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mortensorchid

A few weeks ago I was substitute teaching for a 7th grade class.  They were ... Horrific to say the least.  There was a gal who was standing feet apart like a linebacker screaming at the group.  She had this pair of scissors in her hand, I wasn't sure if she was going to throw or catch them as her back was turned towards me.  I came up to her and said "Excuse me".  She didn't acknowledge me in any way.  I said louder "Excuse me" and she still didn't.   She was a 7th grader, they just want attention.  So I pulled with one finger on the hood of her hoodie gently to get her attention from this nonsense.  She was angry at me.  

When class let out, I went to the office to use the staff bathroom and to also have a chat with the 7th grade principal.  I see this same student in the office as well and she's filling out a complaint about me.  I saw my name on the form and said "Are you filing a complaint about me?" She said yes I am.  I said oh really?  Well not a problem, I will wait and talk to Mr. Jones and tell him my side of things as well.  Long story short, she is nothing but a Mean Girl - the entire class was there to witness this if she is saying that I strangled or hurt her in any way (which I didn't).  Plus they probably have cameras all over the place I don't know how about and are filming things so they can watch that footage.  I sat outside a class and cried next period, I didn't want the others to see me like that.  Another teacher assured me that this particular girl is in fact a miserable [ ] .  

Problem?  I wasn't able to stay for the entire day or to stay after school to talk with the principal about it but I left my number if he wanted to call me.  The next day I called and left a voice mail for him.  And ... No answer.  We are returning from winter break this week.  Will I have an answer?  I can't give my side of things.  Should I call when they come back for next semester?

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Wiseman2

Sorry this happened. Hope you still have a job after they investigate the situation and review the issue and this problem student. 

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mortensorchid

When school is back next week should I call the 7th grade principal on this?  Someone should at least hear my side of things.

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Wiseman2
2 hours ago, mortensorchid said:

.  I see this same student in the office as well and she's filling out a complaint about me.  I saw my name on the form and said "Are you filing a complaint about me?" She said yes I am.  I said oh really?  

I'm sure you will hear from them if a student filed a complaint. They will hear both your accounts of what happened  and possibly interview other students or witnesses in their investigation. 

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Wiseman2
24 minutes ago, mortensorchid said:

When school is back next week should I call the 7th grade principal on this?  Someone should at least hear my side of things.

You may want to consult an attorney. Maybe it will just be a disciplinary hearing, but you could have been arrested for assault.

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2 hours ago, mortensorchid said:

I saw my name on the form and said "Are you filing a complaint about me?" She said yes I am.  I said oh really?  Well not a problem, I will wait and talk to Mr. Jones and tell him my side of things as well.

Oh my goodness....this was so unprofessional on your part!   Your wording sounds like you're also a 7th grader who's about to snitch in return.  You've done yourself no favours here.    When you saw this girl in the principal's office, you should have kept walking and come back to the principal later.

Anyway, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't make an appointment to see the 7th grade principal and give your side of the story.  However, after the way you spoke to the child in the principal's office, I think you'd be better off keeping your head down.

 

 

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Alpacalia

I don't pretend to relate to the challenges being a substitute teacher must entail.

You faced a tough choice as a substitute teacher. In that moment of intense frustration, you had to decide between two paths: one rooted in your desire to help and support, and another driven by your need for the other person to make amends for their behavior. It seems you were understandably frustrated and felt pushed to act due to the student's behavior, especially with the potential danger of scissors involved so you went with the latter option.

For a substitute teacher, maintaining a non-aggressive approach is crucial. Your primary aim should always be to create a safe and conducive learning space while managing student behavior effectively. Students are going to push boundaries and act out, especially in middle school.

When it comes to the complaint, it's probably best to hold off until the principal steps in and then share your side of the story calmly and professionally. Stay open to any feedback or consequences that might follow.

Looking ahead, having a game plan for handling tough situations or tricky students could be super helpful. Team up with the regular teacher, set up a behavior system, or create a chill-out spot for kids needing a breather. That way, you can sidestep any aggressive reactions and hopefully dodge similar situations down the road.

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mortensorchid

One cannot imagine what you have to endure as a sub on some days.  The stories just keep writing themselves.  I go home and cry at times.  If I am not hearing anything from this, then I will just let it slide. 

 

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19 hours ago, mortensorchid said:

So I pulled with one finger on the hood of her hoodie gently to get her attention from this nonsense.  She was angry at me.  

