Nuclear Sub ~ BitterSweetLife

Friday, September 09, 2005

Nuclear Sub

My reentry in the public work force has gone more smoothly than expected. I assumed there would be an adjustment period as I remembered how to rule the classroom. The substitute's job is filled with bewildering nuances: Give orders charmingly; schmooze preventively with would-be teacher's pets; diplomatically put upstarts in their place. No one can say this job is easy.

But having said that, coming back wasn't too hard.

Today I handed out four detentions without blinking an eye—behavior that my younger, more tender-hearted self would have paled at—then shredded three of them after the intended hush fell over the room. Maybe I'm getting pragmatic. Or maybe I'm just getting better.


More powerful, more adept at controlling my surroundings. The kind of sub who gets less flack than others.

A nuclear sub.

(At least that's what I'm choosing to believe for the purposes of this post.)

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kato said...

Sounds like a real chess match with those critters.. Here is a good one.. if they ever mouth off to you I once heard a really good retort that still has the ability to keep one's dignity:

"I think you forgot how to talk to me!"

When you say it vigor, it gets the point across. -- I always felt sad for the substitute. Usually they had the best stories.

Thanks for your kind words and visit.

Bryan (also a nuclear sub) said...

Substitute teaching is not for the tender-hearted. The squids need to know that learning continues even when their normal teacher isn't there and that you are not there for their amusement or to be their personal whipping boy. The sooner you set the climate, the less likely you will have deal with any problems as your "nuclear" reputation spreads through the student grapevine.

Good luck this school this year!!!

Ariel said...

Ah, the kids and I usually have a good time. Only occasionally does the perplexing Machiavellian question arise.

A little love, a little fear, and all goes well. ;)

Ryan said...

if you came to my school you would be lovingly referred to as a "guest teacher." it is a small thing, but it makes a huge difference. after about a year, we were all saying it naturally, as were our kids.

Ariel said...

I'm curious where you teach, Ryan. Sounds like a great idea.

In my district we "subs" are supposedly called "Teacher Associates." When you read it in the handbook, it has a really nice ring to it.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife