The Truth About Subbing Is Revealed ~ BitterSweetLife

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Truth About Subbing Is Revealed

I walked into the teacher's lounge and decided to extend the right hand of fellowship to a new substitute.

"How's it going today?" (The right hand is figurative in our profession; for reasons known only to themselves and the Center for Disease Control, teachers seldom shake hands.)

"Pretty well. And it's even better since I have just one class left." I affirmed these excellent sentiments and quickly co-opted the newer microwave for my lunch. Had he asked, I would have revealed that I was having a pretty good day as well, having just spent the last hour and a half of my "planning period" reading in the library.

A minute later another subbing compadre walked in and I extended a warm welcome. "Class going well today?" This sub and I go back a little ways, which explains the disarmingly honest reply that followed.

"Well...we had a meltdown in the last block. He and I were in there together [indicating the other sub] and we had to send four students out to the office. They were wild when they came in and they didn't get any better." I expressed appropriate feelings of sympathy. We've all been there.

I wondered how the first sub felt after having the secret about his Class From Hell rudely disclosed. I guess that always having "a good day" is another piece of standard protocol in the subbing profession. We rarely shake hands and we always have good days. Hmmm.

Maybe this profession isn't as honorable and praiseworthy as I make it out to be (or at least pretend to make it out to be). Apparently we subs are just like other people, only more so. We're accomplished liars: Ask us how we're doing, and even if the last class required riot control with fire hoses, we'll smile and say things are going fine.

Well, it must end.

From here on out, all attempts to disguise and gloss over the seamy side of subbing will be be jettisoned. No more cover-ups! No more accomodating smiles! The world needs to know that this subbing thing is not all grins. We need the freedom to speak our minds, to tell people how bad things really are! The Sub Liberation Movement starts here.

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Ched said...

The world needs to know that this subbing thing is not all grins.


Oneway the Herald said...



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