I am still having technical difficulties – I cannot get things to post. But I am trying again, so hang in there with me.
As I am winding down my stint as a substitute teacher, I thought that I would share my thoughts. Did you know that the staff bathrooms in the middle and high schools are locked? I understand why, but I don’t remember if they were locked when I was in middle school and high school. Come to think of it, I don’t know where the staff bathrooms were at my middle and high school. Why is it that when I come prepared, I don’t need any of the stuff that I brought? Substitute Teachers have business cards with their Sub #, email address and phone number so they can pass them out and get additional subbing jobs. I guess I didn’t realize that subs needed them. So I ordered some. They are really cute and I like what I ordered. It is great to have business cards in your pocket when you go to the store so that you can give them to any teachers you might run into there. It is not so great when you take your business cards out of your pocket, place them on your dresser and then forget to take them with you when you go to a new school to substitute. It is really hard to pass them out when you don’t have any. It is even better when, later, you are looking in your purse for something and find the business cards at the bottom. Maybe I should keep some in my substitute bag with all my substitute stuff. Did you know that good substitutes have stuff? My stuff includes: a book for me to read, several books for me to read to kids, Tylenol, antacids, Ammodium, make up, snacks, a couple of dollars, hearing aide batteries, a pair of tennis shoes (if I’m not wearing some), a sweater (in case the room is cold or if it is chilly out and I have duty), pens, pencils, post-it notes (some that match my business cards), hard candy and other misc. stuff. Why is it that kids want to call me Mrs. J rather than Mrs. James? James is not a difficult name to say. Should I take it as a sign that they like me? I know that teachers have a lot of paperwork and planning to do. But why does it seem like they have SO much free time? I’ve spent hours involved in my own things while subbing, since there hasn’t been anything for me to do! Does this seem like a waste? Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to be doing my own thing and getting paid for it, but shouldn’t I be working with kids? Having nothing to do makes for a very, very long day. When did I become “cool”? I wasn’t cool before now, was I? No, I don’t think that I was. Somehow, I have become the “cool” sub, the one the kids are happy to see when they come in the door (after having you as a sub on another day). The one that the kids ask if you are coming back the following day, and WANT you to come back. 13-year-olds can’t explain why their peers think that you are cool. They just tell you that you are. It took 41 years for me to be cool. It is ego boosting to have the kids cheer when they find out you have returned to their classroom. Some kids need hugs, even from substitute teachers. It is sad that they become “attached” to a sub in one day. But it highlights to me how we are failing our kids at home, as parents, that they are so starved for physical contact, that they go to subs to meet their needs. A teacher I recently subbed for wrote, “Please make modifications to these plans as needed. I’m not picky. I want you to have a fun day with the kids.” How amazing is that? And the kids were quiet and worked hard, and we had a lot of fun. I LOVED this day. Why don’t teachers do this more often? Shouldn’t there be a class for teachers on classroom management? I have worked in some very chaotic classrooms and some very organized classrooms. The difference seems to be the teacher’s management style and her (because most teachers are women) expectations. Kids rise to the expectations of the adults around them. I wish that all teachers would help kids Shoot for the Moon and that it is ok if they miss because they will Land Among The Stars.