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Dilemma of Substitute Teaching

Subsitute teaching is great! No planning, no prep – just show up and be your best. When you first start subbing fresh out of university it is the most amazing feeling. You are finally getting paid to do what you love!The whole time you are subbing you are wishing for your own classroom. When you have your own class and working full time, you miss subbing.  Now, I am going back into subbing after having a contract for a year and I have lost that loving feeling.

After having tasted what it is like to be a teacher in your own classroom, subbing doesn’t do it for you anymore. You quickly realize that it isn’t the same as teaching. It is easy to get paid to watch a movie or take a class bowling; but that isn’t teaching. Students aren’t learning anything from you. Unless you push them to discuss the film (which I do, and they hate me for it :P), they are just basking in the free day of school.

I understand why some teachers do not give you material to teach, because if you are unfamiliar with the subject matter than it is easier to just watch a movie than to let the students struggle. I know as a teacher coming back after having a sub in, you still have to review, and even re-teach the things that you hoped the sub covered yesterday. You want a sub to be able to teach but often we don’t have enough hope in their ability. It is a double edged sword. I am a good teacher, or I like to believe so, but as a sub you don’t get to teach so you don’t get to show everyone how good you are. And the less time you spend actually teaching, the less experience you get and less chance of getting a contract.

I love subbing. But I hate subbing….that is where I stand today.

So currently to pass the time between waiting for a contract and sub days, I am cross stitching, and reading. Current book: Hacking Literacy by Gerard Dawson. I’m a chapter in, so far, so informative.



About mshenielson

"I am a teacher, all I need are minds for moulding." I am a new teacher in the Southern Alberta area and loving every minute of it. All views expressed in this blog are mine alone. Follow me on Twitter @NielsoTeach


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