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Subbing for teacher who is burned out


Junior Member
I finished my five subbing days where I had problems with the teachers who allows the kids to cheat. Not only that but he gives them full credit on worksheets for answers they made up. I think that he is just burned out on teaching and doesn't know how to handle the students. You will even hear other teachers talking about it and I think they get tired of it because since he allows them to cheat they will cheat in other classrooms when they are doing work for him. Then they get in trouble and the other teachers are angry but he allows them to cheat. Truthfully I am glad that I finished subbing for him for now.

I tried to stop the cheating everyday but one of the students who I know would tell the truth said that he thinks it is okay to cheat as long as they get it finished. It is really hard to sub for a teacher that has that kind of attitude. It is so much easier to go into a classroom where the teacher has certain expectations and the students know that they can't get away with things. Well I am glad I am done subbing for him for now because it is really hard to see that kind of thing go on.


Senior Member
times are different

I very seldom see what I would call a real test. I see many "open book" tests and I see tests where the "students" are allowed to work in groups and use notes.
I see math tests where they are allowed to use calculators and those multiplication table sheets.
This is just setting these kids up for failure. I used to wonder what they would do when they got to college, those that are going to college, but an older teacher who has returned to college for something told me I wouldn't recognize college today, either.
I blame the parents, and I only blame the parents. Ok, and lawyers.
In my state they are now appropriating money for teachers to go to more seminars in order to learn how to more effectively teach math and science . What a bunch of nonsense and waste of taxpayer's money. I can count on one hand the teachers who I thought weren't dedicated. In fact the dedication of teachers, in the face of what they have to put up with, amazes me. All they have to do is somehow forbid certain individuals from breeding. Yeh, I said it! I know that is harsh and not going to happen. How about they do it like they do it in most European countries. I think it works something like after eighth grade they decide who goes to college and who goes to trade school.
In any event something has to be done and throwing more money at the problem is not it.
(Rant mode : off)


Junior Member
Do you think it would help to file a complaint with the school board and site every incidence you can remember about the problem? The board can't do anything unless they know. From the sounds of it, the principal isn't doing anything about it and it may need to go above him/her. Maybe you could call and say you are concerned about an issue in a particular teacher's class that has gone unresolved. Even mention that other teachers are aware have confided in you the same complaint (but don't give names) against this teacher and how it has affected their classes. Ask who to report it to at the school board and then ask them to investigate the situation. It could be a waste of breath but it may get it resolved. It's so sad that this teacher doesn't care and is not held responsible. Poor kids!


Senior Member
I am going to give you the same advice my mother gave me when I was upset about how a classroom was run. (She is a 36 year teacher and has had minimal trouble with parents/colleagues.)

She told me to make a note (mentally) of what I didn't agree with and then change it when I got my own classroom.

You are not going to change this teacher. You did everything within your power to stop the behavior. Your responsibility is finished.

As far as the suggestion to report the cheating, I wouldn't do it (just my opinion here). It's not worth getting a "reputation" within the system. Is it wrong to allow kids to cheat. Heck yes! Will a complaint solve the problem? Maybe, depends on your districts' policies and if they have "tenure". Personally, it's just not worth it.

Just remember that unfortunately, schools are a very political place. I will do things MY way in my own classroom, until then, I do my very best to impress the people I work with/for and let them know how much I want to be part of the district.

If you aren't looking for a permanent position, then it may be a different situation.


Full Member
SOLs (Standards of Learning)

This could be why so many states are going to statewide standard testing. For example, in Virginia, the students have to pass standard tests in Math, English, Science, and history before they are allowed to get a high school diploma. The tests are not easy for those who have not studied. The tests are based off of the state's standard of learning objectives.

In West Virginia, the Westtest is based off the state's Content Standard Objectives, and schools are being held accountable for students who do not do well in them. In some cases, there are alternative assessements for those in special, special education.

