Sunday, April 15, 2012
Caution: Rant Ahead
From what I have seen, we are often treated as second class citizens by students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Now, I have been lucky enough to be in some schools that do otherwise (I am in one right now), and I have made some teacher friends who certainly don't treat me that way.
What drove this home recently? I heard a comment from a student. I saw this student (whom I had subbed for last year) in the hall and he asked me, "Are you a real teacher now?" I have also had a parent ask something similar on meet the teacher night. She shook my hand, and the first thing she asked me was, "Are you a real teacher?" Now, the student I can easily forgive, but what I really wanted to say to the mother was, "Are you a real parent?" Of course, I was nice and polite even though she treated me like dirt.
Over and over again I hear things like "she's just a sub" or "that happened because there was a sub." And it just irks me. I enter the teacher's lounge in some schools and subs are relegated to the other end of the table. We are not talked to at recess unless we force the issue. It really does feel like a form of segregation.
Now, I completely understand where this sentiment has come from. I went through the "training" my district provides, and it was really no help at all. And the requirements to work as a sub are very low (to match the pay and nonexistent benefits), so of course, you don't usually attract the best of the best that way. I have witnessed some scary subs in action too and heard the horror stories of the ones I haven't seen, so it's no wonder that others have these opinions of subs.
Boy, oh boy, would I love to change those stereotypes! If fact, that's a big reason I started this blog. Even though my ultimate dream is to have my own classroom, I really do like most parts of being a sub. And I wanted to show other subs and teachers that we don't have to be just babysitters. Teachers, you can leave us meaningful lessons that require some actual teaching. And subs, we have to do our part too. If you don't feel trained, learn more! Don't treat subbing as a means to an end, but the end itself. Don't take the easy way out. I always try approach each sub job as if it were my own classroom (even just for the day). Maybe, just maybe, over time, we can start to change those opinions of subs.
Feel free to share your sub stories (good and bad).