Monday, May 18, 2009

I Hate Subbing

Being a teacher is great. I like to work with kids, and it's an honor to even be around some of the great kids I get to work with. But man, do I hate when they send me to someone else's class where I don't know anyone from a hole in the wall. I guess it's kind of a nostalgic thrill for retired teachers to come and sub, but whenever I leave, I'm pretty sure I'll be gone for good. This is not to disparage subs in any way--I have great respect for people who are good at what I'm not.

The other day I got summoned to cover a class for someone. The class was fairly civilized. A few kids had earphones and cell phones, I asked them to put them away, and they did. One kid replaced them five minutes later. I went to step two, which is leave them on my desk until the period ends. But the kid declined. So, at stage 3, I picked it up and called the dean to take it.

When I went there, to make sure they didn't just give it back to him, the kid's mom was already there, and overheard me. She explained that her kid was a good kid, that the music player was for his enjoyment, and that she never, ever wanted her kid to be in my class (You can imagine how disappointed I must've been).

Nonetheless, I thought about what I'd have done if my kid had something confiscated. Wherever the device ended up, it would be a while before my kid saw it again. As for the music-lover in the class I covered, he probably called his mom on his cell, also prohibited for school use, in order for her to have gotten there that quickly. I'd be upset to even be contacted over such nonsense during a school day. Doubtless I'm an unfit parent.

But that's just me. Let others stand up for the freedom of their kids to expressly flaunt the rules and defy authority. Perhaps those kids are geniuses who will someday save the world and can't be bound by the conventions of this world.

On the other hand, simpler explanations often tend to be far more accurate.
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