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THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE
– Friday, March 17, 2017
Page 4
(978) 531-5311
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March
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- Honey Train
24
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- Lucky 13
25
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- Eric Grant
31
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- Fighting Friday
April
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7
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14
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21
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22
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28
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29
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times it’s draining, or when
you have a lot of sick kids and
they’re dropping like flies in
your classroom. But as far as
anything else that other peo-
ple might find challenging – I
can walk into the building and
I’m told, ‘You are going to do
this today.’ I’ve got 15 minutes
to formulate a teacher’s plan. I
was an art major, so it’s some-
thing I can do in that class.
Anyway, I like the challenge
of preparing a plan for a par-
ticular day.
Q:
As a sub, do you have the
issues like social media or the
cellphones? Or is that more in
the upper grades?
A:
We don’t allow children
to have cellphones. Some of
the fifth graders have them in
their backpacks to call parents
at the end of the day, but they
must stay in the backpack.
Or it gets taken away and the
parent has to get it back from
the principal if it’s out. Some
parents request you to be
friends. But I learned a long
time ago that it’s not a good
thing to do, so I don’t have to
bother with that. But when I
was at the High School vis-
iting my daughter, the kids
were like this, walking around
the school, talking on the cell-
phone. I was shocked.
Q:
What are your hopes and
expectations – coming from
your recent comments to the
School Committee?
A:
It would be nice if they
gave us a raise and they gave
the building substitutes a little
more because we do a lot of
other stuff. When the colleg-
es get out, they hire a lot of
the college kids who are think-
ing about going into teaching.
So, they come along in May
and they work for a couple of
weeks and they get the same
pay as I do, when I have to do
CPI [Crisis Prevention Insti-
tute] training – for physical re-
straint and students who are
out of control – and I have to
do that and all of these other
things and I have to get fin-
gerprinted. To get paid the
same, you know, that’s real-
ly not right.
Q:
So, as a substitute teach-
er, you don’t get any benefits?
A:
Nothing. You don’t get
anything – no sick days, no
holidays, no vacation.
Q:
What’s been your most
challenging day as a sub in
Saugus?
A:
Wow, it’s been a long
time… I’ve been bit. I’ve been
kicked. I’ve been shoved. I’ve
had days where three kids in
the classroom threw up and I
got thrown up on. Those are
not fun days. I’ve been called
all sorts of names, too.
Q:
And you’ve had to call the
principal into the classroom for
those days?
A:
Yes.
Q:
There’s been some tough
days. But nothing really sticks
out that causedme to say, ‘I’m
quitting this job.’ There’s defi-
nitely days when you go home
exhausted and say to yourself,
‘Why do I do this?’ Especially
when we’re making 50 bucks
a day. Yeah, you ask your-
self, ‘Why am I doing this for
50 bucks?’
Q:
But you’ve been doing
this since 1999. Aren’t there a
lot more laws that come into
play that make it amuchmore
difficult job?
A:
There have been a lot
of changes like MCAS, and
this and that. And actually, the
CPI training has changed a
lot, too. You’re really not even
supposed to restrain a child.
Even if a kid picks up a chair
and throws it at you, you’re
just supposed to stand there.
You’re not supposed to stop
them, which I don’t agree with,
because what if he’s throwing
it at another kid? If that was
my kid he was throwing it at,
I’d be upset. And adults are
not supposed to do anything?
That’s not protecting the oth-
er children. And the needs of
the many outweigh the needs
of the one.
Q:
So you really got a lot
of responsibility, like with the
EpiPen.
A:
Yes. You just pray that
nobody eats the peanuts or
whatever they’re allergic to.
Yes, there’s a lot about food
allergies, and a few times,
you have to worry about bee
stings. So, you take them out
to recess. I’ve never had to
use one, thank goodness. A
girl broke her arm once, but
that was not a challenging day
for me.
Q:
So, what do you think that
substitutes should be making
an hour inSaugus if the school
system really values them?
A:
The same as a para
[paraprofessional]. I mean, if
you are going to be the build-
ing sub or the permanent sub
that fills in all of those things,
you should get paid for that
work. I’ve had to do lesson
plans. I’ve had to do parent
conferences and a lot of oth-
er stuff, so why shouldn’t I get
paid to do lesson plans? Why
shouldn’t I get paid to go talk
to the parents or have the par-
ents come talk tome? I’ve had
to do everything that a teach-
er would do during materni-
ty leave, illnesses and what
not, so why should I make
less than $10 an hour when
I am doing all of that work?
A substitute should get paid
what a para [paraprofession-
al] gets paid. I even talked to
a union representative at one
point and asked whether we
should join some kind of union.
I don’t know if it’s feasible or
can be done. I’m think about
the earned sick time act. Why
can’t we have that?Because a
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