Get out of MY BUSINESS

Oh where to begin….

I’ve wanted to blog on this issue for so long, but didn’t know how to be tactful… well, to hell with tactful!

I’m currently on maternity leave and I return to work next week. It will be a very bittersweet moment for me, obviously. Well let’s start at the beginning. I decided to begin my school year so that my kids would know me and I too would know them. I never want to enter a teaching experience like my first. I began teaching 8th grade English right after spring break (imagine my struggle). My team leader thought that it would be a good idea to speak with my principal concerning me standing at my door to greet students as they entered. As a grade level we wanted to all do the same thing. OK that’s cool and all, but 1. I never said that I would stand at my door all morning to greet students, 2. It wasn’t mandatory! Now for all the Harry Wong teachers that just gasped and held your chest wondering “How could she not stand at her door during the first days of school???”, I stood in the middle of the 7th grade hall and did I forget to mention that I was 39 weeks pregnant? Yea, I know.

So my principal calls me down to his office to discuss my duties as a teacher. Yes, I did have attitude when I asked him, “Is that all you called me down here for?” I wanted to scream, I’m having a baby next week and you want me to stand in a *&^&$^$** door? So from that day forward I sat in my door while I called roll, participated in the pledge, and checked dress code. I decided an anal approach would be best! 🙂

I decided to go back to work the day I began my maternity leave to meet with my sub, considering I wanted my class to run as smoothly as possibly while I was gone. I had the teacher that I requested!!! I talked with him and went over everything! Gave him my number and wrote down, ran copies, and hole-punched everything I could think of for four hours! As I was walking down to my principals office to discuss my evaluations, he was on his way to my room. We sat in the library and he introduced me to my sub… (insert nails on the chalkboard here) What the hell?!?!?! So, I had to do everything all over again. She picked up on things much slower than the first guy, and I ended up being up there all day! Needless to say she has called me my entire break! Parents have emailed me about her my entire break! Students have emailed me my entire break! Guys, this woman expects me to explain lesson plans to her… Maybe I’m too high strung.

Now who’s to blame here, my principal or the board? Do they even ask for prior teaching experience before teachers hand over their classrooms? I literally have to start all over with these kids! She had the audacity to tell me that kids were not turning in work so she just gave them a 70, but if they scored a 28 on a quiz she recorded that grade!!!! Ya’ll I’m stressed. Teaching used to be one of the most respected professions, now people talk about teaching for the summer vacations! Real teachers actually don’t get a summer vacation!!! AAAAGGGHHH!!!!!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tcakes
    Oct 09, 2008 @ 15:01:28

    Ok, I may catch it for this one…. I was with you girl! With you from the principal, to the good sub, to the not so smart sub, to the 70 for doing nothing and the 28 for doing something. I was even with you on the not enough good teachers… I was with you until you started messing with my summer vacation!!! WHY would I not get a summer vacation? I think I may need to evaluate me decisions… AGAIN!

    Tcakes, when I started teaching, in the beginning I chilled during my summer vacation, then something happened… I found myself talking about my job, and how to improve TCAP scores with other educators. Because children are different, teachers are always looking for effective procedures to implement in the classroom, thus summer vacation turning into one big in-service! LOL Now that I’ve responded as a teacher, let me respond as myself, Shut up Tcakes!!!! You know you ain’t teaching for the summer break! You’re a mom, there are no breaks!!! LOL


  2. Alisha
    Oct 09, 2008 @ 23:49:31

    Girl, if you gotta explain middle school English to that chick. . . they shoulda evaluated a whole lot more than prior teaching experience. . . I’da put her a** out my school as soon as I realized she was blonde!!!

    Alisha, that’s all I’m saying. She panicked over the simple things, and all I could say was seriously? Be ye not deceived, she was a sista!


  3. Hugh ODonnell
    Oct 11, 2008 @ 03:59:00

    A “professional” substitute teacher should fit seamlessly into a program and not hang on the regular teacher. If they need assistance, they should go to folks who are in school, and not bother the person on hiatus.

    How do subs get chosen for long-term assignments? Lots of ways. Don’t kick me, but next time you’re going out on leave, ask around about reliable, “professional” subs. Maybe some of your peers have good suggestions for a request, and that will save wear and tear on your mind.

    Hugh, you are so right ! Believe it or not, I tried making suggestions. There were two teachers I would have loved to leave in control of my class, but my principal simply told me, “Don’t you worry about that, you just take care of that baby”, so that’s what I did! I think this woman bamboozled all of us!


  4. David Fordee
    Oct 12, 2008 @ 15:00:01

    it’s hard for me to even imagine. I have never missed time and had a baby during that time… so… understand I am a stupid MALE. 🙂

    But, if I was YOU, I would have had the mantra… my family comes first. If you did nothing during your break – would going back even be any harder? it doesn’t sound like it. To me, I would have said, “Do your best.” to the sub… and that’s it. I would not have checked my email. And if I did – I would not have replied to it.

    You are a better person than I!

    Going back, I would absolutely treat it as the first day. From getting to know me exercises to explaining classroom rules and expectations. I would tell the students that this is a fresh start and a new path forward. I would probably go so far as to erase the grades that haven’t been put in the book and to be very student-friendly on anything the sub corrected.

    In our district it is the teacher’s responsibility to find the long term sub. I think that is a mixed bag. First it is great that you get to pick and negociate with the person. But, it is not a teacher’s job to do such a thing! That’s why the principal is there.

    Hang in there and try not to stress. Remember, Family First.

    40, you’re right about family coming first. At first I had no problems with assisting her, but then she used me as a crutch and was taking it wayyyyy too far. I’m not able to erase grades, because of our grading system and when I go back it will be a brand new nine weeks. However, I have planned a few things that allow me to get my class back on track. One of the school districts here has a reading 180 program that implements small groups in the class room and that is what I plan to do. The students focus on grammar/literature on the computer, reading novels then write journal entries on what was read and small group time with the teacher. They spend 20 minutes at each station, then rotate after 20 minutes. There are no more than 7-8 students in each group. I hope this goes well and I expect my kids to have a lot of fun with it! Thanks for the input.


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