I recently read the January/ February issue of Teacher Magazine. As a relatively new teacher, I had not seen it before and was excited to peruse it. I read it during my lunch break while I was a long-term substitute teaching English/language arts and literature to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. I was particularly enjoying the interview “Totally Engrossed” [Current Events] until I came upon some words that made me gasp out loud. As a former editor and reporter, I do not take issue with Mr. Cech’s writing, but I do take issue with the teacher being interviewed.
The part that enraged me was this quote: “As teachers know, every time you hire a sub, you lose a day of good learning, and then you lose another day when you return because you have to clean up all the stuff that the sub missed or the kids didn’t get.” I take offense at this comment. Just where does this teacher get her subs, the zoo? When I walk into a classroom as a sub, for one day or for a few months, I take care of that class as if it were my very own. I make an effort to get to know the students’ names and find out as much as possible about their routine so as not to be too disruptive.
It’s teachers like her that give substitutes a bad name. We don’t need comments like that published in education periodicals or journals. It added nothing to the story or the subject of grossology. Because of one comment like that, I will think twice before picking up another issue of your magazine for fear of being enraged once again.
Cheektowaga, New York
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