There is No Substitute for Good Teaching
“I did end up doing substitute teaching, but there’s not a lot of teaching involved in that.” Todd Barry
This year, because of my ahem “duties” I’ve been out of class A LOT. Well, it’s probably not as much as I think it is, but it feels like an abnormal amount of time that I’ve been away from my deviantly gifted little darlings. This requires the presence of a substitute teacher, and every kid knows that a sub means an easy day in class. Or does it?
My kids quickly learn that on days that I’m not there, they have an above average level of work, and a WAY ABOVE AVERAGE level of expectation. If a student is rude to a sub, I go out of my way to make sure that they regret that choice. It usually only happens once, and once is enough to make an example and get the word out that my subs are not to be messed with.
All of these substitute teachers can be put into categories. If you’re a teacher, you’ve probably encountered these before, and many more that could be added to this list. Here are a few I have encountered.
The Retired Teacher: This is an older individual who used to be a teacher, and is somehow bored or looking for some extra moolah during their retirement years. They spend a large portion of the class period telling the students about when they used to be a teacher. No work gets done.
The Hot Male Sub: Upon your return, you will find that every single girl did the assignment that you left, an not a single boy did. What’s more, the boys are happy to explain to you exactly why they hated that sub. “He was a dick who only was nice to the girls,” is a common excuse that translates to “None of the girls laughed at my stupid jokes because they were too busy drooling over the sub.” Poor Boys.
The Hot Female Sub: Upon your return you will find that every single boy attempted to complete your work, and only got about half way done with it, due to repeated ooglings of the substitute teacher. The boys will loudly boast that she was the best sub ever, and beg you to bring her back whenever possible. They will also frequently ask when you will be out again. The girls will roll their eyes and snort in disdain.
The Oversharer: I haven’t seen one of these in a few years, but we had one at my school that was used in heavy rotation frequently, and the things I used to hear would blow my mind. This sub gives the kids the assignment, and while they work on it, proceeds to tell them WAY TOO MUCH about their personal life. The sub I mentioned before used to tell the kids she was hung over, talk about her underwear, talk about her wild nights out, you name it, nothing was off limits. Kids loved her.
The Desk Monitor: This sub brings magazines, or the newspaper. They write the assignment on the white board, and then take up residence at your desk and never move. They also don’t collect the work you assign, don’t leave a note, but leave garbage everywhere. The kids don’t do anything, other than wreak mayhem on the classroom.
The Godsend: This sub follows your instructions to the letter, supports and monitors the kids while they work, leaves your room cleaner than you do, and collects all of the work. The students love them, and they are willing to sub for you anytime because they had no problems at all. This sort of sub, like a unicorn, does not exist.
Be on the lookout for these in your classroom, and please, if ever there is a Godsend sighting, send them my way!