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Speaking from experience (I subbed for 2 years), the best help you can give
a sub is to back them. Take action if they leave you a note about a problem,
unless you have good reason to suspect the sub is in the wrong. Now as a sub
I tried to emphasize the positive, keeping a list of the students who helped
including what they did. The list kept false information down to a minimum,
because they knew the teacher would find out who had been so "helpful". At
the same time it encouraged good behavior, instead of seeing what they could
get away with kids would work to get on the list. At the elementary level, I
took away 1 minute of recess for every minute of my time they wasted. After
the first semester all I had to do was look at my watch and they settled
down. As one 4th grade student told the new kid - If you are nice to Ms.
Herbert, we will have fun and Ms. Shots will be happy when she gets back. If
you are mean, Ms. Herbert will make sure you are miserable and Ms. Shots
will really get you.
If the sub made a mistake or completely misread a situation, then explain
that to the kids. For example when I was in 4th grade a sub kept calling on
the boy in the 2nd row wearing the striped shirt. We couldn't figure out who
she was talking about, finally one of the class clowns called out that's not
a boy that's Holly and everyone laughed. She totally flew off the handle and
gave us a week of detention (Now at this point I should explain 1. Most of
us had never heard of detention (we just stayed after school) 2. Holly was
dressed in jeans, an Izod shirt handed down from her brother, had short
hair, was used to teachers calling her Allen - her older brother's name, and
thought the whole thing was a joke). Our teacher explained that subbing was
stressful, that the teacher thought Holly might be hurt by the laughing, and
that several students were staying after school because they had been
disrespectful before this incident.
Kimberly Herbert (kimberly)
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts/Children's Art Museum
From: Bunki Kramer [bkramer.us]
Sent: Sunday, July 16, 2000 5:02 PM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Re: Not a moment too soon - Substitute Teachers Unite at last
Many, many kudos to those substitute teachers who have the courage to do
what I...in a million years...would not do! I've substituted twice in my
life and vowed never again! I DO hope this organizational thrust takes hold
and comes to fruitation. Not only does it benefit them but also us teachers
who often desparately need these wonderful people. Our sub pool is almost
non-existant due to California making 3rd grade and down small class sizes
of 20 or less. Our good sub pool went to these classrooms plus anyone else
who could walk and talk at the same time. The good has gotten mixed in with
the bad...but that's another story.
OH, yes. Subs. I wish there were some ways...other than preparing our kids,
making good lesson plans, etc....to help this potential organization
succeed. They've got a long, uphill battle ahead to make a difference.
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