Saturday, December 6, 2008


Last month I substituted Sammy's class for the first time. Considering the class already knew me, I wondered how things would go. I'm fun with music on Thursday afternoons as a volunteer, but now I needed to make sure we got all the work done assigned by their teacher.
It was getting close to recess time and the kids were getting a little lax in accomplishing the task that had been set before them. I announced that anyone who hadn't finish would stay in during recess to finish and I would be available to help them. Groans filled the room, but the children were quickly motivated.
Sam had enough presence of mind not to announce his displeasure in front of the entire class. Instead, he marched up to the front of the classroom where I was standing and purposely stood in front of me keeping his back to the class. He looked up at me; clenching his teeth, quietly, but with great drama proceeded to inform me, "MOM, YOU ARE THE WORST SUBSTITUTE EVER!" I smiled and couldn't help laughing. I gave him a hug around his shoulders as I escorted him back to his seat and assured him that he would probably get it all done in a timely manner; there was still time.
I wasn't shaken by his angst. It comes with the territory. I mean, I've already been designated the "WORST MOM EVER" and the infamous, "MEANEST MOM IN THE WORLD", that's unfortunately life when it comes to discipline.
I'm always on a learning curve when it comes to being in a different classroom everyday. Every school, teacher, schedule, and age group, etc. are different. I learn something every time I work in a class and I'm better for it. Fortunately, my greater understanding helps me be a better substitute and being a better teacher means I'm serving the children better.
I taught a 1st grade class for an entire week in November. I was surprised how I easily got into the routine and learned everyone's name. Just the consistency of being in the same place every day made it easier. I also observe in classrooms how I could improve on things if I could only be there on a consistent basis rather than my one day appearance, but then that's not my lot as a substitute.

Well, was I the worst substitute ever? I asked Sam that question at the end of the day. He admitted that maybe I wasn't that bad. There is one thing I know and I'm confident of, if I have the opportunity to substitute Sam's class again, I'll do better.
A teacher affects eternity;
[she] can never tell
where [her] influence stops.
Henry Brooks Adams


  1. I figure if you're not "the meanest mom in the world" once in a while--you're not really doing the job...huh? Love Sammy's picture and the new background is great.

  2. The family all had a good laugh when I read this to them last night. We can just picutre Sammy doing that!