substitute teacher

I've been a substitute teacher before, but that was before I was a teacher.


I didn't feel the need to reorganize the classroom before. Now I do. Because I know how I want a classroom to function. I want to move the desks, I want to tidy of drawers, and I want to hang different posters.

It is also strange having approximately 2.5 seconds to learn a student's name before I need to holler at them to "heyYOUpayattentionjustbecausei'mnotyourregularteacherdoesn'tmeanyoushouldn'tlisten." Lucky for me, I'm good at names so "sitbackdownjohnnyboy…that'srightialreadyknowya".

It is also frustrating when I just need a pen…A PEN! Cripes, where do you keep the pens!?! Or scissors?! And FORGET it if I need to find a calculator.

I also find myself saying weird things to the kids like, "This isn't my first rodeo." What?

Lucky for me I have been subbing at the school where I taught, so MOST of the kids [that aren't totally oblivious to their surroundings] know that. This means I get to avoid MOST of the typical "let's create a circus" party that other subs get to experience. And I know where the faculty microwave is. And I know which bathroom stalls are less used. Win win win.

Unlucky for me, I don't really have a "I mean business" voice, because when I taught I worked HARD to develop mutual understanding and respect and RARELY, if ever, raised my voice. Well, there's only so much mutual understanding and respect that can happen in the 5 seconds while I take role. Enter my attempts at a business voice. But I still REFUSE to flick the lights at them.

And probably the worst thing of all is that I scrutinize sub plans. What the heck? Who does that? When I labored over sub plans I always prayed the sub wouldn't judge me if they thought the lesson was crazy or pointless or useless or a "filler". But when I say I scrutinize the plans, it's mainly the teacher voice in me saying, "This is definitely NOT going to take the full hour…oh boy…what to do when they get done?!"

However, subbing also means:

No lesson planning. No grading [unless teacher leaves me with a key and then I'll happily whip around a red pen for awhile…until it's time to go home]. If a kid doesn't understand the question, I can try and help, but can ultimately say, "Just wait for Mr/Mrs soandso to get back." No sweat off my back. Also, subbing means I get to show up right before the bell rings and leave right after it rings. AND it means a free planning period. AND it typically means I get to read a couple chapters in my book. AND it means I get to catch up with former colleagues/friends.

…But seriously, where are the scissors?!

:) [those of you I've subbed for, please note this is satircal. I love doing it … even if I want to rearrange your system to make it mine sometimes ;)]

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