da-boot!
monday, march 27, 2006



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i get that some people are just . . . well, brilliant in their acts of stupidity, but every now and then one of them just floors me.

like, of course, today.

today, for the first time, i watched a sub get da-boot. i doubt she'll be asked to work at this particular school again, and i wouldn't be surprised if some of the shenanigans went into her permanent file. which is not to say she won't ever work in the county again, she wasn't quite that stupid, and i won't say it took the cake in idiocy, but it sure stunned me and the admin involved.

first, a little on the "rules" of subbing. first, don't stick your nose into another teacher's class management unless asked, not even a sub's class management, even if you don't agree with how they're taking care of it. everyone manages classes differently (and the funny thing is, it seems men have the louder, more out of control classes more often than women, go figure). different does not equal wrong unless the teacher steps over the line. secondly, once a teacher/sub is in the classroom, that class is his or hers until she leaves. this is something that kids have a hard time grasping. there's a few more you learn along the way, but those are the two major ones subs need to deal with/know. then there's the usual: scream for help when needed, be respectful to the other teachers and administrators, and so on -- the common sense stuff.

or so i thought.

i will admit, i didn't particularly like how this sub was managing her class (we had the misfortune of sharing a room, with our kids alternating periods), and i had to not only leave the room several times (partly because she kept needing to turn off the light which put me in a dark corner of the room), but also needed to bite my tongue more than once to let her do things her way. didn't seem an effective way to me, but it was her way.

her way: treat 8th graders like they were in kindergarten. talk down to them, wait until they were "ready" (i.e. no longer talking) to start the work (yea, like they want to do that the week before spring break, puh-leease!), waste 20 minutes talking about herself and things they didn't need to know and lecturing them on their behavior and how they can pull themselves up to her level, and pause every time the noise got too loud and use the "waiting" routine again. the kids don't need to know all that much about her, just to behave or there will be consequences. they don't need lectures on their behavior and, in fact, don't tend to respond well to that kind of thing.

and this group followed form: they talked anyway in that passive defiance kids can do. she made several requests that contradicted each other then acted as if the kids were being deliberately disobedient, and then had this tendency to try to get responses from them in such a way that them being rather snotty/disrespectful almost made sense. and they were disrespectful, though not in that scary, aggressive way early teens are playing with; and they generally kept to the passive-agressive stuff of saying yes to her face and doing what they wanted anyway.

so, some adults thinks this works with kids. no big deal, right? no big deal, at least, until you try it with an administrator.

yep, you read that right. she talked down to an administrator. said administrator then came to me and asked what was going on in the classroom -- and had another sub with her to replace the woman who overstepped herself more than a little there. she had me write an unsigned statement of what i saw in the classroom, left with the new sub in tow, and, a few minutes later, the old sub came in, picked up her things, and left.

just . . . wow.

course, i then had the audacity to turn it into a "hire me" plug. and said administrator noted she would get my name to the principle and recommend me. now, i don't know if she'll actually do that, but if i managed to give myself some positive p.r., i'll take it.

but, i have to wonder, what on earth made this woman think she could talk down to an administrator. she must have thought she could get away with it, but why is beyond me.

and, obviously, she was wrong.


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