December 18, 2011

Not Your Average Sub

Anyone who's ever taught can tell you that it's easier to go to work, even when you're really sick, because making sub plans is such a pain in the you-know-what. Without knowing who will be in your classroom, you have no option but to leave the dreaded busywork for your students because you can't assume your sub will be able or willing to move forward in your lessons. It's really unfortunate.

On Friday,I was talking to another teacher when another sub walked in and explained that she simply couldn't be expected to teach students about how to find the least common multiple, despite the fact that the book lays it out for you step by step and that the classroom teacher left several examples to follow. We assured her that the lesson would be review for the students (because I knew they had been working on it), and after some coaxing, she hesitantly agreed to give the lesson a try.

As one of the "good" and "capable" substitutes out there, her attitude offended me. I don't understand why she'd take a math job knowing full well she's uncomfortable teaching that subject. You can't take a job and then not be willing to do it!

It's subs like her that make this position a joke. They're the ones that want the students to sit quietly so they can knit, text, watch movies on their phone, or even sleep... all things I've seen first-hand. They aren't interested in knowing the students at all. They see themselves as glorified babysitters, simply there to control the chaos until the classroom teacher returns.

I am not that kind of sub. As you all know, I'm subbing because teaching is my passion, and I'm using this opportunity to stay involved in education until I can have another classroom of my own. I choose to work in the same few buildings so I can be more than just another strange face. I want the staff to know me and learn they can depend on me. I work hard to establish a positive rapport with students, learning their names, interests, and academic needs.

And you know what? The teachers in my buildings request me - all the time. They know I'm willing and able to teach a real lesson, so they don't have to disrupt their curriculum with a movie or book work in their absence. More than once, I've had teachers call me with vague lesson plans rather than formally writing them up because they know I can take their direction and run with it.

So... I guess I should really be thanking all those less-than-stellar subs because they make me look awesome. :)

1 comment:

  1. Can I also just say that you have also subbed for teachers without any lesson plans??? seriously they need to hire you!