SHOW NO WEAKNESS! Last week, my teacher neighbor was out. He ended up with two different subs – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I’ll set the stage by letting you know, I work in an inner city middle school – 100% free and reduced. I think we’ve had 5 parent volunteers over the past 7 years. The school has a VERY hard time finding subs. We have a few regulars and, a lot of the time, a sub who has never been to our school will leave within the 1st hour. (If they make it through the first hour, they’ll stay all day.)
The morning sub was a retired teacher. She dressed professionally and greeted the students at the door. She gave them their work and walked around the room getting them started. (She did sit down after they were working.) The afternoon teacher came in and immediately sat down behind the desk. She was wearing army green cargo pants that had several bleach stains on them and her hair was a mess. (My thoughts… the students are going to eat her alive!)
I went over to meet her. I told her where the student work had been left, made sure she had pencils, and told her she will have more success with our students if she walks around when they first start their assignments. Her response was, “I’ve done this before”. Uh-Oh!!!
The morning sub was GREAT! The afternoon sub was at my door less than 5 minutes after the bell rang. She was negative with the students and said some mean things to them.
After spending the majority of my class period in the room across the hall, it was clear to me that I didn’t have enough time left for my less. I asked the students why they were so good in my classroom but acted so crazy when a sub came in or they were in Mrs. X’s classroom. Here’s what they told me…
- You act like our mother. (#1 answer)
- You tell us what you want and it NEVER changes.
- You make us do work.
- You give us checks. (See my check sheet post.)
- You don’t act weak. (What does that mean? According to the students it means: “You don’t cry” and “You won’t leave the room”.)
- We know you will call our moms, our preachers, our dads, ect.
- You give us second chances.
I’ve seen other teachers who do the same thing but the students still run over them… I have been told I have a “look”. I am POSITIVE I got this look from my mom! If you feel like your students are trying to take over the classroom, stay calm – it is your classroom – and SHOW NO WEAKNESS!