Substitute Teaching

As most of you know, I am a struggling college graduate.  I am struggling to find a full time teaching job.  So I am substitute teaching.  Unfortunately, I had a class at the beginning of the year.  An “extended” substitute teaching position.  Meaning, I was the teacher from the first day of school until last Friday (10/8).

Now, I am back to my horrible existence as a per diem substitute teacher.  I am so scared that I am going to slip back into being miserable and hate my life.  It happened last year.  The subbing was not consistent and it was so hard to find jobs.

Plus, I was in this past week for 3 days (which is definitely good).  Unfortunately, it made me hate substitute teachers and want my little eekers back.  Let me explain.  Substitute teachers, even the good ones (which I am – or at least I like to think I am), get the worst behavior from the kids.  They aren’t horrible.  I have never had a horrible class when I was subbing.  The talking usually just gets out of control.

So, I came to the conclusion – in the three days that I was in the 2nd grade classroom of the elementary school that I was in – that I really hate subbing.  It’s hard.  The teachers don’t always leave the best plans…this teacher’s plans were fine.  And the kids are never as well behaved as they are when their teacher is there.  Never.  They want to test the limits and they think that they can run the show.  But they can’t.

So, I think that I need to come up with a substitute bag.  Stickers, prizes.  Something I can use to bribe the kids.  Unfortunately, I really think this is the best policy right now.  Something to make the kids behave just like they would if the teacher were there.

So, now it’s the weekend.  I have no jobs for next week yet.  And I can already feel the depression seeping in.  But I will stay strong and I won’t get upset.  Not yet.  Other LTS positions will pop up.  Hopefully, something “real” will come along soon.

How do you feel about substitute teachers?  Do you think your kids learn just as well when there is a sub or do you hate when the teacher is out?  Do you have any advice for this substitute?

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2 thoughts on “Substitute Teaching

  1. I have been a substitute teacher for over fifteen years. You do need a substitute bag, but please don’t put bribe supplies in it. First, buy yourself a whistle; wear it on a chain around your neck and use it when things get too loud. Two, Tell the students as soon as they come into the classroom that they will be doing the same work they would do if the teacher were there. Be VERY strict right from the start. Just because “children always test you” doesn’t mean it’s ok for them to do that. I can’t help wondering why the difficulty of being a sub would make you hate subs, but that’s your problem.

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    • Thank you for the advice. I agree with everything you’ve said and I don’t know that I was completely clear. I don’t really edit my entries, and since I’ve never gotten a “real” comment before this (plenty of spam comments), I sometimes just think that no one is really reading it. I didn’t mean to say that I hate substitute teachers, what I meant was that substitute teachers have a VERY hard job and that I hate being a substitute teacher. Especially after having my own classroom with my own kids. That transition was a very hard one for me and so I was trying to chronicle it.

      Thanks for you advice, I hope the subbing is going well for you 🙂

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