The Substitute Teacher Series: From Middle School Math to High School Detention

This is a revision of a previously posted story. For privacy purposes, in this particular series, I do not disclose real names, other than my own, or locations. Although the original story content was positive and uplifting, I thought it might be too specific and possibly identifying, therefore, I chose to revise.


My 2nd sub assignment: 4th and 5th graders

After a class of 25 kindergarteners, this was a piece of cake.

The morning began in a computer lab, along with another teacher, helping students with practice math games on the computer. Good students … no problems here, unfortunately, no hilarious anecdotes either.

I spent the rest of the day in the office/classroom of the teacher I was subbing for. For 50 minutes at a time, I tutored small groups and individual students who needed help with reading and story comprehension. I loved that part of the assignment; I would be happy tutoring all day, every day.

Tuesday – Detention Duty:

On Tuesday, my assignment was half-day detention duty for high school students. Not really knowing what to expect, I was a little apprehensive about this.

The sub coordinator gave me the lowdown:

1. The students would arrive at a certain time. They would use detention time to work on homework assignments.

2. They could request breakfast and lunch, which would be brought to them. They could only leave to go to the restroom and I would need to accompany the entire group to and from the classroom where the restroom was located.

3. At the end of the day, each student would leave with a parent.

I must have had a “what have I gotten myself into” look on my face, because the sub coordinator was quick to add that students in this program are generally good kids, they’ve just racked up too many unexcused tardies, absences, or other minor offenses. That was good to know.

In a situation of this sort, I think it would be normal to anticipate some attitude, but all I encountered was politeness and respect. To the school system and the parents: kudos.

At the end of the day, the classroom emptied and I packed up my entire library, in the form of a Kindle reader. On the surface, detention duty didn’t sound like a positive gig, but it was surprisingly pleasant, and I got a boatload of reading done.

*These are true stories. In this series, all names, except my own, have been changed.

This is a first draft, no editing. Please accept my apologies for any grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.

Hardly Working: The Lazy Man’s Guide to Seeking Perfect Part-time, Temporary Employment

Recap: When the 2013 school year started, my 9-year-old grandson moved away to live with mama. I, Grammy, had a big role in his day-to-day activities up to this point. Now that he was gone, I would need to find something to do to fill the time, yes, but mostly to fill the void of being ‘The World’s Most Awesome Grandma.”

What to do?

I’ve been retired for 9 years and love the freedom; I’m not ready to be tethered to a structured 9 to 5 yet. Rather than settling down for a specific job, I got the bright idea to become a floating employee. That would allow me a couple of things: experience in a variety of areas, and interesting blog fodder.

At this point, employment was just an idea; I didn’t really have a plan.

I was running errands one day and saw something I hadn’t noticed before, it was a sign for a business called Spherion. The part of the sign that caught my eye was, “staffing agency.” I stopped in and chatted with a recruiter and decided to sign up. That was in September; I’ve yet to get that first call for work through this agency.

In conversation over supper one evening, John mentioned that one of his training peers had been a substitute teacher at one time. That piqued my interest, so, I did a little research to see if I qualified to substitute teach, and how to go about applying. I applied at 3 school corporations with the thought that I would get more opportunities; more work and more variety.

The application process for Yorktown was completed on Wednesday; Thursday evening I was called to fill a position for Friday. I was called in for work 3 days the following week as well. And boy howdy, did I ever get variety. Day 1: Kindergarten, Day 2: fourth and fifth grade math, Day 3: high school detention, and Day 4: high school English.

Now, for the fun part … blogging about it.

Stay tuned …

Wrong Hands

Cartoons by John Atkinson. ©John Atkinson, Wrong Hands

White Elephant in the Room

random insight from an unwanted houseguest