- Fizzy Thoughts: Glory days

Glory days

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Lu and Care both mentioned that they will be starting jobs as substitute teachers in the very near future.

Did you know I used to be a substitute teacher? I do believe I've mentioned it numerous times because, let's face it, I am much happier now that I am not a substitute teacher. I will admit to a bit of bitterness. I substitute taught for three and a half years, and I spent a half year on contract as a history teacher after a teacher passed away mid-year. Then they interviewed candidates for the position and I didn't get hired. They hired a coach, instead. So yeah, I have lots of not so pleasant memories when it comes to teaching.

Anyways...not that it's my intention to scare Care and Lu off of their new career path, but really, when the sub is there, the kids all turn into possessed demons. You did too, don't try and deny it. Of course, I'm talking about middle school and high school. The younger kids could be perfect angels for all I know.

So, here are a few substitute teacher stories to shock, appall and amuse you. (Care and Lu, maybe you shouldn't read these after all.) Keep in mind that at the time I was a fairly innocent 23 year old, who looked like one of the high school kids. And I was teaching at the same middle school and high school that I attended...so all of the teachers knew me. On the bright side, I got a lot of work. On the dark side...

1. 8th grade math.
Some highly creative genius twined staples together so that they resembled a piece of barbed wire. Then they left it on the chair for me to sit on. Holy crap did that ever hurt! Not that I let them see my pain.

2. 8th grade math.
Same teacher, different set of juvenile delinquents. One young man didn't like my attempts to control the class and called me a bitch. I'm fairly certain he really thought I was a bitch after he got suspended for that little outburst.

3. 8th grade leadership class.
Yes, leadership. Remember when almost all the boys wore baggy pants belted very low on their non-existent hips? So the class assignment was to finish some sort of artistic project (the details are blurry) and then tack it up on the wall. So there he is, standing on a chair, back to the room (thank gawd), when his friend comes up behind him and pantsed him. Only problem is, he both pantsed and underpantsed the poor kid, who then unintentionally mooned the whole class. Good thing he had quick reflexes.

4. 7th grade science.
Just like it's important not to show pain, it's equally important not to show fear. Remember that. Because science classes come with icky things. Like snakes. I once spent the better part of a morning with a snake wrapped around my arm to prove that I wasn't scared. For once, the kids thought I was cool.

5. High school peer communications.
Peer communicators are very handy with spit wads. They nailed me right in the middle of the forehead. I had to leave the room I was so pissed. It wasn't a good day.

6. 11th grade history.
One boy (who incidentally was the son of a teacher...watch out for those kids!) took the hall pass to go to the restroom. 15 minutes later he returned with sodas for all of his buddies. He tried to convince me that they came from the soda machine in the locker room, however I knew he had left campus and drove to the mini-mart down the street. At the time, they did not sell plastic bottles of soda in the soda machines. Dipshit. And no, I don't mean that in an affectionate way.

7. 11th grade history.
Imagine it...two buddies, bickering before class. They take their seats, which just happen to be at the two farthest points from each other. The one kid is sitting right under my nose, his friend is in the far corner. The bell rings, the class goes silent just as the fed up kid yells to his friend "Lick my balls!" I had never even heard the expression before. Trying not to look a)embarrassed b)appalled c)impressed I calmly asked "was that really necessary," he apologized and we went on with class.

So there you have it. Four years of teaching, and those are my most treasured memories.

What's the worst thing you ever did to a teacher?

20 comment(s):

bermudaonion said...

Great stories. When I was a student, back in the dark ages, we rarely had subs, so I don't remember too much about what we did to them. There was one that we could always get off topic and spend the whole period discussing football or something.

Joanne said...

LMAO!! Those are awesome stories, sorry I don't mean to laugh at your misery, but c'mom, barbed wire staples and "lick my balls"!

Anyway, from jr. high on I was one of the bad kids, one of the back of the room sitters, the smokers, the sarcastic little bitches.

However rather than being evil and mean to subs, I basically took their classes as free periods - walking out of class with the comment that whatever they taught us was irrelevant filler and that the "real teacher" would return to teach our "real lessons".

Most subs had no idea how to handle this and ended up with the classroom empty as even the super goody-goods followed my lead and took advantage of the opportunity to be bad :D

Where on earth did that bitchy, over-confident teen go? Must have been the hormones :P

bkclubcare said...

Wow - I would actually be grateful if the student decided to leave and not bother me. Hey, it would give me time to read. I'm really hoping I get the lesson plans that tell me to pop in a movie for the hour.

I'm a bit nervous. I'm sure it'll be fine.

