Friday, March 11, 2011

Top 5 Worst Sub Stories

What are some of the stories you've heard about bad subs?

The isolating nature of substituting can make it hard to get to know other subs, so it's always interesting for me to hear about other subs' experiences.  The bad ones are really fascinating because it usually sounds to me like they had every intention of earning a poor reputation.  Like, they woke up that morning with a very clear purpose to end up on this list.  From teachers around different schools, I've heard the following stories about subs who have:

5.  Completely ignored lesson plans.  This one always baffles me because I'm one of those people who likes every moment planned out, and the classroom buzzing with productive activity.  "Down time," to me, is torture.  When a lesson falls short on time, or when I don't have a lesson plan, I make one up.  So, I don't understand why someone would willingly disregard plans a teacher has left.  What do they do all day?  What excuse can you have?  It's one thing to not get to an activity, or to be confused and not do something 100% correctly, but there's never any justification to just dismiss plans altogether.

4.  Talked on the phone, watched a movie, or otherwise engaged in another activity besides monitoring the class.  I have heard about a woman who had her laptop in class and sat watching DVDs on it while the class was testing.  I've also seen, with my own eyes, a guy on the phone when his kindergarten class was running around making a mess in the room.  The only thing I can understand doing is reading a book or something while the class is silently reading, which one teacher actually encourages me in her plans to do  (I guess it has something to do with modeling), but I still feel odd about doing it.

3.  Left campus for lunch and never returned.  I worked in the office once and this happened with another sub.  They didn't know if something had happened to them on the road or what.  Turns out the lady just made a break for it.

2.  Hit a student.  This was related to me by a special education teacher, who told me about the previous year when a sub repeatedly hit a student who was throwing a fit.  Not cool.

1.  Played tag in the classroom.  This is my new favorite bad sub story.  Heard it just today by a teacher who begged me to sub for her next week, saying she liked having me in her room and her previous sub the other day had allowed her class (who was well-behaved with me, by the way) to play tag inside the classroom.  One student hurt himself when he ran into and flipped over a desk.  The room looked like a tornado had blown through it.  The sub also allowed them to go to recess for about two hours just because (see #5).  The teacher was of course horrified, and of course I agreed to sub for her.  I like tag as much as the next person, but inside the classroom?  Come on, people!


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