Substitute teachers get a bad rap


Sofia Rose, Journalist

Everyone who goes to school has had a substitute teacher at some point. Although it is a teacher’s responsibility to show up to school every day ready to teach with students ready to learn, this is, of course, not always possible.  . Though not every student is happy to see a substitute teacher enter the classroom, this may be because they just do not know much about substitute teachers’ jobs.


Every teacher has a strict set of guidelines they expect from their students on work ethic, quality of the work, and respect. Each teacher’s guidelines are different, and teens have to adjust and learn to navigate the expectations in every different class. From a student’s perspective, when a substitute, or, “sub” has to come in, there is a whole new set of guidelines to be learned and obeyed.


Ms. Deidrick, a former full-time classroom teacher who subs at Dickinson often, says that subbing is hard because they “don’t know what the lesson plans are until [they] go in there for the first time.”  Substitute teachers’ jobs, she continues, are “just to do what the teacher wants [them] to do for that class.” Deidrick said it is also harder than regular teaching because  the subs don’t deal with the same group of students everyday like regular classroom teachers, and “don’t know different personalities as well.”


Respect is something Deidrick said is important for substitute teachers to show their students, but the students must respect the subs as well. After all, subbing is no easy task. Just as the students must learn new classroom rules when a substitute comes in, the sub learns about new students every day of their career.


Juan Matias, a sophomore at Dickinson, said he likes the sub s “that care about the education. Some subs let you just be on your phone and I don’t like that.”


“Sometimes it’s not even the subs fault; it’s the teacher’s fault for not being specific” about the sub plans and what’s expected of the sub while they’re away , Matias said.


Some subs take classroom matters into their own hands, with both good and bad results.


One sub who came in for the freshman IMP3 Honors class was incredibly knowledgable on quadratics, which the class was studying at the time. He helped the students work through the parts they were struggling with and took time to explain every step. Then, he had everyone throw scrap paper into the recycling bin to demonstrate the graph of a quadratic at the end of class.


However, a woman who subbed for an English 10 Honors class once kept distracting the class from our work by telling the class about an old comedian, and some students spent the period sitting out in the hallway to focus on their work.


Whatever kind of substitute teacher your classroom is faced with, remember to respect them. After all, they’re just doing their job.