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My son's teacher is consistantly out of class and frequently has a sub

Ive noticed this school year that my son's teacher has had a substitute several times already. School has been in session for almost 2 months and she has been out of class about 10 days. During the days when there is a sub, my sons work isnt done properly, he doesnt bring home all of the supplies he needs and usually ends up with detention. He has ADD and his teacher usually follows a plan we have set up for him to remember everything at the end of the day. Im wondering if I should bring up the fact that his teacher isnt in class at least one day per week and that is when he struggles the most. I dont want to sound like a complaining parent who wants to get her in trouble, but i think her constant absence isnt good for him or any of the kids. I know when I was in school, if we had a sub, she didnt know half the lesson and we would goof off most the day. Do you think Im being silly or would you be worried too?

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:44 AM on Nov. 1, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (9)
  • Life happens to everyone and just guessing but there may be some circumstances in the teachers life your not aware of, that may be cause absence. If it is becoming that much of a problem I would speak with someone because your child deserves the best education.. good luck.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:49 AM on Nov. 1, 2009

  • I think they know when she isn't there. It sounds like your son is going to public school. There is only so much that can be done for kids in free public schools.

    Answer by Gailll at 11:59 AM on Nov. 1, 2009

  • I would talk to the principal about this, maybe the teacher has an illness or some other reason why she has to be out. Your child sounds like he should be in a class where the teacher should really observe he and get to know him, so that they can do what's best for him. Maybe they can put him in another classroom where a teacher is rarely abcent.

    Answer by staceynoel at 12:13 PM on Nov. 1, 2009

  • Yes. I absolutely think that you need to bring this to attention. I'm not in any way saying to blame the teacher, but if the teacher and you set up plans that are meant to help your son succeed, then the teacher needs to make sure that the sub(s) know of the plan and follow it. Don't be affraid to fight for your son's education. If you don't, no one else will, and part of our job as parents is to help our children succeed.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:16 PM on Nov. 1, 2009

  • Consistency is key esp. with kids with disabilities. It's not even so much the abscences but the inconsistency. My son's teacher has also been absent a few times this year but some schools take the time to make sure that the subs know what to do, what they are working on, and the diff. things the students need. We've also been lucky that there is an intern.

    At the very least I'd speak to the teacher about making sure that the sub. plans include special behavior plans etc. and that the sub be as consistent as possible (may be the principal that does this) and/or consider movement to a classroom where the teacher has less abscences.
    Its not a condemdation of the teacher (esp if she's really good -- she could just be having issues right now -- in our case my ds's teachers mother got very ill and passed away -- I TOTALLY SUPPORT her absences BUT at the same time our children are also imp.)

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 12:25 PM on Nov. 1, 2009

  • My sons have ADHD, so I know what you mean about consistency and such. Have you talked to the teacher about it yet? I would go to the teacher and tell her that you've noticed that on the days your son says he had a sub, he's having the problems you listed. Ask her what can be done to make things a little easier on your son. Maybe she can leave a note for the sub telling him/her to please make sure that your son does x, y and z at these points in the day? See what kind of solutions you and the teacher can come up with.

    If she's not willing to work with you, then I'd go over her head to the principal. My son's teacher is out on maternity leave right now, and he's got a sub that is...well, for lack of a better word, a real hard ass, unfairly so. I tried to talk to her, she refused to even listen, so I went to the principal. One he got involved, she changed her attitude real quick.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 1:56 PM on Nov. 1, 2009

  • Please don't use the ADHD as an excuse. My son has ADHD and he is NOT allowed to use ADHD as an excuse for anything. He needs to learn how to live with the ADHD and how to deal with his issues. Your son also has to learn how to deal with different teachers, especially if his regular teacher has a medical reason for missing work. For all you know, she could be undergoing chemo and is keeping it quiet or treatment for another medical condition. Talk to the principal and school counselor and have them make sure the subs are aware of your son's ADHD and what is in his IEP/ADEP. If he doesn't have either of those, he needs one or the teachers don't have to do anything special to help him in his education.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 8:03 PM on Nov. 1, 2009

  • Thank you for all your responses! I agree that there may be something that the teacher cannot help, but its just frustrating to have a plan of care for him and when it isnt followed he struggles. It is very hard as it is to keep him just "above water". I certainly dont use his ADD as an excuse, but I have 4 kids and I see the difference in the one with ADD. He isnt using it as an excuse to be lazy or get away with stuff, but he seriously struggles through school and I want to keep him doing well consistantly so when he gets to the teenage years he doesnt just give up like so many do. And when I see that certain times the teacher isnt in class, he doesnt do as well and is more confused and isnt prepared for his homework, I get frustrated too.
    I have another meeting with her in a few days and i want to mention it, but i dont want to seem like im blaming her or being insensitive to whatever may be going on with her.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:55 PM on Nov. 1, 2009

  • i am a teacher, as far as i know most schools allow about 10 days per year absence for teachers, some roll over. go talk to her first, start with --- is everything okay?? i know you have been out a few times and would like you to put (son's name) behavior plan/iep in your sub floder so he can have the same plan and routine even when you are out, i know you cannot control what happens when you are not here, but that might help him... and if she doesnt do that i would tell the principal on her...

    Answer by AmaliaD at 9:43 AM on Nov. 2, 2009

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