Sooner or later, it is going to be tough for those who cheat and are not learning important facts. Yes, Augustus is correct in saying that some colleges are also watered down academically. Let's face it, there is a reason why the two year colleges exist. It is to get kids and adults ready for the four year colleges, because they didn't prepare themselves academically for further eduction. It will catch up with them in the end, unfortunately.

I agree with the others, I don't think I'd say anything as a sub. You might want to catch the ear of one of the parents of the students that may listen, and suggest they say something at a board of education meeting after going through the chain of command. Teacher, principal, superintendent. I know a lot of teachers around here are ready to retire. They are just waiting their time. But I've got to say, very few I've encountered are coasting.



New Member
Having taught for a few years, subbed for four years, now back in the classroom, I can tell you that school is so different than when I first started teaching 30 years ago. And the name of the game is "accomodations". I am not saying that what that teacher was doing is right, but I have to tell all of you that that is what MANY parents want...school to be dumbed down so they can say Susie and Johnny are getting A's. I can't figure out how they want me to teach. The standardized tests say one thing, the administration (and especially special ed) say another thing. I am supposed to supply students who screw off with the notes, the outlines, rewrite the tests so they just ask to "color the duck yellow", and I am to assure the parents that their child is just performing brilliantly along with the kids who are truly working. If not, I can be sued. These kids are in middle school, I would think that time is running out for them.


Senior Member
Barb, Exactly

some of the people who post on here have no idea what role the lawyers (and the parents who hire them) are playing in the schools today.
Trace, you are my friend (ok, kinda) and as one friend to another I am telling you, don't say anything to anyone. Close your mouth, do your job and walk out of the building at the end of the day. "You're just a sub".

I know of students who have been expelled for fighting and threatening teachers. Guess what, they hire a lawyer and they are readmitted to school.
I know of one young teacher who graduated with honors and when she gives one of her students a "B" the parent comes charging into the school threatening to bring his lawyer, "You are keeping my boy out of Stanford". This highly qualified and dedicated young teacher quit teaching and went back to her family's farm.
If the American public doesn't wake up and take back their schools from spineless and nepotistic administrators, lawyers, lazy slug kids and parents without a clue; then I predict nothing less than the Decline of Western Civilization.
No Child Left Behind. Just a Generation.


Junior Member
Thank you

I really apprecitate all of the replies and suggestions. I didnt really plan on doing anything as far as reporting. It is a small town and I know some people in the town and would create a lot of problems. I feel like I have done all I can do which is really sad because I wish that students would stride to do their best and not resort to cheating. I know what you mean as far as parents backing their kids because I read an article in the Reader's Digest where students were downloading tests of the Internet and using technical resources to cheat (in college and high school I think) and a teacher tried to do something about it and I think they lost their job and other problems were created for them. The parents basically thought it was okay as long as the kids did well in school. That is hard to believe because where I went to school(different then where I sub) students were uneligible for sports if the cheated and they had the whole schools backing and they weren't threatened by parents and that is they way it still is today. I feel blessed to have atteneded such a great school. Thank you for all the great comments.


On Tracecares message--just to add to others

How can it be a relief and a bummer at the same time; reading these reponses to "tracecares"? It is a relief not to feel so alone in what I have perceived to be the demise of learning in public schools. I can't comment on private schools since I haven't any experience there. It is a tragedy in process out there. Just last week, subbing in Middle School, I had a conversation over lunch with three teachers re: comparisons to when I taught full time many years ago,to what I see happening in schools now. It is appalling to see the behavior, language, attitudes, and level of learning in schools today. Truly, the education of most students is just not taking place. These teachers' responses to my comments reflected a weary acceptance of the situation; in agreement with how bad it was, but no sense of power to change things. When I commented how much tougher it is to sub today, they just said they are not treated any better --by the students or the administration. I don't know who cares enough at any level of the administration--appears everyone is just trying to survive and hang on to their jobs!!