On Substitute Teaching

So subbing is just another one of those jobs I thought I’d never have to do again, but wound up doing recently.

I’m poor.
And jobless.
(but I’m not throwing a pity party or anything)



Here are the thoughts I have on a typical day:

– Did that 15-year-old seriously just whistle at me?
– Good, I now have confirmation that it isn’t just adult men, but ALL males who possess the physical inability to WHISPER
– Oh really? Your teacher allows you to __________ (use your cell phone, eat, etc) in class? That’s interesting, because I have SPECIFIC notes from YOUR TEACHER saying the exact opposite. (Okay, I usually say this one out loud)
– How interesting that all 26 students in this class have to use the bathroom this hour
– Really, Jack, do you think I didn’t notice that you took FORTY-FIVE minutes to use the restroom?
–  Wow, high schoolers really aren’t shy about asking your age
– I can’t believe how much better behaved East Jordan students are than Charlevoix or Petoskey
– I may just be a sub, but I do in fact notice that you’re cheating on your quiz when your review sheet is face up right under your desk and you’re staring at it the whole time
– I’m not sure where the humor is in asking your substitute teacher, 10+ years your senior, for her phone number or out to dinner
– Are they seriously complaining about watching Thirteen Days- a hollywoodized movie about the Cuban Missile Crisis? This movie’s great! (or Mr. Smith Goes to Washington- also a great movie)

Regarding teachers:

– Oh good, the teacher left instructions for 60 minutes of free time for 35 sixth grade pre-adolescents. Thank you for making my day as difficult as possible
– Thanks for the seating chart, but since I don’t know any of the students names, and since students love to lie to subs, I really can’t enforce it
– Aw, how nice of this teacher to offer his or her personal tea or snacks to me
– Just once, couldn’t you leave lesson plans involving the SmartBoard?! I love that thing

So, there you have it. My unedited thoughts.

Despite all of the above, however, I will say that I generally enjoy working with the students and have a blast seeing my old teachers (old as in previous, not as in age). Further, I am quite happy to have work at all, so I especially appreciate when they request me as their sub.

It can just be a little much when a substitute, by definition (at least to students), is someone to take advantage of.



One thought on “On Substitute Teaching

  1. 1. maybe they’re being serious when they ask for your number. maybe you should give your students a little more respect.
    2. so cheating is like a worldwide phenomenon. do they also act REALLY surprised when you actually call them out? like, -‘WHAT?! HOW in the WORLD did you see me blatantly staring at my cheating notes?’
    or ‘WHAT are you talking about?! I’m so sure you can’t see the notes lying on my lap…’
    or ‘how DARE you give me an F for cheating. how DARE you..’

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