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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Why I Don't Like Long Term Subbing...




Tomorrow is the last day of a long-term assignment I really didn't want.

The district office called on Tuesday afternoon two weeks ago....

"...We wanted to ask if you are available to work a two and a half week, long-term, 6th grade assignment at xyz school starting Wed April/2 up to the start of Spring Break".

Now, the best way to preview a possible career in teaching is to take as many long-term substituting assignments as possible.

It's a great way to get a feel for and demonstrate your abilities to others that you can handle the stress of classroom management and the planning work load involved. It's also a great way to gage what grade levels you are comfortable with and even some of the schools in which you might be working.

I am not looking for in a career in teaching. Subbing is strictly a part-time job for me.

I can handle anything for a single day. I can execute the teacher's pre-written lesson plan. I can collect the daily work and leave a daily summary for the teacher to let him/her know what I did/did not complete.


Since I was not available for the 2nd and 3rd day of this assignment ( I was previously booked at another school)  I told them I couldn't take the assignment thinking that would dissuade the offer right there.

I assumed, given those conditions, they would pass and get someone more qualified and able to provide the consistency and continuity one instructor for the full term would provide.

That didn't happen. They would get a sub for the two days I wasn't available and put me in for the rest.

First day was a disaster. The "students" were off the wall and out of control and not in any mood for actual class work. This is supposed to be one of the three top schools in the district, but this particular class is not helping that reputation.

Add to that, the detailed daily lesson plan for the entire two weeks was anything but:

Roll call
Reading
Recess
Writing
Lunch
Math
Recess
Science
Clean up
Dismiss
- repeat-

The socializing and students wandering the room is constant. My attempts to DO the 3R's lesson plan wasn't working.  I first had to locate just where they were in each subject before I could assign anything. Even a visit from the principal had little effect after she left the room.

I was already dreading the next two weeks, but at least I had tomorrow and Friday to be somewhere else before I had to return on Monday.

Monday morning arrives all too soon. The automated subbing system is calling at 05:30am to offer me a job in a Kinder class at a different school. That's very peculiar.  I thought my schedule was set for the next two weeks. The system shouldn't be calling to offer any conflicting assignments.

Sure enough, when I logged in to check my schedule, there were no pending assignments listed. After that first class on Wed, I felt a little relieved to think I was "released".

I did what any reasonable person would do at 05:30am with nothing urgent to get up for....I went back to bed.

It's close to 09:30am and the school is calling to see why I hadn't shown up for my assignment.  I explained I checked and wasn't on the schedule. I explained that I took that to mean they had cancelled it. It's happened before.

They double checked, and saw that the person responsible neglected to enter my two week assignment. They asked if I could still make it in today.

I had to turn them down as I had already made alternate plans for the day. They said they would call for someone else to work today and re-assured me that I WOULD be on the schedule for the rest of the assignment.

(...I found out later that "my" class was stranded that morning waiting on the back playground for about 30min before someone noticed and notified the front office)







1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well if it's any consolation, my students have been off-the-wall for the last two weeks also. I guess spring is in the air? This is only my 2nd year & last year was such a blur. I'm a change-of-career teacher, and even with the minor setbacks, I'm still loving it.