Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Working Class Heroes

There's a great story in today's Times about a very successful substitute teacher. 81-year-old Arnold Blume seems to make history come alive for kids at Great Neck High School, largely by having experienced it. Kids, apparently, look forward to having Mr. Blume cover their classes.

I'm highly impressed by that, being one of the worst substitute teachers I've ever known. I just write whatever the teacher asks on the board (if indeed the teacher leaves anything) and hope for the best. If anyone gives me a hard time I call security and have them removed, which I'd never do in my own classes. But why bother personally disciplining kids I won't see tomorrow?

Subbing is really very hard, I think, and I doubt very much I'll be among those who come back to sub after retirement. There are a few blogs from brave souls who sub regularly, notably Mr. Lawrence and this new guy on the block. You've gotta respect these folks. Next to the special ed. teachers, perhaps, they've got the roughest jobs in the school.
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