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Topic: Question about substitutes

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Subject: Question about substitutes
Date Posted: 1/30/2010 11:39 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Okay, Teachers!  Tell me your expectations for the substitutes that are hired to cover your classroom when you are gone.  Specifically, would you expect that a sub not only correct papers but also record them in your grade book?  Obviously if you give specific instructions that this be done, the sub should do it but if you didn't, would you expect the sub to do that?  I have always thought that the grade book is privileged and confidential information and I would never open another teacher's gradebook unless I were specifically instructed to do so.

What are your thoughts on this?

Date Posted: 1/30/2010 2:43 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2008
Posts: 836
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My expectation is that they follow the lesson plans I have left.   Puts me over the edge to find a note telling me the children did not have time to complete the daily work but enjoyed the games of "hangman".......that  were not in the lesson plans!

I would not expect them to correct papers and prefer they do not.  They wouldn't have access to my grade book so not an issue or expectation.

Date Posted: 1/30/2010 6:42 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,581
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As a rule, I would not want a sub to grade papers for me and if I had a grade book, I certainly wouldn't want a sub or anyone else entering grades into it.  I'm an intervention specialist and we no longer give grades, but work with the gen ed teachers where grading is concerned.  My expectation for any sub is to follow my lesson plans, as written, and leave me a note letting me know how the day went.  I tend to leave too much work to ensure that no sub is left trying to figure out how to fill extra time, but I also have a statement in my sub plans letting them know that, so no one feels like they haven't done the job properly if all of the work isn't completed.

I subbed for 3 years and hated every minute of it, but I was one of the most requested subs in the district because teachers knew I would get the job done.  As a result of my experiences, my students know that they had better do their best and show respect for any sub, because if hear otherwise, there will be a consequence. 

Date Posted: 1/31/2010 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2010
Posts: 1
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I wouldn't be too hard on the person. Although I agree with the other posters, it reminds me of the time the cleaning lady tried to organize my mother's desk drawer for her. The drawer was a mess, but it was one of those situations where she knew where everything was, and she was understandably upset when she came home. The cleaning lady (who we'd known for years) meant well though.

Of course, whether you request the sub again might be a different story. ;)

Date Posted: 1/31/2010 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 11/9/2008
Posts: 14
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I prefer that they don't grade papers but it is not a big deal if they do.  When I kept a regular grade book, I always took it with me or locked it in my file cabinet.  Now all of our grades are on the computer.  My teacher computer is a laptop so I take it with me.  I don't even want them on my laptop. Grades and such are confidential information.   If they want to surf the web they have to use a student computer.

Date Posted: 2/12/2010 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 770
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My gradebook is on the computer, so no one has access to that when I am out.

If I have my regular sub (who I have formed a kind of friendship with over the past 10 years of teaching) I will leave keys for her if she feels like checking over things. She always does because she gets bored in her downtime. (I have a dream planning time every other day--10:30-12:25: 2 plannings and lunch all back to back) I only started leaving her keys because she asked me if I minded if she graded things for me. She will also lok at my "Things for bored kids to do during studyhall/afterschool"folder and cut out laminating, look for things for the bulletin board etc.

She would be an awesome teacher if she wanted to go back to school and get certified to teach. I just LOVE her!

Last Edited on: 2/12/10 8:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/23/2010 12:15 AM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2009
Posts: 1
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I am a sub and know I would never grade papers without being asked to. I always put them in a neat pile since I'm very organized and leave it for them. I do have one teacher that has me do all her grading everytime I'm her sub. But I don't enter the grades into her gradebook, that is up to her. And as far as our district is concerned, it's in our handbook not to assign grades as a sub unless long term.

Date Posted: 3/25/2010 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2007
Posts: 2,269
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Show up, survive, and don't leave the room looking like a tornado hit. Seriously, I'm at a rough, inner city school and most district subs refuse to come. I've had subs literally sleep or just sit there and read the paper while the kids go wild. I've even had a sub walk out and leave in the middle of the day, gone for the day leave. I never know what my room will look like when I come back. My kids know the routine and most try to stick to it, but these are 5 year olds and do need supervision. Imagine 22 5 year olds left virtually alone for the school day and you can guess what I've seen.

Elizabeth - ,
Subject: Leaving things for a sub
Date Posted: 4/12/2010 12:20 AM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2007
Posts: 47
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I teach kindergarten and just got done writing sub plans for tomorrow. I never leave papers for the sub to grade and becuase our gradebook is electronic, she would not have access to it. However, I did leave a large basket of things for her to do when my kids go to recess and art. In this basket there are things to staple, put in mailboxes, laminate, sort, etc. Whatever gets done gets done and what doesn't is in the basket for next time.

Subject: leaving things for a sub
Date Posted: 4/15/2010 10:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/30/2010
Posts: 1
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Grading papers or recording grades? That is very strange.....

I am a sub and that has NEVER been asked of me. I just follow the lesson plans left for me and if it needs to be collected I do so. It really gets me annoyed when the teacher "forgets" to leave me lesson plans for the day. It happend to me a few times.....it not only throws off the students routine but it makes my job more difficult.


