Year: 1997-1998
Month: February
Leader: Group C

Situation/Case Study:

Due to the dramatic shortage of substitute teachers in the district, the quality, effectiveness, and availability of substitute teachers is a major problem. Often when a teacher is absent, the sub does not follow lesson plans and has no control of the classroom. When the teacher returns, she has to un-do or re-do everything that occurred while she was absent. That compounds the problem of being sick. Some teachers are coming to school when they shouldn't in order to avoid the situation. One teacher had a sub who not only did not effectively follow the plans but a student accused her of hitting her. No other students either corroborated or refuted the story.

A teacher in this situation feels overwhelmed with anger and frustration because simple lesson plans are not being followed and a day is lost causing more work for the teacher and angry because all the prep work was not used. Time was spent to prep and it was all for naught!! A teacher in this situation feels guilty/frustrated because she was sick and something possibly happened in her classroom that should not be tolerated. And because the sub didn't follow lesson plans she's let her students down, has felt a lot of time has been wasted in and out of the classroom and does not feel that she can leave the class to a sub again. A teacher in this situation feels frustrated because the issue is not directly in their hands, even though the outcome is direct

Theories behind practice:
Learning should take place everyday. District philosophy towards subbing is in question. Subs could provide another perspective for the students. Teachers need to view subs respectfully.

Impact on others:

Use students to lead teaching. In-house subbing. Pay in house subs benefits. Allow departments to solve sub problems; think outside the boundaries.

This was a topic of great concern to everyone in the group. They are really worried about the professionalism connected with this. Note: The group decided to modify the procedure this time. Rather than cite a critical incident, participants could opt to share a successful strategy or ask for more generalized information.