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Friday, December 30, 2022

A Poetic Ending to a Semester of Subbing


The 2022-2023 school year is my 5th school year as a substitute teacher.  Since the Spring of 2021, I have been mostly working as a long term sub. A long term sub usually replaces a teacher on a leave or fills in a vacancy caused by a teacher's departure.  I have done both.   This means I'm filling in for the same position every day until that teacher returns from their absence  or the vacancy I'm filling in for is staffed.  This year I have been subbing for a special needs classroom since the beginning of the school year.  I have had 2 classes (1 group of 6th graders) and 1 group of 7th graders in one class room.  In addition to teaching 4 subjects on 2 grade levels, I have been preparing lessons, grading papers, , making report cards and basically everything else a "regular" teacher does.  It has been some of the most challenging and most fulfilling work I have ever done.  

The length of most long term sub positions are known in advance.  Generally you know how long, give or  take someone personal, sick or maternity leave is going to be in advance.  Filling an unfilled spot does not usually come with a knowable end date.  My principals were pretty sure they were going to have me for the full school year as in the first 4 months the job was posted a total of zero people applied for it.

When I came back from Thanksgiving break, I was greeted with the news that a teacher had indeed applied and been hired for the position.  It was bittersweet, my students all have various degrees of difficulty adapting to change.  Many of them did not take to the idea well.  I on the other hand, was very glad that a SPED certified teacher would be taking over at the beginning of the next semester at the same time as being saddened that such a wonderful experience was coming to an end.  

In the last 3 weeks of school I worked hard with the students that we would finish well.
In our English Language Arts class I wanted to teach the students some poetry so I found this lesson on Acrostic Poems  from  Youtube  utilizing Brain Pop which is one of my students favorite educational websites. 


After the video, I went to our board and "we" created this poem using SCHOOL as our acrostic.

                                                Students and Teachers
                                                Classes and Chaos
                                                How much is 7 times 3?
                                                Old friends and new ones
                                                Open their minds up
                                                Learning begins with me.

The handwriting equivalent

The semester is over.  I have said goodbye to my students and just need to go back next week, log in their final grades and do a few other thing to transition the classroom for the next teacher.  As for me, I was able to get a long term position for the next semester as a building sub.  I'll be going to the school my wife works at but will be most likely in a different classroom each day.  It is what I had hoped to do at the beginning of the school year but I am so glad to have spent August to December where I was.  

Thanks to for Patricia J Franz  
for hosting
the last Poetry Friday of the year.  
My advice is  
check it out 
just by clicking here.


Patricia Franz said...

Dave, I come from a family of teachers and worked in a school for 10 years where we had a numerous floating subs for varying lengths of time. I was always amazed at those subs who took their role so seriously, connecting on a committed level with the students no matter how long or short their stint. Thank you for the heart you gave to these students. They will remember you. And thank you for teaching them acrostic poetry. You have touched the future! Happy New Year!

Marcie Flinchum Atkins said...

Your role as a long term sub is so appreciated! This is my 25th year of teaching and I'm always so grateful for the long-term subs that filled in for me during my maternity leaves and for the ones that fill hard-to-fill positions! Happy New Year!

Susan T. said...

I like the acrostic very much! Congrats on the new job.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Thanks for doing the hard work this fall, Dave--It looks like you and your class had fun with the acrostic, and the incoming teacher will find her job much easier thanks to your commitment. Happy New Year!

laurasalas said...

I was a teacher and a substitute teacher (never long-term, though) many years ago. Both jobs are SO hard and so rewarding. Thanks for the stability you created with your students over the fall. Everyone is so in need of that!

mbhmaine said...

It sounds like you created an opportunity for both you and your students to have a wonderful experience from start to finish. I so appreciate the work of substitutes(in my district we refer to them as Guest Teachers)! Good luck with your new position.

Liz A. said...

Long term positions are so hard. I put my foot down and refused to take another (for the moment). I hope you've been having a good time so far this semester.

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