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PandaPrincess

A complete failure

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PandaPrincess

So, I just got hired to work as a substitute teacher, and I couldn't put my phone into the system until today because the board meeting was last night. I slept until 7 something in the morning, and a principal called me for a job even though I didn't have my name in the system yet. I told her I didn't think I could make it in time because I just got up, and she said someone could cover the class until I got there, and I basically panicked because I wasn't mentally prepared to teach a class. I would have been prepared if I had gotten the call yesterday. And also, I was afraid I would take too long getting ready, and if I got there, she would yell at me. The call was completely unexpected, and I panicked, and I kept saying, I just got up, I don't know if I can do it. I said that like three times. Then she said, well I see you don't want to work. I will remember this. And then she hung up. I've been sobbing for the past three or four hours now thinking about what a failure I am, and how she'll probably go and tell the other principals not to call me.  I just couldn't calm down. I finally was able to calm down enough to call the system so I could put my name in. I just hope I don't have another episode again.  I couldnt tell that principal what was really going on because those people just don't understand.

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Sanctuary

Sorry to hear about this PandaPrincess. For anyone with AS being asked to do something at short notice can be very difficult and we benefit from having more time to prepare. I did some teaching like this some years ago and told the agency that I would ring about possible work the day before. Some supply or substitutes are happy to take or make a call first thing in the morning and take work at short notice but that is much harder for someone on the spectrum. Another option is to look for positions which want someone for a few weeks or months but there are fewer of these. I think the best strategy is to tell people you prefer to be contacted the day before starting work so you can be more prepared which is a quite reasonable thing to do. You can then do a better job when you arrive and that will make it more likely you get further work. I wouldn't worry about the principal possible telling other principals - she's probably too busy doing other things and I'm sure other principals will be aware that circumstances can change and you can still do a good job for them.

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Peridot
3 hours ago, PandaPrincess said:

Then she said, well I see you don't want to work. I will remember this. And then she hung up.

That sounds bad. She's obviously gotten the impression that you are unmotivated and it's going to be hard to get that idea out of her head unless you go and talk to her about the real reason(s) you responded the way you did on the phone.

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PandaPrincess

An update:  Well it turns out that that principal shouldn't have called me in the first place because she's not supposed to do that because that prevents other people from getting jobs.  They are supposed to use the automated calling system.  My sister said this, and she said that that principal's an idiot anyway.  She knows this because she is also a teacher, and she works at that school.  So I feel a little bit better about it, but I'm still completely drained over the incident, and I'm afraid that I'm going to freak out if something unexpected happens while I am at school.  

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RiRi

@PandaPrincess Had you talked to the principal in person prior to this incident? Because, personally, I think that the reason why she called you instead of going through the list first, is because maybe she liked you from when she saw you in person (I'm only inferring this). Or maybe she liked your resume/cover letter (if she didn't see you in person). But whatever the reason was, she went out of her way to call you. Maybe she liked you.. She might have thought of doing you the favor of calling you first. Maybe it can take a while for subs to get jobs. So I would have seen this as you being appealing in some way and as such she called you, it was an opportunity (in her eyes). Seeing that you weren't willing to go (looking at it from her perspective), she probably thought this girl's ungrateful or something along those lines so that's why she used the "looks like you don't want to work" card. Just try and be ready the next time they call. Maybe prepare the outfit you're going to take or have everything ready because I'm afraid that you will receive an "unexpected" call the next time. I quote unexpected because although you would anticipate that they're going to call, you don't know when. I think that you just have to do it next time around. If you are capable of this going out etc., just force yourself to pull through even if you don't feel ready. These people can't expect you to know everything, you're new after all. :) Good luck, nevertheless. 

Also, don't be so hard on yourself. This sort of thing happens, especially to aspies. Be self-compassioante. You're not a complete failure for just this one mistake. It's understandable that you panicked. Just try to do it next time. :) As has been mentioned, I don't think she will have the time to call other principals, but if you do end up being a sub at her school, treat her politely. Even if she said this that to you/you think she's dumb.

I'm glad you're feeling better. :) 

Edited by Live&LetLive
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collectingrocks

Good advice by Live&LetLive. Don't be hard on yourself however - if you are actively looking for work, then you have to be seen to be available. Learn from this experience and be better prepared next time. 

If you are going to be a substitute teacher, is this in all subjects or a specific subject? Are you ready to have lessons prepared at short notice in case you get another unexpected phone call?

 

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Nesf

Having been a teacher myself, it seems unreasonable to expect a teacher to take a class at very short notice - teachers need to prepare their lessons and need time to do so - though if a teacher calls in sick, a substitute may be needed at short notice. But the fact that they didn't use the automated calling system means that it was their mistake and not theirs - especially if you weren't expecting the call, not yet being in the system. Possibly the principal got frustrated and snapped at you, but you shouldn't feel bad about this because she was in the wrong and it clearly wasn't your fault.

I can relate to the issue, because when I was a teacher, I got VERY upset at last minute or short notice changes.

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PandaPrincess

I feel better now.  I got a job to work at a middle school today, and it went well, and I have another job at an elementary school for music class lined up for tomorrow.  

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.......
On 7 March 2017 at 8:03 PM, PandaPrincess said:

An update:  Well it turns out that that principal shouldn't have called me in the first place because she's not supposed to do that because that prevents other people from getting jobs.  They are supposed to use the automated calling system.  My sister said this, and she said that that principal's an idiot anyway.  She knows this because she is also a teacher, and she works at that school.  So I feel a little bit better about it, but I'm still completely drained over the incident, and I'm afraid that I'm going to freak out if something unexpected happens while I am at school.  

Expect the unexpected.. Not sure If you have done any teaching as of yet? I have been teaching since 1995 and I always expect the unexpected. That way - you can deal with whatever it is. 

One time I was working overseas in a residential setting and the senior teacher came knocking at 2:30 in the morning while we were asleep. I thought I was gonna explode at first, by tearing his head off. But then I remembered the mantra and i was ok. We had to unload a late delivery of canoeing gear in the middle of night. It was Tough on me but I did it anyway and felt relieved - not proud. 

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8 hours ago, PandaPrincess said:

I feel better now.  I got a job to work at a middle school today, and it went well, and I have another job at an elementary school for music class lined up for tomorrow.  

Awesome!! Good for you.. You can come teach at my swim school anytime! As an assistant.... :)

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