Chris said...

LOL...you had me rolling with this post...ah the days of all boy high school. We used to get into some trouble.

Steph said...

I could be a horrible little bitch when I wanted to be.
I had a french teacher in high school that really peeved me off. She was disorganized and then proceeded to lose our grades.
I threw a highlighter at her head.

Other than that. I was pretty well liked by teachers. In fact, I was rather quiet.
Oh. I also barfed next to a teacher's desk in Physics class. It was during an exam. He told me to continue writing the exam.
I think that's more horrible of him though.

I could never substitute. I think I'd boil over pretty quick and hang the bad ones from the ceiling fan.

regularrumination said...

AH! I couldn't help but read them. I think the barbed wire/stapler incident is the one that would really get to me. I start on Wednesday, so I will let you know how it goes :)

- Lu

Lisa said...

I was a model student, sadly. I don't remember ever doing ANYTHING that would get me in trouble!

Chris said...

AAAAAND...you have something at my blog ;)

Anne said...

omg Jill, you crack me up!! This post had me guffawing and snorting like an idiot, too funny. I had forgotten the term "dipshit" but must get it back into my vocabulary...it really is a satisfying word to spit out, isn't it?! :)

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

For talking/interrupting/joking when we had a long-term sub I was given the consequence of writing a 1000-word essay on the word "silence". The sub thought it was so good/funny he left a copy for the teacher and I ended up getting extra credit for creative writing - no kidding.

In middle school we had a teacher who looked and sounded just like David Lander (who played Squiggy on Laverne & Shirley, if you remember that show). All the kids called him Squiggy behind his back, but I said it to his face. I got a "yellow card" which was one step away from suspension!

But, despite my atrocious behavior I pulled all As in honor classes. I see a lot of me in my 12 yr old daughter!

literatehousewife said...

Wasn't life as a sub grand? I only had to do it for 9 months, but it was after I already decided that I hated teaching, so it felt a lot longer. My most exciting experience was seeing my least favorite student from student teaching while subbing at the juvenile detention center. I wasn't as shocked as he was. He at least behaved that day. Anyway, I'm so much happier as a business systems analyst...

softdrink said...

Kathy - When I was a kid we had one sub who would play the ukelele for us.

Joanne - I can't believe you were such a hell-raiser! I've gotten plenty of mileage out of these stories...they still crack me up, too!

Care - oh yes, definitely take a book! I watched oodles of movies over those 4 years...many more movies than horror stories, so it'll be fine!

Chris - what...no details?!?

Steph - too bad you didn't get his shoes.

Lu - just keep a sense of humor and watch where you sit!

Lisa - me too! Which is why I was so shocked by their behavior.

Anne - dipshit is a fantastic way to describe 11th grade boys. ;-)

Dawn - better tell your daughter to be nice to the subs! :-D

lithousewife - I'm sure the pay is better, too! I know mine is!!

Melody said...

Yikes!! Great stories, Jill!
I can't imagine myself being a teacher. Besides not having enough patience, I don't think I'm able to cope with all their childish pranks.

Jessica said...

I was generally a well-behaved little teacher's pet, but I did do something heinous to a teacher once. It was third grade, and another teacher had left a wrapped chocolate-covered cherry on my teacher's desk. I stole it and ate it! The really sad part is that she was one of my favorite teachers ever. I don't know whether she ever found out.

Ti said...

I was a good kid and didn't do anything that could be considered "bad" but I did call my hunky history teacher DAD once during class. I was moritifed and so was he!

jdeq said...

Dear lord - I was a supply teacher (that is what we call subs here in the icy north) for four months and HATED it. Talk about a chekc for any ego that you might have had.

chartroose said...

I was good to teachers since my dad was a teacher and I knew he would give me "the business" if I was ever caught misbehaving.

In 8th grade, a boy in my English class urinated on our substitute's desk because she refused to let him go to the bathroom. We all felt she deserved it because he told her it was an emergency and she refused to listen to him.

I never wanted to be a teacher because I've always known that so many of our "little darlings" are actually little demons. If they don't want to learn, I don't want to try to teach 'em. It would be wasting my time and theirs.

This was great, Jill! Give me more autobiographical posts, please! Forget your other fans--write them just for me. ME, ME, ME!

LisaMM said...

OMG Lick my balls!! LOL What *priceless* memories. Best of luck to Care and Lu! Sounds like they are going to need it!

Ladytink_534 said...

Nope, sorry. I was always the kid who helped the sub or the regular teacher.

Ali said...

I love it: "Was that really necessary?" At least you kept your cool!

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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