A Mean Sub Teacher

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Old 02-15-2008, 09:30 PM
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a mean sub teacher

that is what my 11 year old son described the sub he had yesterday....
he then described one incident: the sub hit a child,because she was not listening.i was floored....
he then told me that when he changed classes (they have 3 different classes) ,they talked to their other teacher and the principal got involved and told the sub to leave....

today,i talked to an another parent who told me that during lunch time(she was there) the sub was mean to the kids ,almost yelling at them.some kids needed to go to the bathroom ,but were denied.and she didn't want anyone to talk to he r,cause it was her break...

i also talked to the teacher(the regular one) ,she is fantastic ,and felt so bad and was sick when a teacher called her at home to tell her what happened..I do not blame her at all. she didn't chose or ask for that particular sub...

but now who is responsible? who should check on their credentials and their past work? i trust the school for the safety of my children,but it seems there is a gap between what should be done and what is really happening.....
my dd K teacher told me this morning that i should to the principal.when she needs a sub,she asked for a particular one(a friend of hers) .

finding good subs,is a crap shoot...last year in 4th grade ,my son had 7 teachers in 3 months(1 reg teacher and 6 subs,one sub became the permanant teacher...) it was crazy.i spent more time in that class that I wanted.some subs were doing nothing ,and I was the one keeping the kids in line,quite and respectful..it was mayheim.....

so what should I do?i really do not want to let go,and want my children to feel safe at school...
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  #2  
Old 02-15-2008, 09:44 PM

RE: a mean sub teacher

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I'm sorry your son had to endure the wrath of this obviously horrible sub! I am a teacher myself - involved in the interviewing of possible subs right now for my upcoming maternity leave, and making sure my students are left with the best possible person is super important to me. I would be sick if I heard that she was cruel to my kids! Under normal circumstances though (just calling in sick) I really have no idea who will end up subbing for me. If I have a preference I could suggest it, but I'm not really out enough to know who I'd really want. As a teacher you just trust that the school will cover you. So I think you are very fair to not blame the teacher for it.

Anyway, I think the fact that the principal was already involved and sent this woman home is enough, and there would be no need for you to get involved. I'm sure more is being done to make sure she doesn't work as a sub anymore. I'd only get involved if I was really mad about how the school handled it, but it sounds like they took care of it appropriately. My only concern now would be, how do they find these subs? That might actually be the conversation to have! My school actually interviews all the subs - references and fingerprinting required among other things. It's not like someone just calls the school and says "Hey I want to sub and here's my number. Call when you need me." I would assume that isn't what your school does, but it couldn't hurt to find out so you don't worry that this kind of thing could potentially happen again. Good luck!
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:54 PM

RE: a mean sub teacher

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I can tell you that in my school districts where I live, they have you fill out an application and have a back ground check. Plus, I don't know of any sub who doesn't have a teaching license.

I sub in my district and have heard of "nightmare" subs. These subs are reported to the district. I do not know what happens with the district level, though I am guessing it depends on what happened. I do know that someone in my daughter's class accused a teacher of hitting them and he was fired after 2 days of paid leave. Of course my daughter saw what happened and the kid was lying. From what this teacher told me, that he would of been reported to the state and could of lost his liscense. The "allegations" were dropped though.

I am sorry that your child had to witness this type of teaching and it sure doesn't help the next sub at all.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:01 PM

RE: a mean sub teacher

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When I was in the classroom, I always lowered my expectations for when I had to be out. If everyone was safe when I got back, then the sub was successful. As far as getting work done or being respectful or any actual learning having taken place, well...I would have dropped over dead if that happened.
Every state and district is so different in the hiring policies of subs. To evoke real change, I'm sure it would be a district issue on sub hiring policies. The problem is really much deeper than loose policies, though, because there is never enough money to hire really qualified people. Lots of subs have no intention of ever teaching full time or have never taught full time. They just want the convenience of subbing positions while they work toward their real life goals.

On the other side of things, students tend to have an enormous amount of loyalty to their regular classroom teacher and will be downright nasty at times to subs because they simply do not like the change even for the day. My classroom ran like a well oiled machine while I was there because the students I taught needed a lot of structure. They knew the procedures inside and out. But, if I was out for a day...boy, it was a nightmare. When I left on maternity leave, I heard horror stories about students I never would have expected to have acted up. What always amazed me was that the students thought I would take their side when a bad report was left from a sub. Ha! I appreciate the sentiment of loyalty, but I never would agree to disrespecting another teacher. Ahhh....middle school!
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:02 PM

RE: a mean sub teacher

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i know that the sub have to be finger printed and backgrou-nd check.and file an application also(a small thesis on children's education,nothing major....)

i do not blame at all the teacher.like i said she is fantastic,i made sure to tell her that she was noway to be blame.the principal is great also.

jenner: you are right ,my concern is where do they find them.and what can be changed .....

thanks again for you quick reply...
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:06 PM

RE: a mean sub teacher

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WOW...I am a teacher and that would not go in my district. You have to have a background check and a license or certificate to teach, even sub.

