought this up, Cassie. I'm a substitute also. I really love it. But there have been days what I've had to write up the majority of a class. I've learned...don't smile. You have to look hard core. Don't tell them they can talk in class, because they don't know how to control the noise level. And make sure you always have extra work on hand, in case the teacher doesn't leave enough. Idol children become more disruptive. And set your ground rules at the beginning of class. Keep it simple and straight forward.

Nicole - posted on 03/02/2010

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I hear you Cassie, I to am a trt and I really enjoy it, I now have a few teachers who will request me especially for their classes and this helps greatly as the kids know how I operate and are less likely to push you to the limit (as they can) perhaps this may be an option for you to investigate. I love being a substitute, the kids and the knowledge that if the kids are too bad then I will not accept that class again, I havn't done this for ages now. I also like the freedom of being able to spend time with my children and take them to appointments when the need arrises.

Yolonda - posted on 02/13/2010

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Well, I am a certified teacher who moved to a new location with my husband when he got a new job. Since the move, I have not found a teaching position and have been a substitute while waiting. I can tell you from experience that they might push you a tad more than their teacher, BUT teachers put up with a lot every day. I could never walk into any classroom if I did not see it as a "calling" from the Lord. I, like Cassie, love it!

Elisa - posted on 02/11/2010

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I'm a substitute as well for middle school, and I don't let the kids run me over. I just start writing referrals!

Andrea - posted on 02/11/2010

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well Cassie I hear your concern and I can understand it when the kids know that you are a substitue and not their actual teacher. It is important to know that you carry out a very important function in the school system. It is also true that you have got to be more tolerant . Please keep the faith. I am glad you enjoy what you do, continue to do your best and the children will come to realize the contribution you make.All the best.

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