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Did you know this about substitute teachers?

My son's teacher has been out of school sick on and off for the past two weeks. Two of his three absences were handled by a terrible, mean women named Mrs. Short who screamed at my son for WHISPERING at school. Seriously! Whispering!

I send an e-mail to the teacher demanding that he never use this terrible woman again. This was his response (I copyed and pasted)

"There is a computer system to assigns substitute teachers. I unfortunately cannot ban this teacher from my classroom. However, the office staff has more power in this situation than I do. It would be wise to contact them."


What do you think about this?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:21 PM on Oct. 27, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (11)
  • They can request a specific sub but like he said they can't "ban" one. I think you should just get over it though. It's temporary, a lot of subs are "meaner" then the regular teachers because they are used to being walked all over by their students, they do what they feel they need to to establish order. I had plenty of "overly mean" subs, in the long run it didn't affect me or my education.

    Answer by Blueliner at 10:33 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • A teacher can arrange for certain sub but most are done by computer. If you have a complaint about the sub, contact the principal and whoever is in charge of sub teachers (HR would be a good place to start). Seeing, it is a temporary situation, teach your child how to deal with the rude teachers, he will encounter many rude and horrible teachers in his education.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:12 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • What these gals said - - teachers only have so much control over who they get as subs. I used to have a couple of favorites that I used when I had to be gone, but if they weren't available, I put it through the computer system and then you lose all control.

    Answer by TiffanyMarie80 at 11:41 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • It probably differs from place to place, but I know here that the teacher will call into a central sub booking clerk (a real person though, not a computer) and that person will call a sub for the teacher. The teacher can request a certain sub, but that sub may not be available, so you can end up with whoever is available. I do know here that you can request to not have a certain sub. We have the same system for EA's as well (which is really nice, it was horrible trying to find a sub when you're sick and you have to call 6 or more different people - and you may still not be able to get anyone to sub for you).

    Answer by canadianmom1974 at 12:03 AM on Oct. 28, 2009

  • I always assumed the principal did that. They make the list of which subs they use (ours is a Catholic school so the list is pretty short and they usually use the extra teachers in the school and computer teacher, librarian, etc, before going to an outside teacher) and then they call the first person on the list, etc.
    All the times my kids have had subs it's been another teacher from the school (usually the music teacher or the computer teacher...the only 2 guy teachers and the kids love them, lol).

    Answer by justanotherjen at 8:12 AM on Oct. 28, 2009

  • I substitute teach. Yes, it's done by computer but teachers CAN request certain subs for their classroom (I have several teachers that set this up with me), and for the schools here they have a "preferred sub list" that they keep in the office. These are the subs that they want called first when they need a sub. You should call the office and let them know your experience and request that she not sub at the school again. They may not be able to prevent it, but hopefully she at least will not remain on a preferred list.

    Answer by missanc at 8:43 AM on Oct. 28, 2009

  • All things aside, you feel it was okay for your son to be talking/whispering during class?

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:57 AM on Oct. 28, 2009

  • I was outraged last year when my town saved money by letting the para be the sub- leaving her with 25 5 y/os. We pulled out boys out after my son was beaten up several times and hit with a chair- he still is upset by it. All because they didn't want to spend money on good people. I mean come on it's kindergarten.

    Answer by JoyfulBirth at 3:45 PM on Oct. 28, 2009

  • I was a substitute teacher for awhile for a three different school systems. Two used a computer system and one used a person to do the calling and scheduling. When teachers know in advance that they are going to be gone, they will usually make arrangements with a sub they know is good and they can enter that into the computer system or call the sub scheduler and let them know.

    When a teacher is sick and they need to be out on short notice, they can also request someone. However, most of the "good" subs have been booked in advance. In this case, the computer keeps calling until someone accepts the job. Depending on the rules in the district, a sub cannot be blocked from taking jobs unless action is taken by administration.

    Judging by the teachers tone in his email, he was probably unhappy too. However, keep in mind that the slightest hint of sterness in some adult voices can be taken as "yelling" to a kid.

    Answer by mommyjenny2009 at 7:42 PM on Oct. 28, 2009

  • Well, a substitute is usually contacted last minute..I guess they cant be picky as to whom comes to fill a position...I also feel that "yelling" is objective..what is yelling to you is not yelling to others...the teacher may not have taken your comment if its a random teacher that comes everytime, maybe you wont get her again...Just a thought. The teacher also gave you an idea where to go to get some answers(office staff)...take advantage of it...

    Answer by MaiasMommy619 at 9:03 PM on Oct. 28, 2009

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