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Old 06-30-2011, 07:07 PM
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Default Substitute Trouble

Okay everyone, I need your opinions. My question is: Is it me or the sub based on this post? What can I do?

I'm an assistant at a family home daycare. We have 10-12 kids, sometimes more during the school year. It's just me and the owner working all day (One of us leaves in the afternoon after kids go to sleep, but other than that, there's usually two of us). When the owner needs off she has a sub come in to help. Or if I'm off for some reason, she comes in to help the owner. Now here's the problem. I feel like the sub doesn't help. She'll sit around and talk to individual kids, while all the others are all over the place. So while I'm in the kitchen trying to fix lunch, for example, she'll be in the other room supposedly watching the kids (which is usually what I do while the owner fixes lunch). The whole time the kids are running wild, creating a huge mess, and breaking just about every rule I've set in place (like no one is allowed to stand or sit on the tables, an obvious rule, right?) But the sub pays no attention and is too busy being their buddy or best friend it seems.

So while she sits around and doesn't move, I'm running around trying to get lunch, watch the kids...you can imagine the routine with that many kids. BUT, here's the biggest problem for me, when the owner is here, this lady is on top of things, being best buddies with the kids, cleaning, taking them potty, moving around keeping busy, etc etc etc. Just the best helper ever. As soon as the owner leaves, well it's the mess I just told you about. the kids all LOVE the sub to pieces, ask when she'll be back, always laughing and having a ball with her, gets really excited when they hear she's coming, etc. I think it's because she acts like the perfect best friend, gives them all kinds of attention (that I can't give because I'm so busy trying to do everything she isn't, plus my own responsibilities!), she winds them up and gets them hyper, all that. She never gets after them, doesn't make them do anything they don't want to ("oh, you don't want to go outside? Ok, we'll stay inside". She lets them create a HUGE mess and never asks them to clean up, and even if she does "suggest" it to them, she doesn't enforce it).

So I have to be the bad guy the WHOLE time she's there. "No, johnny, we DO have to go outside." (it's actually in the state laws that we have to play outside daily, except in bad weather, and we've TOLD her this). "It IS time to clean up. No johnny, you can't get more toys out right now, it's time to clean up the ones you were already playing with." So anyway, when the owner is there with her (which hardly EVER happens since I don't have to take time off very often at all), the sub is really good, according to the owner. Just takes charge and gets everything done that needs done. Really good with the kids, the kids all just love her so much, on and on. Just sings her praises. So why isn't she this good when it's me and her? Why doesn't she get up and do anything when she's supposed to be helping ME? I've tried talking to the owner about it because it's at the point where I have a less stressful day if I just take on all the kids alone without her help (as long as it's within ratio).

I've let the owner know my concerns, how stressed I am when she's here because I'm trying to do everything while she winds the kids up, but she just doesn't see it. She's the type of person, I guess, who if she doesn't actually see it herself, she doesn't believe it happens. She doesn't come right out and tell me she doesn't believe me, but I can tell she doesn't, since all she does is tell me how good she is. And she gets this look on her face like she's not very happy with me when I don't get so excited that the sub will be coming to help me on x day. It's like she thinks I should get as excited as the kids. And then the other day, she said, "I wish you got along better with her." It's not that I don't get along with her. She's a really sweet lady, really friendly, etc. Outside of daycare, I'd probably love her, but as a helper, it just doesn't work. She gets overwhelmed if she's left with three or four 2 yr olds for a few minutes so I can get some preschool done with the older ones. The 2 yr olds are just having free play so it's not like she has to do much more than sit and watch. That's all she does anyway, so what difference is it if I'm right there, or in the next room (no door to seperate the rooms btw, so when she needs something she interrupts preschool or circle time or whatever to ask, or if she has to use the bathroom she interrupts so I can watch her group while she goes and then takes forever before coming back in).

So do you all think I need to get over it and accept it since the owner likes her and continue just tring to do everything on my own when the owner can't work, or what? Talking to the owner doesn't get me anywhere. Reminding the kids, in front of the sub, what the rules are (so the sub can hear), doesn't get anywhere. Coming right out and asking the sub to do something doesn't work either (For example, one time I asked her if she could have the kids clean up while I got the plates fixed, she looked mad, but told them to clean up, and then asked me, "is that good enough?" in this tone like she was mad about having to do it. I seriously don't have time to ask the sub everytime something needs done, and besides, If she can see what needs done when the owner is there, why can't she when I'm there?
Sorry so long. Advice please

Last edited by SilverSabre25; 06-30-2011 at 09:30 PM. Reason: Just splitting this into paragraphs for easier reading :)
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