I dont think you did an awful lot wrong here- You have to try and keep some law and order in the room and not let some rowdy teenager run riot,

It would be a little more delicate I imagine if it were a male teacher ,

I do some teaching work but Ive only ever worked with 18 plusses,

Yet at times one can walk a tight line between everything being fine and getting oneself in a tricky situation,

Dont lose the class - keep them onside  is always the necessity I suppose with any age group,

but Id be surprised if you got into any trouble over it- if your description of the event is accurate you deserve the support of the management.

 

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ShyViolet

I am a teacher and in the beginning of my career I did some substitute work for about a year.  I've had good and bad experiences.

But what you did was very unprofessional, you should know that touching students in any way can always get you in trouble.

Since you are just a sub, I highly doubt that the principal will be interested in hearing your side of the story.  Most likely they will simply never hire you again.

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mortensorchid

Just for the record, I did call the principal the day after the incident took place.  I left him a voicemail and he never returned the call.  

Winter break came and went, then I went back to the same school in which this happened.  I have seen that a****** student many times in passing, she gives me dirty looks and I have never a once said anything back to her other than all business matters.  I have even seen that same principal in the hallways in passing and we just smile and say hello to each other in passing.  

I guess it's one of those "it never happened" moments. 

 

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15 hours ago, mortensorchid said:

I guess it's one of those "it never happened" moments. 

I don't want to pore oil on fire but these things take more than 1 month to be processed. I have a friend during his first year teaching who did mostly substitute jobs. Once he got really annoyed by a troubled student and he simply put his hand on his shoulder and told him to calm down. That gesture turned into a full year investigation. He got a written warning and now he's been teaching for 15 years. 

I would not drop this because no one talked to me about it. I would go meet the principal and ask him what happened with the complaint. 

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mortensorchid
2 hours ago, Gaeta said:

 

I would not drop this because no one talked to me about it. I would go meet the principal and ask him what happened with the complaint. 

I went to talk with the principal today over that and a separate problem (2 or 3 boys were skipping class and apparently were hiding out in the bathroom per one of the other students, they were found).  Then I brought up the above noted instance and he said that he had addressed it and he nipped it in the bud with this gal so it's all good.  I said I didn't want him to think I was going to just avoid things, he said he didn't return the call because it was just a waste of time.  This gal has a reputation of doing this to teachers in this building.  He said he was getting ready to suspend her for something else.  

So that's the end. 

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seems a sensible outcome,

I thought some people here were making a bit of a meal out of the incident being honest, so glad that common sense prevailed.

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mortensorchid
On 2/6/2024 at 9:14 AM, Foxhall said:

 

seems a sensible outcome,

I thought some people here were making a bit of a meal out of the incident being honest, so glad that common sense prevailed.

It did not.  Guess what happened today?  I got fired from the district with a phone call.  No really.  She said they were bent out of shape about my lack of concern for the safety of the students.  I said "What does that mean?".  She said I was letting kids go out into the pod (the outside of the classrooms) and keeping the door closed so they were unsafe, plus I was on my phone too much.  I said sometimes it's business that I am on my phone.  She said I was operating on company time and that's not good, plus I was not concerned for their safety.  Safety?  From who or what?  There was no mention of this kid, but I am convinced it was over this.  I even mentioned that I talked to this principal and he said everything was fine with him.  

I am ok.  I have a feeling it was over this incident and they were not telling me the truth about it.  But that's how it rolls anymore.  Someone could not like the color shirt you are wearing or they don't like the handbag you are carrying and they will fire you over it anymore.  This same district was so anal retentive that they sited me for making personal copies at the high school.  I said I went to the librarian and asked if I could make personal copies, if that was not okay she could tell me that it was not okay and that would be fine.  She said yes.  When I returned to said same high school (after the pandemic), I saw that there were signs on every copy machine in the building saying no personal copies.  Over 6 pieces of paper?  I guess.

That's how it rolls anymore.  Moving on. 

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9 minutes ago, mortensorchid said:

  I got fired from the district with a phone call.   She said they were bent out of shape about my lack of concern for the safety of the students.  .  I have a feeling it was over this incident and they were not telling me the truth about it.  

Sorry this happened. Unfortunately it seems this student's compliant launched some sort of investigation,which they're obligated to do  which opened a can of worms when they interviewed people. Hopefully you have something else lined up. 

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mortensorchid
2 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Sorry this happened. Unfortunately it seems this student's compliant launched some sort of investigation,which they're obligated to do  which opened a can of worms when they interviewed people. Hopefully you have something else lined up. 

Yes I do.  It's what it is.  And I am fine, moving on.

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