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Saturday, April 21, 2007

What’s Yer Job?…

Spring break has ended and the sub-season has reopened. No call on Monday and I missed the first call on Tuesday. I didn’t mind missing the Tuesday call. I was feeling down about sending checks for taxes owed to Uncle Sam and Gov. Terminator.

I did sub one 6th grade and two 5th grades on Wed, Thur and Friday. The lesson plans for all three assignments were all pretty much “time killers” and not much in the way of any actual educational substance. As a result, my personal pain threshold to in class noise is considerably higher than it was two weeks ago. Maybe it’s just my personal apathy this time of the year.

The only note worthy comment came from one boy in Thursday’s 5th grade class. Evidentially, they’ve only had “girl” subs before me.

Kid: What’s yer job?
Me: What do you mean? I’m the substitute teacher.

Kid: No, I mean your REAL job?
Me: You don’t think “substitute teacher” is a REAL job?

Kid: What I mean is…the other substitutes are “Moms”. So I just thought you took the day off from work to come in to be the substitute.

It’s a simplistic yet somehow insightful view of my job from a 5th grader and not too far off the mark. A “Dad” with a “real job” COULD, if he was crazy enough, take the day off work and do my job. It’s not quite how I started doing this but it’s not impossible.

Substitute teaching doesn’t require any “substitute teacher” training, apprenticeship or instruction manual. It’s all OJT (On the Job Training) from day one.

It DOES help, though, to BE a Dad (or a Mom) when it comes to handling kids. But that is a different OJT job in itself.


Magpie Chick said...

Where I live, we actually did have sub training. Extensive training... we had to go to classes for nearly two months! I guess I should count my lucky stars, eh? ;)

HappyChyck said...

Many of the subs we have are teachers -in-training or teachers hoping to get jobs. I did have a "grandpa" sub for my class last week. I don't know what his story was other than the kids said he was slow.

When I was going to college, most of my classmates substituted for $$ and experience. (I had a better paying job that I opted not to quit to work "on call.") I always figured they were better prepared for the day they had their own classrooms because it is indeed OJT. Book-learnin' won't help as much as life-learnin' will in your profession!

Anonymous said...

I did a sort of online training thing required by Yuba County, California, but here in Indiana where I work now there's no training, but there is also a dearth of subs so I work EVERY day. It's great. Always a new adventure. I'm a retired psychotherapist who worked primarily with kids, so it's a chance to stay in touch with kids and use my skills a bit.