Substitute Teachers are an essential part of the Educational system. Just think if they weren’t around. My God, what would the teachers do? Or should I say more importantly what would most working parent do? I can just hear the gasps being uttered by our single co-workers. “Maria, you’ve got to be kidding me! You can’t come in this morning because Robert’s teacher is feeling ill ? Morning sickness, you say? Well, what gives her the right to be pregnant anyway? She is being paid to take care of the school kids and not hers”! Yes, it would indeed be bedlam. So it should be noted that substitute teachers really do provide an invaluable function in the world as we know it. They are to put it succinctly, simply needed.
The disadvantages of being a substitute are easily named. The kids, do not as a rule, behave at their best when a sub is around. You can hear them cheering wildly as you enter a room. “Yeah! We have a sub today”! And I shouldn’t have to tell you what that signifies. Yep, you got it! It’s a total free for all. Even the good kids seem to find a little devil inside of them that was just waiting for you to show up in order to emerge. You often feel like a 1.sacrificial lamb after crossing that threshold. You had just finished Hearing the hurrahs and now it feels like you walked into the midst of a Stephen King novel.
The room is so eerily quiet that you think that its time for a different kind of professional, and you are in dire need an exorcist. You take one look at those big-eyed, innocent faces that unnervingly remind you of Regan before her possession, and you have the innate impulse to bolt for self preservation.And matters will only get worse if you don’t establish a set of rules for your classroom from the very beginning. Not only will you have the wild children to contend with but you will also come in contact with the busy-body of a neighboring teacher, who is just dying to fill your throbbing head with well meaning suggestions on how she would handle it.
All the while an idiotic smile is plastered on your face as you chant that well practiced Mantra of mm…m-m-m…Yes, you’re absolutely right about that. What you would really like to tell her you can’t, or her protruding ears would burn right off. For God sakes, you want to scream, you’re not the sub, unfortunately I am! Instead you just stand there and wish her to perdition. Once in a while you get that great bunch of kids who really want you to teach them. Well the same busy-body teacher comes in to ask you what you have done to the kids. Why are they being so good? You smile a wicked smile this time, but you really mean it. She back tracks out of the room shaking her head”. Good,” you think, “she thinks I’m insane! “And, it’s this last scenario that keeps you humming all day long.
Benefits:There are also the benefits to being a substitute teacher and they are numerous. Being a sub is especially good for those people that want a flexible job with really flexible hours. The pay rate is moderate to good depending on the area. There are a few non work responsibilities. You are able as I mentioned previously able to positively influence students; and the practice that it gives future teachers is priceless.As a substitute teacher you are able to choose the age group, type of, students, and materials or subject that you wish to instruct. It is also a relatively easy profession to get into if you have a college background and can be one that is fun and enables you to express your creativity.
Solutions:There are certain tips on how to solve the initial problems encountered by the substitute teacher. First of all it is very important that you arrive prior to start time and this may sometimes prove impossible if you. are called in during the session of the class. But if you know relatively in advance where you are going it is not difficult. This time, however minimal, will help you orientate yourself on what is required of you in order to successfully fulfill the assignment. The sub should also try to get acquainted with the school personnel that call you as a replacement. Remember they have the power to request you. So be nice and accommodating. So what if your forte’ is not algebra. If Kathy at Dearborn High needs you for her ninth grade algebra class, do her the favor, and try your best while doing it.
Also remember that as a substitute, you are in a position of authority so dress well and know your subjects as well as possible. You should remember the procedures for the school that you are subbing at. This should help alleviate the possibility of that well meaning teacher telling you what to do. As I said, this should alleviate but, unfortunately not eliminate the nosy and presumptuous neighboring teacher. Knowledge is power and power gives you a sense of invincibility. You may be just a sub, but you are a.knowledgeable one, and thus a person that has earned their respect.
A large number of substitute teachers use their experience as educational stepping stones to learn their career first hand. They are the type of people who like to get their hands dirty. Why read about it when you can attain first hand knowledge. It is also beneficial to get to know personally the people who can get you hired. Sometimes the great job you want can be secured by those that you have enjoyed a good rapport with.
ConclusionThe disadvantages and advantages of being a substitute teacher have been enumerated, as well as helpful tips on how to make this profession pain-free. It is usually people who enjoy working with others that choose this profession, either as a full time job or simply as a stepping stone to get contacts and experience at the same time. Most subs that I have spoken to really enjoy what they are doing even if they do not want to become certified teachers in order to turn it into a full time profession. It is always rewarding for those that appreciate the sense of completion that one can feel from teaching to be able to do so.
I suppose, that perhaps just as doctors must feel in saving a life, a teacher should feel great pride in helping one learn. I suppose it’s the closest thing to feeling like God that anyone of us can achieve. So, where would we be without substitute teacher? In trouble I’m afraid and all those little children would be left with only themselves and their unsuspecting parents to torture. Let me reiterate once again my final sentiment. Without them the earth would be in sad shape indeed.