I have come across some pretty bad subs though. However, they are bad in means of controlling the class. When I was teaching...I found my own sub, if I knew I was going to miss ahead of time. If I was sick and called off, I would call in and give a list....

I am very sorry to hear of this...it gives teachers a bad name!!!

Hugs!!!
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:14 PM

RE: a mean sub teacher

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TargetAddit ..I really resent the fact that you lowered your expectations for the days that you were gone for the fact that you thought that subs can not teach.

I really feel for you down in FL because up here in MN, we do teach the children, care about the children, and want to make sure that they are respectful to everyone.

I recently was in a building that I will never go back to even if they hired me full time as a teacher. These "teachers" were extremely rude to me and I have never been treated like that in any school. I even overheard one of them say, "It would be nice if we got some good subs in here for once." I was sitting no more than 3 feet away from this conversation at the lunch table. I so wanted to tell them that if they were friendlier to subs, they may want to come back.

So don't assume that all subs are in it just for fun or to get through life. I would love a full time job, but up here in MN, jobs are scarce. I applied to several jobs and found out that 399 other people did also.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:15 PM

RE: a mean sub teacher

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gees hope they let the rest of the schools in your county know.some pepole are just out of there mind. i would never hit a child its just not in my bones.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:55 PM

RE: a mean sub teacher

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TargetAddit ..I really resent the fact that you lowered your expectations for the days that you were gone for the fact that you thought that subs can not teach.

I really feel for you down in FL because up here in MN, we do teach the children, care about the children, and want to make sure that they are respectful to everyone.
I certainly didn't mean to offend a hard working, "with it" sub. And, of course, I always expected my students to be respectful which is why I always took the side of the sub no matter what even though the sub wasn't around to know it. (Sort of like always agreeing with Daddy's decision in front of the kids--we are a united front.)

The school I am in now has the most amazing subs! The district I teach for now puts students needs first in all decisions, and I know that makes all the difference. It's not just lip service: they really do put students first. I suppose I am a bit cynical because of all of the hard work I would put in to prepare lessons for a sub (typed out, rules, procedures, everything spelled out--practically scripted) only to be left a note that the sub couldn't find the plans, didn't understand the plans, etc. We're in a college town, and lots of post grads sub while waiting for their band to be signed or while they try to land a career. There are also quite a few subs whose first language is not English, which at times, can pose a huge issue (reading the sub plans, for instance). Teaching certificates are not necessary to sub, nor is a degree in education required here. I think there are fabulous teachers in this world with little to no formal education, and there are horrific "teachers" teaching the teachers in our colleges and universities.

Again, sorry if I offended. My perception is certainly skewed in favor of my experience.
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Old 02-16-2008, 07:22 AM

RE: a mean sub teacher

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I taught for 7 years in an inner-city school and I have had my share of successful and unsuccessful substitutes. I had little to no say of who would come to my classroom (the only way I could choose would be if I had cleared the job with the sub early on and the sub agreed to cover for me). I have had 3 different subs that were asked to leave before the school day was over. One sub decided to give out all of the answers to a worksheet that went with a video, so that they did not have to watch the video. Then, she went on the internet while the kids did whatever they wanted, including video games, and left my room open during lunch so kids could hang out in there. I had another sub that was preaching to the students about going to hell. A third teacher got into a verbal argument with one of my toughest students and was close to having a physical fight. Whenever there was a problem with the sub, the administration was made aware of the situation. I also talked with the head secretary that would block that sub from working at our school again. I have had some great subs, too, and when I did, I made sure to get their numbers to call on them in the future. I would prepare my students ahead of time if I knew I was going to be absent, and I reminded them of the consequences of poor behavior with a sub (loss of privileges, detention, office referral, phone call home, talk with coach, etc.) In a district with 130 schools, many substitutes can fall through the cracks. It is not the teacher's fault for having a poor sub.
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Old 02-16-2008, 07:44 AM

RE: a mean sub teacher

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Thank-you for clarifying your thoughts TargetAddict. It did make me upset to read your first post about subs and now I understand where your thoughts are coming from.

I sub in the largest school district in MN and there are MANY subs. We have a computer system that allows teachers to assign jobs to subs when they are absent and then the sub finder (computerized) calls the preferred people first.

On the flip side, I have been in a classroom where the teacher didn't make any lesson plans for the day. No joke. I found his daily plans for the class (short version of course), but had no idea the time slots or where anything was placed. We were able to track down the teacher and ask him where they were. He replied, "I didn't know that we had to have lesson plans made for a sub."
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