Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sub Notes

Up until today I have had teachers leave very detailed sub notes to where everything was, what work we were to do as a class, etc. Today, however, was quite different.

I went into today knowing it would be an interesting day. I subbed for a special education teacher who goes into several classes to offer assistance to students in inclusion classrooms. While these students are in their least restrictive environment as a student, I found today that often their social skills are lacking in comparison to their peers.

Today I came into the classroom and saw the schedule with the classroom numbers, the students names I am to assist, and the times I am to be there. All in all, that was fine.

In several classrooms I worked with students individually or in small groups to provide them with the needed RTI time. While I have knowledge of RTI and the various tiers, I was not familiar with all of the programs and books that they were using with the students. My instructions for this included a post it that said the time of day I was to use it and what page number. Thank goodness the students are used to the program, because they deviated from the book in most situations-something that was not explained.

As stated before, the schedule had room numbers on it. This would have been great if the room numbers were on the doors to the classrooms, or the names of the teachers on the schedule, but this was not the case. The classrooms had numbers, but they did not match what was on my schedule. I ended up asking students and teachers where my next class to go to was, because I've only been in a select few classrooms in that school. I felt all day long I was relying on other teachers to tell me what students I needed to work with and where classrooms were. I was consistently having to question the students on procedures for the various programs and how many pages in the book they do. I felt more like an intruder than a help to the school and students. While everyone was happy to help me out, I felt like my level of athority within the students' viewpoint was compromised and I was at their mercy.

I could understand if I got called in this morning because a teacher was unexpectedly ill. However, this was not the case. I had planned to sub for this teacher since last week, plenty of time for her to write up notes on what I should do throughout the day.

At the end of the day how do I write a note to this teacher telling about the day? I wrote what we did in the RTI groups and apologized if this was not what she had planned. But what else was I do do? When the principal popped in to chat during my 'plan time' I did my best to show enthusiasm. But all in all, today was more frustrating than it should have been.

If nothing else, I gained a greater appreciation for teachers that leave detailed sub notes, and now know where the rooms are, should I ever need to sub for this particular teacher again.

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