Date Posted: 4/24/2010 5:55 PM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2009
Posts: 51
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I do not leave my gradebook when I am out. I ake it home every night. I would not ask a sub to grade papers. Nor would I like it if they did. How do they know what/ how you are scoring them?

Date Posted: 7/12/2010 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2008
Posts: 456
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As others have said, I have an electronic gradebook so only I have access to it, and I'd never ask a sub to grade the work, I want to do that myself. However, the last 2 times I was out this past year (sick and workshop), I left a blank copy of the roster in the folder for collecting work and asked the sub to check off the students that finished and make another notation for those finishing it for homework (I teach middle school Social Studies so leaving an essay or another writing piece usually takes the whole period for most, but isn't too unbearable for finishing for homework, students who finish early always have their ongoing current event project to work on or can bring their IR book from English class so no one is every without something to do...last time I was out they watched a 20 minute video and then wrote a persuasive piece using evidence from the video to support their response). Since I have 100+ students everyday, leaving an extra roster for the sub to check off who completed the work is VERY helpful for me so I can see at a glance who finished and who didn't (I wish I did this earlier, it was always a scramble to try to check through all the classes before period 1 came in after being out the day before). I've noticed the students have been much more accountable when I do this because it's another set of eyes watching them. When they know the sub is checking them off, then they are more likely to finish it in class instead of chatting and "just doing it for homework."

Date Posted: 7/19/2010 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 1,567
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I have taught for many many years and have seen the best and worst in the substitue department. I haven't been absent many days but when I am, I expect the substitute to keep control, follow the plans left for them and not give extra recess time instead of the worked that is needing to be covered.

I have always left very detailed sub plans which include if something is to be graded by the sub. I usually only have subs grade practice spelling test so the children know how they did and what they need to do. I have never and will never leave a grade book or computer grade book for a sub.

****To all those subs who truly realize that subtitutingis vital and not just a babysitting job, I applaud the work that you do to promote a great education for the children.

Date Posted: 7/20/2010 1:00 AM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 1,958
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I just want them to teach the plans, try to maintain order, and clean the classroom. We are on a specific pacing plan and the things I leave for the sub to do are things my kids should be able to do. I keep mew learning tasks for when I come back. When a sub does not do what I ask, they put md behind the next day.

My worst sub? Had an inappropriate dance contest with my kids--and did not accomplish a thing from the plans.

Last Edited on: 7/20/10 1:01 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/27/2010 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2008
Posts: 1,362
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I normally leave very detailed lesson plans, especially when I don't know who my sub is going to be. Once, when my kids (dual credit seniors) were in the middle of a project, I actually put in quotes what I wanted the sub to tell the students so that there would be absolutely no confusion. I leave answer keys when I give worksheets so that students can ask questions, but I wouldn't expect a sub to grade the worksheets. If it were multiple choice, I would be plesantly suprised if I came back to find them graded, but I wouldn't expect it. I would not leave a gradebook for the sub, though...that is a confidential, legal document (plus mine is on the computer and nobody but me has access).

I have a binder with class lists, procedures, rulesand "emergency" extra lessons just in case the kids get done early, are off task, areotherwise misbehaving, or if I'm too sick to write up lesson plans. The principal and two other teachers in my department know where my binder is kept (plus trustworthy students in my first hour). My kids all know that the sub has the right to assign extra homework and that if I get a "bad" note from the sub, then they won't get reward stickers for perfect papers for a week (they collect these as a class to watch a movie or for extra credit). Since I started this,things have gone smoothly.

The worst sub experience I ever had was my first year of teaching...a teacher who retired (and whose had had these kids the year before) subbed for my class. She changed my lesson plans by shortening my assignment, telling my students that the work I had given them was "too hard." It took me quite awhile to get them out of that mindset.

Last Edited on: 7/27/10 3:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/28/2010 11:31 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2009
Posts: 92
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I was a sub for 4 years and did every job in the school alomost, from daily sub to long term in classrooms and the office. I loved it when the teachers left detailed lesson plans, and always followed whatever they were. I also looked to fellow teachers if there was any question in the plans. I never graded papers unless I was long term or was asked to by the teacher. I would NEVER touch a grade book. It was easier once I got to know the teachers, and had been there a while, but it is always first and foremost that teachers classroom. I never opened the teachers desk either. I have had many day when there were no lesson plans, and had to wing it. NOT FUN!!!!

I am now a special education Instructional Assistant, and hace had to leave sub plans for a sub now myself. I always try to leave a copy of my schedule, and all books and worksheets labeled with sticky notes on my desk. If a teacher leaves specific lesson plans it will be a better day for the children and the sub. If you prefer a sub not grade papers, you need to put that in your note to him or her. The sub will not know what you expect if you do not tell them. They may think they are being helpful to you by grading papers so you don't have to, but they do not mean any harm. It is always the teacher's responsibility to leave clear instructions on what is expected of the sub. I would rather any day have walked into a classroom that had overly detailed plans than one with too vague plans.

Date Posted: 11/18/2010 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2010
Posts: 3
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I work as a subsitute now and I've only been asked to grade paper a handful of times. The teachers always make it clear in the plans that they want me to grade certain papers. I have never entered them in a gradebook, though. If I'm not asked to grade papers, I usually don't. I don't always know how the teacher grades and I want the teacher to see how the students did.