Substitute = Epic Fail

Quote of the Day:  While playing a game of Scattergories ( The topic: “type of fish,” the letter: “T.”)  I’m walking around the room when I over hear…

Student: “Oh, oh, twat!  Oh wait.  I was thinking things that smell like fish.”


So…yesterday  I took a sick day, a respite if you will. It was either that, or end up doing time for laying hands on children. As individuals, I love all my 8th graders this year. Working with them one-on-one they can be funny, have great stories, and are generally pleasant. As a group however?  Look out. One of my coworkers once said it best, “Anyone can be great to work with one-on-one. Even a serial killer.” 

After looking over the notes my substitute left, I drew up a nice long detention list on the board. I was more that content with the fact that several the kids on the list, decided to participate in the student organized “8th Grade Skip Today.”

 These are the notes my sub left for me:

Block 1:  Went well.  They all finished their work packets and should have had plenty of time to do the blog entry.

Block 2: They were very disrespectful and rude. Particularly O, M, and C.  I have never taught such mean, nasty girls.  They should be seriously reprimanded.  I ended up sending O and M to the office.  (Students told me O flipped out after she “saw my sub wipe a booger on my desk. Hmmm… still not sure how I would have handled that.) N and G were particularly off task. (After some interrogation, my students turned on one another and informed me that the subject of my sub’s sexuality was the topic of student discussion/disrespectful behavior. I was pissed.)

Block 3: This class was very well-behaved and worked well for the most part.  Everyone finished the worksheet and most did the blog as well.

Block 4:  Lots of angry girls in this class huh?  Many refused to read.  I kicked D out for saying “f–k you” three times, loudly.  (The sub had asked the student to read a paragraph out loud. He didn’t want to.) They all had plenty of time to work, so if they didn’t get done it is because they refused to work. K, T, and J were particularly unproductive and disrespectful.  Though I’m sure that is nothing new.  K and T both blatantly cheated after doing nothing the whole period.

>Knock knock. Who’s there? A substitute. Aghhhhh!!

>As I entered the school this morning and made my way through the cafeteria full of students, I heard one of my gems call out, “Miss Lewis!!! I’m so glad you’re back. That sub you left us with was evil.”

In my ten years of teaching, I think that I have taken 5 sick days. I can’t tell you how many days I’ve taught, even though I felt like death was knocking, but my feeling is: it’s just easier to suffer through it, than make plans for a substitute. After being sick all weekend, and practically collapsing at the end of the day on Monday, I had no choice. I called in sick yesterday.

Upon returning this morning, I found these notes from the sub, waiting for me on my desk:

Block 2:

“M—was very argumentative”

“O—was sent to the office, would not be quiet when asked repeatedly”

Block 3:

“D—left the room, went across the hall and into another classroom, punched a kid, and then came back. He then called two girls slang names, which they objected to, and then called me a bitch. I sent him to the office. When the administrator came in to ask me what names he had called the girls, I couldn’t remember. All I knew was, I was glad D—was gone. In fact, 3rd period was the best.”

Block 4:

“I actually had to tell this group to “shut up” during the 1st half of the period. After asking them to “be quiet please” a dozen times—I just lost it. They were unmanageable. An administrator had to sit in here for the last half of the period.”

“This group was awful. S—, C—, J—… the list attached is the group of students who were not rude, uncooperative, disrespectful, or loud during the 1st half of the class.”
*Attached was a sticky note with 8 names on it. I have 24 students in that class.

“I kept 4th period five minutes into lunch. C—never came back to class after lunch.”

“I’m sure the kids will be glad when you come back.”