My district had one really great art sub. She was working on her art ed
certification, and was available 3-4 days each week for subbing. She subbed
other subjects and other districts, too, because there are only 7 art
teachers in this district, but we art teachers always asked for her when we
needed to take a day.
She was a working artist who was expanding into education (something like I
did). The students and the other regular teachers frequently offered
positive reports. Seldom were there discipline problems, even with the
middle school classes. She was able to control the 'looser' atmosphere of an
art room well. The art room was never left a mess and the art supplies were
safely where they belonged. She also left great but short notes about what
went well and what didn't go as well, re: plans and kids.
This sub was willing and able to follow art lesson plans, too, without
having to write out every little detail for her. It got so that when I wrote
sub plans and I knew she would be the sub, I would explain where a
particular class left off last week, then I would suggest a few different
directions she could take them-offering her options to be creative. She
surprised me once by turning a 3rd grade tissue paper collage project into a
3D relief, with small wads of newsprint glued down then covered with colored
tissue. I was quite impressed. But she would also stay on a specific track
with a lesson, if I asked her to.
Anyway, now her certification is complete and when I got my new job (same
district, different school) I was asked to be on the hiring committee to
interview my replacement. I suggested her, and they hired her. I keep
hearing reports that the kids like her and that she's been doing wonderfully
creative things and taking quite a few interesting field trips. Her
creativity, intelligence, personality, and warm enthusiasm for art are
serving her well as an art teacher-just as it served her well as a
substitute art teacher.
However, now we're stuck because in the midst of our regular sub shortage,
there isn't a good art sub anymore! I guess this is why so many districts
don't hire out of the sub pool.
But I have an artist friend who teaches art part time in nearby NY state.
She may be a good art sub on the days she isn't already scheduled to teach.
I had to take a personal day Friday, and she subbed for me for the first
time. I hope all went well. I guess I'll see tomorrow morning!