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Re: worthless subs


From: Mark Alexander (malexander06_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Nov 08 2001 - 04:46:06 PST

I won't complain about subs. I've been one, and my girlfriend is one. Its really hard work, and the pay is ridiculously low, and the students mostly give you zero respect, and often the other teachers offer little more. Most people won't put up with what a sub is asked to take, so good subs are really hard to find. If you do find one, cherish them and make sure they know that you do.

I've been out a lot the last year or so, due primarily to the illness of my youngest son, and have had pretty good luck with subs. I usually leave a set of alternative plans for the sub to pick from. These include neat and easy plans, and more involved plans. The last 3 or 4 times I've had an unemployed artist/art teacher come in. She's been great. This great sub has always selected the most interesting projects to do, and she has always done them well.

The last time I was out I left plans that included continuation of an ongoing 4th grade painting project, a 5th grade charcoal and white tempera value lesson, plus a 1st grade clay texture slab project. When I got back the room was fairly neat, supplies were about where they belonged, and the kids seemed to have enjoyed themselves. The majority of the student's projects showed progress if not growth. I can't complain.

I request this sub, and most often get her when she's available. Wanting her to look forward to days in my room, I've left many notes of encouragement for her, along with lemonade, coffee, tea and cappuccino (my room has a kitchen). And she always leaves good notes about how things went, changes she made to the plans, behavior issues. All clearly written and to the point. Sadly, last time, she also said goodbye, as she's moving out to Oregon.

So now I have to try to cultivate a new one. A good sub is hard to find, hard to keep, and worth their weight in gold.