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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,223
Senior Member

Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,223
Senior Member
luv2teach, your name says it all...
Old 12-19-2017, 11:37 PM
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But I'm there because teaching is what I love to do, and I enjoy the kids I teach (most of them anyway...)
Me too! Frankly, I have trouble understanding the "thankless job" label... I too have worked in a number of different environments over the years, but never one where I felt the sense of accomplishment and contribution as I do when I sub. I agree with Abraham Lincoln who said, "Most people are about as happy as they've decided to be..." When I started doing this, I adopted a philosophy that I think has helped keep a difficult job fun.

I sub because I'm obsessed with teaching and learning and I love the opportunities. Some of the best ones happen not when I'm standing in front of the class. I teach during recess... while walking down the hall. Most the kids know Mr. B's "rule number two" -- we are going to enjoy learning. My job is not to take the joy out of learning. I am not there to manage kids; I am there to manage learning. The kids (most of them anyway) help me with it.

A few years ago someone on this forum posted a reply directed at me saying, "You don't live in the real world." I was reminded of the joke, "I live in my own little world but at least everybody there likes me."

I remember standing with a teacher once at the back of her room... the kids were all working, it was orderly and quiet. The teacher said to me, "You know we are teaching future doctors and lawyers... maybe even a future president." I smiled in agreement, then she added, "and probably a criminal... maybe even a murderer." She was joking but not--that's perspective certainly. I know her well as a colleague and she does work hard at teaching kids who have a positive future. We also know that what and how we teach does have an impact on how they turn out. Most adults can remember small incidents in their lives that made a huge difference. We get lots of opportunities to create them. I love that this thread has triggered some reports of just how great this job can be.

I do get the value of venting... but try to stay off the threads where that seems to be the point. I like the threads that are about solving problems. I occasionally try to offer a humorous incident... (see the recent post about sight reading). When the kids whine (for example) that they hate math, I suggest that we get it done quickly, I don't agree that it sucks... or, in some cases, try to find ways to make it more enjoyable. (I could write a book complaining about math curriculum, but I'm not in charge of writing curriculum. I'm there to teach.) Sometimes when we have a difficult or unpleasant task I say, "No smiling!" Then I pick a kid and get right in his/her face and keep repeating, "Don't smile! No!" (I make faces if they seem to be succeeding in not smiling.) Usually, they will break out laughing and the laughter is contagious.

I think teaching kids to laugh is part of the job. That same teacher has admitted to me that when she knows she's going to be out, she doesn't tell the kids I'm going to be the sub. "They seem too happy," she jokes. "And it would be easy to think they like you more than me.' She's kidding, but she's also demonstrating perspective.
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