My least favorite sub yet.

Last week, I had a sub on a day when I was at a leadership team meeting. I had to go back to school after the meeting, and when I got there, I went straight to my desk to get the sub notes.

Except there weren't any.

"Huh," I thought. "Weird. Okay, must be in my box."

But they weren't there either. I even checked with the receptionist; no notes had been left. Puzzled, I went back to my classroom. Once there I found Drama King and Short Stuff. After we'd planned our Saturday meeting, I asked about the sub.

"Oh, he was cool! He let me watch the movie!" Drama King blurted.


"He let me watch the movie after we did research."

"He didn't send you out to finish your project?"

"Nope, he said that you'd left a list of kids who couldn't watch and I knew I was on it, but he said that he didn't care and we could just all watch."

And I realized at that moment that I'd had one of THOSE subs. The ones who completely ignore all directions, do whatever they want, tell the kids that they know better....the ones who give the amazing, hardworking, put-upon, awesome subs a bad name.

The plans I'd left had been simple. Take the kids to the library to do research for a project we're in the middle of, pass out copies of a conventions editing agreement for memoirs, give them 20 minutes to work on said memoirs, and then show them the start of Freedom Writers (we're going to do another seminar in a couple of days - hopefully it goes as well as last year's). Not too complicated, really. And yet.

He took them to the library, but then read a book while they worked. When they got back, he didn't pass out the handout, didn't give them time to write (he apparently told them to finish it for homework), and let everyone watch the movie, INCLUDING the kids whose names had been specifically left as not being able to, either due to missing work or to a missing permission slip.

And that's where he crossed the line. Because I've had subs ignore lesson plans before, and I just don't have that person back to my room, but this dude actually ignored a district policy on permission slips for films. That's something that could come back on me, and I'm not having that. So I went to my AP and told her the deal, and we're filing a complaint with the sub office.

I guess it's too bad for him that my kids are generally honest with me, even if they know they messed up; I think they'd rather tell the truth than lie and possible get caught. And in this case, they knew they shouldn't have watched it, but that's not on them. That's on him.

At least he didn't kill a beloved class pet - that would've been worse.

(Image credit to Hoggheff aka Hank Ashby aka Mr. Freshtags)


Rachel said...

That is so incredibly frustrating!! That makes me so mad FOR you! I definitely had one who sat in the back of the room and read a book all day. The kids unabashedly told me so, too. I have a share of other bad sub stories, but I'll leave it at that. Grr! Hope he gets a pretty significant humbling.

luckeyfrog said...

Isn't it amazing how terrible subs make you appreciate the great ones?

teachin' said...

Oh, I ALWAYS appreciate my good subs - I even brought a present back from China for the one who took my classes then! It's just that the good ones were all taken this time and I got stuck. :(

luckeyfrog said...

I'm sure you do! :) They are so worth it.

La Brown Girl said...

I have one of those subs. Things got really hairy because he's our registrar's son. I was so upset when I got back to campus for our last ditch effort for big state test and my room was a disaster. I asked the kids what happened while he was still in the room because he hadn't even bothered to acknowledge me.

"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
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