Awright, tinymeat. You asked for it, you got it.
First of all, let’s get the pecking order straight, here. You are the sub. You’re not even an AIDE, dickhead, you’re the SUB, the SUBSTITUTE TEACHER, the one they plug in because they can’t find an AIDE who will DO THE JOB you do!
Perhaps I have treated you with too much respect. You are, after all, a veteran, and a former officer in the armed forces. I never served. You, on the other hand, have served our country with distinction, and because of this, I treated you like a human, as opposed to treating you like a subhuman, retarded, barely-competent cretin, the way substitute teachers are NORMALLY treated.
You’re the SUB, charlie. Bottom Feeder. I don’t care what you were once upon a time, you are now the Taker Of Orders. Got it?
You are a Substitute Teacher who got assigned to a special education classroom, under the supervision and authority of a Special Education Teacher. Your job is to shut the fuck up and do as you’re told, period. Your judgment is not required. Your approval is not required. Your UNDERSTANDING is not required.
So, like an idiot, I explained what I do, in the hope that you might understand. Call it “team building.” I’m not a real authoritarian kind of guy. I like to think that the people I work with can understand each other, and work as a unit, rather than grunt along uncomprehendingly, simply obeying orders from above, right?
Fool that I am.
And you’ve worked with me several weeks now. I’d hoped you might have a clue as to how I operate, what procedures I follow, what expectations I have for how my class will operate, how the children are expected to behave, and what I hope to accomplish.
I should have known better. I should have known the minute you began cutting on the other aides, griping about how they didn’t pull their weight, standing judgment on what they did. Um hm. Yeah, there’s the sign of a man who thinks he knows the score…
But I didn’t say anything, didn’t slap your ass down, I let you ramble. I figured if nothing else, I was letting you vent, letting you express your feelings, letting you get it out of your system. That’s important in this line of work, you know. These kids can drive you bugshit if you let them. I’m used to listening to my coworkers bitch and groan.
My mistake. You weren’t bitching and groaning. You were starting to think you knew how the place operated, that’s all. And because I listened to you, you started to think you were right.
Mea culpa, man, *mea culpa. * My bad. I should have slapped your ass down weeks ago. I should have made a point of reminding you that you are a SUBSTITUTE FUCKING TEACHER, and lacking in any kind of educational qualifications, and that your judgment is not required – only your obedience.
My bad, man. I’m sorry. I treated you like a human being, and now, that mistake has come to haunt me.
You’re a SUBSTITUTE TEACHER, man. Didn’t growing up in America teach you anything? A sub is the moral equivalent of the guy at McDonalds who asks you if you want fries with that, man! Except the McDonalds’ guy gets a little more respect, because the government doesn’t have a policy of Every American Gets Free Big Macs by Right, and the President never passed any law that says No Fries Left Behind.
A McDonald’s worker has a little dignity, you see. Not much, but a little.
Substitute teachers don’t.
And so, I took pity on you, you retired military officer, you. I had no idea why you wanted to work in my classroom, but you weren’t a bad guy, and you seemed halfway bright. You did some good work while you were with me. And my classroom is not an easy place to be. My kids are the worst kids in the school. You need the patience of a saint on Valium to teach my kids.
But you stuck with me. I respected you for that.
All the way up to today.
All the way up to the point where you decided you knew better than I did.
All the way up to the point where you disputed my call… right there in front of the kids.
I told you to leave him alone, man. When he gets whiny like that, he’s fishing for attention. He’s telling you, “I’m in a pissy mood, and I don’t feel like doing my schoolwork, and I might do it if you spoonfeed me the answers, but even then I’ll whiiiiine because I have to write the answers dooooowwwwn, and I’ll piss and moan all the waaaay.”
And like a maroon, you began spoonfeeding him the answers.
Sub Man, he is too smart for that. You knew damn good and well he could read. You knew damn good and well he could crunch that whole fucking chapter in five minutes if he SHUT THE FUCK UP AND DID IT, but you decided you were going to spoonfeed him the first answer, and see what he did next.
And I told you to leave him alone.
And you didn’t want to.
And I told you to leave him alone.
And I asked you to come speak to me outside.
And you told me no.
In front of the kids.
That was my mistake, bud. My bad, mea culpa. I let you think you had some sort of qualifications, some sort of understanding. My bad. You did raise some kids of your own – never an easy task – but then you got to thinking you knew how to do my job.
And you decided you knew it better than I did.
And you disputed me in front of the kids.
That was your fatal mistake, man. You do NOT argue in front of the kids. When the kids realize they can split you up, they’ll begin trying to do so every chance they can. And one of them laughed when you finally decided to come talk to me out in the hall.
After you once told me “no,” that is.
You finally decided to do what I told you to do. You left him alone, you let him stew in his own self-pity and anger.
For all of two minutes.
And then you walked out of my classroom, in the middle of class.
Good example, there, buddy. You made it pretty clear that if you don’t agree with Teacher Man, you can just take a hike. Do you know what happens to Substitute Teachers who just decide to walk out of an assigned area, like that, without permission, without checking in with their assigned teachers?
You could have taken a break to cool off, if you’d said something. I would have understood.
Instead, you went to an administrator. I have no idea what you said, but that administrator sure wants to talk to me now. I guess they’d really like to know what the hell went on in my classroom.
It’s a good thing I have several other witnesses who will detail what you had to say and do when you stormed out.
Thanks a lot, Substitute. I’m used to the kids throwing shit fits in my class. Can’t say I’ve ever seen an adult do it before.
But I guess it’s my fault. I treated you like a human being, and you began thinking you knew how to do the job.
Guess I’ll know better next time.