Substitute Teaching: A Real Learning Experience

I recently became a substitute. So far, I’ve only worked with middle school and high school students. I did work at a preschool in the past, first as a lunch lady then as a teacher’s aide, so I also have experience working with little ones. I’ve yet to have the pleasure of working with elementary school students, but I’m looking forward to it.

Working with kids can be very rewarding. Let me be the first to tell you, however, that children of all ages, can give you an education. Of course, as parents, you know this. Yet, it is even more true when you have a room full of kids to supervise, care for, or teach.

When I worked with little ones, I was overjoyed by how excited they were to learn. I also quickly found out that most of them were willing to share anything and everything with myself and other staffers, without being asked. You might be horrified by just how much your little darlings tell teachers about the many intimate aspects of your lives.

I now know that older children will also share almost anything, either directly, or right in front of you. They seem to forget that you’re there about halfway through the class. The things they discuss are quite frankly things I would rather not know.

I will of course keep private information to myself, but I was tempted to call a few parents, whom I’m sure have no idea what their kids are discussing (or saying about them). I also wanted to call a few whose daughters I watched smile sweetly and wave goodbye then literally run to the restroom to transform their look from innocent schoolgirl to um… not so much.

There’s much more, but I learned years ago that you’re better off staying out of it unless asked directly by parents. Some really don’t want to know. If you ever do want to know what really goes on at your child’s school, find out what you have to do to become a sub. It’s a real education.

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