As you know by now, I have to be out of my classroom a lot due to district and other demands. This means that my kids are often left in...yikes...the hands of a substitute teacher.
I can't knock them all, mind you. I have been fortunate enough over the years to have some fantastic "guest teachers." The bad thing is simply that they get hired for permanent positions. It's great for them, of course. And while I am happy to know that they (deservedly) have their own classroom, I am also selfish enough to wonder, "What am I supposed to do now?!"
In order to be a substitute teacher in Washington, you must have teaching credentials. This was not so in New Mexico, where one only needed a pulse and a few hours of college work. Even with the supposedly higher standards here, it is difficult to find anyone you really feel comfy leaving your kids with.
Some teachers hold the position that a sub should be able to walk in and do the original lesson you were planning on teaching that day. Gimme a break. Subs may be in a kindergarten classroom one day and have an AP Calculus gig the next. If they really knew everything there was to know about all of the subjects and grade levels, they sure as heck wouldn't be subbing. Personally, I try to leave relatively "idiot-proof" sub lessons. I really prefer that they not teach my kids...but rather just babysit.
Today, I had one of two subs I least like. He is a retired teacher. He taught science in my building and retired just before I was hired. The man is deaf as a post, so it's pointless to even have him proctor a test. The kids all know he can't hear them talking about the answers. Meanwhile, although he thinks he knows the content, a lot has changed in biology over the last 9 years. I can't tell you how many times I've come back to find my kids completely confused because he told them the opposite of what I had. (This in spite of me leaving instructions to allow students to work independently.) Got a lesson on evolution? Don't even bother. He's a staunch Creationist. I also hate that while I leave this man detailed notes and all materials in one neat stack, I come back to find papers in all sorts of places. It takes a long time to dig out from the damage he causes. And today? Sheesh. All he had to do was take my AP kids to the computer lab to let them work on a virtual lab. And he couldn't even figure out how to do that right. So, one class didn't get the work done...and one did after I checked in on things.
Why don't I just not have the guy in my room? Because I'm not allowed to say I don't want him. If I do, then there is a huge chain reaction set off. I have to collect evidence. He has to be observed 3 times by the principal. There's a review process. And the thing is, maybe he's a great sub for some people. He's just not working out for me, but that reason isn't good enough.
Anyway, I should be more upbeat, right? It's Friday. I've turned in my quarter grades and have absolutely no marking to do for the weekend. Planning? Piece of cake next week as we're doing state testing. I'll only have half my classes.
I might even get to just be me for a weekend, if I can remember how to do that.