Strange instructions teachers give substitutes

Every once in a while, I will get unusual instructions by teachers when subbing their class. Generally, I go along with it, figuring they know better than I do, and since my livelihood depends on getting called in consistently I always try to make a good impression to teachers by following their lesson plans as closely as possible.

But sometimes I get instructions that just seem plain counter-productive. For example, one class I was subbing for I had instructions to play a movie while having students work on an assignment. The students were expected to do both. However early on I realized that this wasn’t a really good combination- if he wanted them to get work done, he wouldn’t have the distraction of a movie. And if the work was just a time-waster, why even assign it? The kids that wanted to get work done were annoyed/distracted by the movie, and the kids that didn’t care for the work had an easy excuse to getting out of it (watching the movie).

Anybody else get rather :confused: type instructions when told to substitute/something similar?

Weird, usually if we had a movie that had an assignment tied to it, there were questions which we read before the movie started, so we could get the answers as they came up. Having an assignment that had nothing to do with the movie, very counterproductive.

I had a difficult time last fall with the elementary math curriculum/method.

When I was in school, it was just lecture - examples - questions - homework. It was boring and difficult and we liked it that way, dagnabbit.

Now it’s all interactive with little activities and participation and stuff. It took me a good little while to get used to it.

It was a very bad class. The point of the movie was to stupify the worst kids so that they didn’t make you miserable: the point of the assignment was so the day wasn’t a complte waste for hte kids that wanted to learn.

I’d love to get a sub that even attempted to complete the assignments I leave. It’s gotten to the point where I train the students, instead. They know that if I am out, my lesson plans are taped to my (otherwise totally cleaned off) desk, and that if they sub doesn’t tell them what to do, they better get up and go see, because they are still responsible for getting it done.

They love me and want to please me, so this works. If they didn’t, I’d never get away with it.

That’s probably it. And for the record, I try very hard to follow the instructions as carefully as possible, because if the teacher is out in the future, I want them to call me! :slight_smile: Sometimes teachers will assign an activity that kind of makes me scratch my head, but I always defer to their instructions because, hey, they’ve been at it a lot longer than I have, and no matter who is sitting behind the desk, I still feel it is their classroom.

I actually like it when teachers leave lots of stuff to do. Putting on a video may be easy money, but it is also boring and not helpful for me to gain experience as an aspiring teacher. Giving me a lot of stuff to do makes things hectic and stressful (I don’t know where anything is! omg! :eek: but it also helps me be more efficient and calm in chaotic situations.

Many subs cannot or will not teach, and for what they get paid, I can’t always blame them. However, I rarely leave actual lessons for subs to teach. Instead, I try to give tests or quizzes on those days, or leave a movie (rarely, as kids often misbehave during films, esp. if they’re “boring” like the Shakespeare biography I left for tomorrow, with a related worksheet that will be graded).

I always leave a lot to be done. More often than not, a writing assignment. The kids know the routine.

I don’t leave anything to “teach.” This isn’t a slight on them at all. Most subs are wonderful. I just figured I was doing them a favor.

As for odd instructions…

I try not to. I’ll tend to predict exactly what my behavior problem kids will do and say, then leave the appropriate response, lol. Those probably sound strange.

I never, ever mind when a sub deviates from what I’ve written, as long as no one is injured :slight_smile:

I also prep the kids, too. I usually know when I’m going to be out, and they get the lecture about being good, and also that sometimes subs make decisions that they aren’t used to, and just go with the flow.