Substitute Teachers….

As a certified teacher, I understand and know how important it is to get a GOOD substitute teacher.  I have had subs that acted like a warm body in the classroom and I have has subs that went above and beyond….so those are the subs I appreciate the most. I am not saying I am not appreciative of all subs in general because they come into my classroom and attempt to maintain control and ordinance. But to those subs that are accountable, are not push overs, and leave my classroom clean, those are the ones I ask to sub again and again.

This upcoming school year, I will be subbing again because I have not found a permanent teaching position. This saddens me, but I know what I look for in a sub when I am teaching and therefore strive to be the best sub ever when I am asked to do so.

When the school year begins I hope, if you are a teacher, you will find a substitute teacher that will be the best one you have ever encountered. If you are a sub please remember to go by the teacher instructions and do as they ask. Because if there is one thing teachers do not appreciate, it is a sub who decides to make a lesson of their own versus what the teacher needs them to do!


P.S. to teachers …..always leave a seating chart! It makes a sub’s life so much easier. =)


10 thoughts on “Substitute Teachers….

  1. Seating chart – Check! Yay. I am happy to know this helps.

    You are so right about good substitute teachers. It is hard to fulfill every teachers’ steps but when a sub does try to follow the plans the classroom teachers so appreciates that! I dislike those who do their own thing because they let the students fool them and then they end up teaching a huge misconception that you have been trying to avoid.
    However, at times, I have had to lower my standards, because when almost half of the building has the same meeting and we all need a sub, all the good subs are taken, so I pick the best from the worst.
    Thanks for subbing Jaci! I know it is not easy and it is nearly impossible to please all teachers but think of the great experience you are getting from meeting so many diverse students in different grades!


    • You are correct. I think because I have an education background that I tend to have better classroom management than other subs, and knowing students will “tell a story” to get out of doing things.

      Thank you…..I do get to meet and mingle with many students, teachers, and administration. It’s not a bad gig….I just miss my room and my rules. =(


  2. “If you are a sub please remember to go by the teacher instructions and do as they ask. Because if there is one thing teachers do not appreciate, it is a sub who decides to make a lesson of their own versus what the teacher needs them to do!”

    This part reminded me of a story my husband told about one of his subs. She did just about everything wrong a sub could do. He had his papers out on the desk for grading in different stacks. She took it upon herself to tidy up and reorganize the desk. It took him till the very day grades were due to find them all again.

    He left her a lesson on the French Revolution. She decided to do a lesson on “diversity” that was better suited to kindergarten than high school. She lined all his potted plants up on the front table and began to use them as a demonstration for how they were all different but also all plants.

    He says his students still tell stories about this sub. So…good advice to all substitute teachers.


    • Yes! OMG, as a teacher and potential sub I cringed while reading. Last year at the school I was teaching, a sub was working a leave for a teacher that had a baby, Sub was a drama major and proceeded to forgo all lessons created for her by the teacher and instead taught dramas, did “magic” tricks (don’t ask), and anything else BUT what was required. And to top it all off we had to take a state assessment that had a writing component in it and she provided NO opportunities for the students to practice and prepare for the STATE assessment. Needless to say, she was finally replaced…..but the damage had been done.


  3. Thank you for this post! I have been a teacher for 12 years but have been a stay at home dad for the past year. I will be reentering the teaching field as a sub this year as I feel out districts and look for a good fit. I full intend to follow the sub plan since I know how much work teachers put into them. My teaching buddies and I always joke that we hate calling in sick because sub plans are more work than actual teaching lol!

    There is nothing more frustrating then spending so much time writing quality sub plans, just to have them completely disregarded.


    • Good luck in returning to the world of education!! =) I love it, no matter what role I may play.

      Subbing is hard work, for the teachers taking off and for the sub stepping in. I am lucky because I have several friends that teach in the district I sub in, so I usually stay busy just covering for them. That allows me to see the same students and actually get to learn names and know them. But there have been times when I subbed for random teachers and I will be honest it has not always worked out for the best. If a teacher does not have good classroom management, then the sub is going to have an awful day trying to keep the kids in line. To me, that is frustrating because I do not like having to call the office or worse have the administration come to my room.

      As a teacher, you are correct, it would be easier to come to work sick than to make sub plans. Because I usually use more technology in my classroom I had to figure out a way to attempt the same lesson without much tech due to the school district I taught with did not allow subs to use teacher logins.

      Again, good luck and I wish you well!!


  4. Thank you subs! We had a sub shortage in my district last year and because of it we had to give up our planning period weekly to help cover for sick colleagues. I will never take a sub for granted after a year of trying to teach in another person’s class. It was difficult to transition into a different classroom and try to maintain everything when you aren’t using your own techniques. I admire strong subs like you and I hope we get more for next school year!


  5. Shortage on subs stinks! Our district started outsourcing the sub jobs two years ago, and it has not been a great transition. Many subs, including myself at times, find it easier to say no to an automated phone call versus an actual person calling. I have also been passed around on days that have shortages. I am just glad that I am reliable and they trust me to do whatever I can to help out. There are some subs that will not help out and I find that to be unreasonable.

    Good luck on the upcoming school year and I hope you don’t have to give up any more of your planning periods for a sub shortage.


  6. Great substitute teachers can be tough to find, but I also think it is a tough job to do. I always lecture my students about being good for substitutes, and so far I have been pretty lucky to receive good reports.I think it is great that you look at it from a teacher perspective and try to be the best substitute you can be. I hope you can find a permanent teaching position soon!


    • Thank you.
      Great subs are hard to find. I think that is what motivates me to be a good sub. I know how difficult it is on both sides. Therefore,anything I can do to help I will.☺


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