A sad little sub

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Joelg1980, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. Joelg1980

    Joelg1980 Companion

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    Nov 23, 2009

    I am a certified teacher, and am subbing (like most) because I wasn't able to find a job. This is my first year subbing, and I have been loving the experience and experiences I have been lucky to have. However, while I was ironing my shirts for the umpteenth time I had time to reflect, and I came to a startling conclusion:

    I could stop subbing tomorrow and nobody's lives but that of my wife's and mine would be affected. The students see many "fun" subs, and the teachers would simply ask Aesop to fill the spot. My name would be forgotten quickly.

    And I am on the top of many teacher's lists. Most kids in the schools I am in know my name, even if I hadn't taught them yet. I just see how subs (even the goods ones) are regarded in schools, and I hate it.

    But, regardless of the newfound information, I must get up tomorrow and everyday afterwards and do my very best for the students, for they are why I am in this after all.

    Thanks for letting me vent.:(
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 24, 2009

    Johnjoel, fix the typo in the 3rd sentence :)

    I'm sorry you're having such a rough time.
     
  4. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Nov 24, 2009

    You make the most of your time together and try to teach them a little about the world, a little about yourself, and hopefully, a little about themselves and who they should be. Then we say goodbye and wish them well. Sometimes its goodbye after a day, sometimes its goodbye after a year. Most of the time we'll never know our influence, but if you've tried your hardest, shared some of your passion, and built rapport, then you can be assured you've made an impact.

    If you sub for a while, you might get to interact with the same kids briefly, but year after year. We have a beloved maintenance worker who 'merely' gives high-fives and hugs in the hallway, but often gets treated like a celebrity.

    Yes, the world keeps turning regardless of us. Don't doubt your impact, and stay thankful for being a teacher!
     
  5. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Nov 24, 2009

    That right there tells me you are good at what you do.

    Trust me, good substitutes are like gold. One of the top stress items for classroom teachers is finding a good sub. The work you do is very important. If you are good at it, you have made a difference countless times. Both for teachers and students.

    Here's something else to think about. You say the kids at the school all know you. For many kids, having a substitute teacher, even for just a day, is very stressful. It's far worse if it's someone they don't know. If you stopped subbing, you would be sadly missed for that very reason.
     
  6. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Nov 24, 2009

    When I know that the sub in my room is not merely competent, but actually GOOD, I feel much better about being out (and I HATE being out of the classroom), because I know that my kids arent' merely being "baby-sat," but are actually oging to learn something, typically something that I would have taught them... which means I don't have to play catch-up when I get back.

    That's something that I can't say about every sub that I come in contact with.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 24, 2009

    I've been known to explain it this way, Joel: districts may have long lists of substitutes, but their list of really good substitutes tends to be very short.

    Hugs and kudos to you, and may your shirts practically iron themselves.
     
  8. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Nov 24, 2009

    Joelg1980, while it's true that a substitute may not have as much of an impact & therfore not as self-fulfilling a feeling, us substitutes are indeed VERY important. In fact, we work with & touch many more students' lives in a school year than the permanent teachers who have one class of 25-30 kids all year.
     
  9. myownwoman

    myownwoman Habitué

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    Nov 24, 2009

    Substitutes are so important to the school system, though I know sometimes it does not look or feel that way.
     
  10. Joelg1980

    Joelg1980 Companion

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    Nov 24, 2009

    thank you all for your thoughts. Just being in a room makes it all worth while.
     
  11. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Nov 24, 2009

    Joel, I'm in the same place as you. I worked my tail off for my credential and now I'm subbing because there are more teachers than jobs where I live.

    In my case, I left a 15 year career in a corporate environment, where I made more than twice as much money per day as I do when subbing. And that's when I actually get sub work.

    I knew, while sitting at my desk pretending to work, or worse yet, taking care of tempermental adults, that I was not making a difference in anyone's life. While subbing, at least there's the chance that maybe the way I explain something will turn on a lightbulb in a kid's head. I'm not worried about the kids remembering my name, (it would be nice if the teachers did because it would lead to more work) but I don't think that we make no difference. I think the difference we make can just be in offering a different perspective to a lesson than the kids have been getting.
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 24, 2009

    jen12, do you leave a business card behind every time you sub?
     
  13. word girl

    word girl Rookie

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    Nov 24, 2009

    Subbing led me to my first job, and gave me untold amounts of experience and confidence about classroom management, curricula, and how different schools' cultures were.
     
  14. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    TeacherGroupie. I do. I leave one on the teacher's desk and leave one with the office manager.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 24, 2009

    Glad to hear it, jen12: you may depend on that practice bearing fruit, sooner or later.
     
  16. IAMdoneSubbing

    IAMdoneSubbing Companion

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    Dec 12, 2009

    You mean regarded by regular teachers? I think that some of the regular teachers (not all though most) just give that attitude "you are a sub". I believe that this really is a trait that they'd have even if they'r not working as a teacher. I think that people in general (in the enviroment of work) like making other feels bad to make themsleves feel good. Don't let that get to you.


     
  17. IAMdoneSubbing

    IAMdoneSubbing Companion

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    Dec 12, 2009


    I guess I should feel good to hear kids I don't remember greeting me at a school I sub a lot.
     
  18. IAMdoneSubbing

    IAMdoneSubbing Companion

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    Dec 12, 2009


    I have yet to get some business cards. I a wondering whether I should even bother as I get plenty of work regardless.
     
  19. IAMdoneSubbing

    IAMdoneSubbing Companion

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    Dec 12, 2009

    Of course. Very understandable.I'd feel the same if I am regular teacher.


    Pardon me if am off tangent. I can't help wonder whether the main reason kids do not respect the subs is that regular teachers (and the pricipal too) do not use the right words and attitude to show *that* respect to the subs. I think it's a cliche to tell the kids "to respect the susbs". I once had a nother teacher telling the class I was subbing to show the sub respect "like a regular teacher". In that statement, he's already giving the kids to view the subs differently than the regular teachers.

     
  20. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

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    Dec 13, 2009

    You are spot on! I am in similar mode - I also had a career in the corporate world for many years and feel the same way. I've been subbing and working on my credential now for the past year (going into student teaching next February).

    Even in the limited time I have with students in the classroom in my role as a substitute, I get a lot of satisfaction helping students with their work and helping them understand things and their lessons.
     

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