Since school started I've been fairly busy substitute teaching. I usually sub two or three times a week, though I could probably take a job every day if I wanted.
Friday I was a junior high math teacher. It wasn't a particularly pleasant seven hours for me. Rather than dwell on the negative aspects of substituting, I decided to focus on some positives.
- I never take work home. I don't have to grade papers or read essays or write lesson plans.
- If I don't feel like going to school one morning, I don't have to go. I can take a week or two to visit relatives or I can just spend the day at home if I want.
- I don't have to attend staff meetings or conduct parent teacher conferences. I don't have to justify my lessons according to the state's Grade Level Content Expectations.
- I don't have to deal with long-term discipline issues. If a student gives me problems I either write a note for the teacher or send the offender to the office. I don't have to mete out on an appropriate punishment or call home to talk to the parents.
And the list could go on. As I look over it, I feel much happier about substitute teaching than when I was in a room with thirty-one adolescents and the pythagorean theorem.