Substitute Teachers? HA!

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.

Good luck with the administrator.

Your good will is sincerely appreciated.

Holy shit-they let this guy work in Special Ed?


Good luck. Not that I think you’ll need it. I rather think the administrator will listen to you and then tell the Substitute to pack his kit bag.

Wow. Something about substitutes has been going on lately. Special Ed substitutes in particular.

This one special eduaction substitute that my friend’s brother deals with managed to convince him that my friend hates her because she’s Filipeno. Said friend has never even seen this woman face-to-face, so we have no idea what’s going on.

Anyway, best of luck - I adore veterans, but I hate it when anyone starts acting like I owe them something, or that they know my job better than me, so veteran or not - he’s gotta go.


Hey! Not all substitute teachers are unqualified. It can also be very hard to get someone to sub for special ed. That said, it sure looks like got the short straw. I am hoping that the administrator sends him home to the daily pool. I know if I pulled that crap, I would be, and I am licenced. (Not special ed though, those jobs are kind of begging here.)


Wanna job?

If it was up to me, I’d hire you. I’m so sick of all these damn subs.

And then they seem to feel that I can handle four times the paperwork, because “You have all these aides!”

Yeah, well, when the aides start planning the material, producing lesson plans, teaching the stuff, assessing, grading, and mapping out their IEPs, in addition to doing all my goddamn special ed paperwork, maybe THEN I’ll start feeling spoiled…

You had a sub? Was the zoo out of trained monkeys?

Crush him like the bug he is, and then never mention him again to your kids. Let them wonder what really happened to him. As for the Administrator, I’d wish you good luck but you won’t need it. That sub is toast already and he just hasn’t figured it out yet.

While I can appreciate that this fella screwed up, I’m having a hard time getting over this hatred of substitute teachers. Sure, they’re not the skilled and trustworthy regular teacher or aide… they actually showed up for work today! These people are picking up the work that someone else is failing to do, and get this sort of attitude?

Man, if I was a sub, and knew what you thought of me, I’d piss in the fucking coffee pot every day I got some work. Drink up skilled professional teachers, I brewed it just for you.

I don’t hate the guy. If I thought he could put it back in his pants and keep it there, I’d invite him back tomorrow.

This notwithstanding, it’s a serious goddamn error of judgment, one I wouldn’t have thought he’d have made after weeks of working with these kids, and with me.

You leave your pride at the door when you work in the classroom with ME. If I have to do it, you can damn well do the same.

That was a Clinton initiative, wasn’t it?

Great… I start being a special ed substitute next week for a month, and I read THIS…

Then again, I was a special ed teacher for the last 13 years and moved to take a job that ended up being given to someone with NO credential… “Oops, sorry.” Yeah, thanks…

So, I get to go through the same hiring process to be a permanent Special Ed Teacher AGAIN next year… This year I get to be a SUB!

So not all subs are as idiotic as the one in your room… And I sure hope I’m not working at YOUR school…

One of the teachers on my wife’s team went into the hospital the day before classes started. So they needed a substitute with a Special Ed certification, and they needed one FAST.

They found one. Except she wasn’t actually a teacher, she was a therapist. She had never actually taught a class.

Yesterday she asked my wife if any of a student’s previous teachers had demanded the student be put on medication. No, my wife explained. They’re teachers, not doctors, so they don’t make medical decisions. Also, it’s not legal. Or ethical. And finally, it’s considered bad form for a teacher to insist a student be put on drugs.

Today the sub told the principal she’ll be leaving at the end of the week.

Sorry you had to deal with such a bad substitute, Master Wang-Ka. I mentioned in another thread that I’ve recently started writing special education publications. I’ve read cases involving fantastic teachers, as well as cases involving horrible teachers (including a few instructors accused of harassing or assaulting students). It’s an incredibly difficult profession, and you have my respect.

Daffyd, good luck in your new job!

Maybe your wife misunderstood… I think the sub was asking if any of the previous teachers had demanded to be put on medication. :stuck_out_tongue:

The only thing that scares me is I’m going from teaching High School for the last five years to Grades one and two! :eek:

If those kids are expecting their new sub to sing songs, their eardrums are gonna be really sorry!

But thanks for the thought. :slight_smile:

The world needs more good special-ed teachers like you, Master Wang-Ka.

I’m totally with you on the majority of your rant, but what’s with the slagging on subs? We have enough egos to go around in education. Maybe you’re the one who needs to put it back in his pants.

Good luck with the administrator Master Wang-Ka.

Sometimes retired officers seem to forget that they are no longer the “superior”. It’s unfortunate.