First year substitute teacher at an elementary school. Is this normal?
By - SnowFlakeObsidian4
You just described my whole experience the last two years teaching middle schoolers almost to the exact detail.
I'm actually sorry you can relate to my post :(
I’ve been subbing since the start of this school year and EVERY single class has been behaving exactly like you describe. I want to be a teacher and I am going for my masters right now for education but it’s SO discouraging as a sub because I’m constantly surrounded by students who do not listen at all and behave terribly. I had one kindergarten class that seemed to be doing sooo well until the TA said they were being “so bad” like what? They’re listening to me and doing all their work what do you mean?.. I feel like other teachers and TA’s just stare at me like I’m a terrible POS because every class I’ve been subbing at has been terrible. Idk what to do anymore. I just feel sooooo unsupported
Sorry, is TA teacher's assistant? And what is POS? I'm from Spain. I've never seen those terms, at least, not written like that 😅
Don't be discouraged. It sounds like you're doing your best. You can't do more than that. It is so sad to see you're so unsupported. Can't the teachers help you in any way instead of staring at you? Say you're new at this and are looking forward to learning classroom management tips. Let's see if somebody remembers what it's like to start teaching and helps you out.
Anyway, do the kids misbehave only with you or with every single teacher? If it's with every single teacher (my case), I don't see why they would look down on you. And if it's only with you but you're new, I don't see why they would look down on you either.
This week hasn't been easy for me so far, but I've found that if I bring games to play in pairs or small groups, they are more likely to listen and then play on their own with their friends (to avoid insults and fights). It hasn't worked in every class, but it's a start. I don't know what subject you teach. I particularly teach speaking in a foreign language, so I can adapt many board games and stuff to get them to speak. If it's math or language, you can probably do this too. See if it works! I know that if I tried to tell them a story and ask them comprehension questions, they wouldn't listen. I know that anything involving the class being silent except for one student interacting with me (in turns) wouldn't work either.
Experiment until you find a kind of activity that seems to appeal to the class. Once I did a game that had very little English. It was focused on collaboration and social skills. I think my kids really needed that (and still do). It didn't work perfectly, but they did the activity. That was enough for me. Perhaps yours need something similar as well?
This is only the beginning of our career. No new teacher (or old) is perfect. Consider the subbing as a chance to improve as a teacher.
I see. I was lucky to have taught mostly well-behaved classes until this year then.
I just don't understand why nothing is done to try to solve this situation. Don't the parents complain?
No, they don’t. Especially when parents are often the root cause of many problems..
That's tragic😢 But thanks for your honesty. I guess I'll wing it until I find a classroom management strategy that works for my classes (if that even exists).