April 26, 2006

To sub or not to sub

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:03 pm by mrsmauck

Some teachers think subbing should be required for all new teachers, according to my daily teacher blog perusals. Over at I Thought a Think, this blogger said that if you walk from student teaching to your own classroom without having to sub, you lose an opportunity to learn the system from elementary to high school, to truly test your classroom managment skills, and to shore yourself up for every possible challenge you’ll meet in the public school system.

“Subbing hardens you. Subbing makes you think. Subbing teaches you how to punt
when the lesson isn’t going well, how to organize your day, how to fully see
just what the kids are doing, and so much about classroom management.”

I’m going to walk from a Master’s program to the classroom, if all goes as planned! Perhaps that plan will show to be a sucky one once I get into the classroom. It’s okay with me if it’s tough at first, but if I back out of teaching because I wasn’t truly prepared, I will be extremely disappointed. I know I’ll have as much if not more enthusiasm and creativity than teachers who go the traditional route of undergrad teaching program, student teaching, subbing, and then their own classroom. But discipline and classroom management is where I know I’ll be a bit lacking. In my English Teacher’s Survival Guide, it says that the teachers with the fewest discipline problems are the ones who want to be there, and whose classrooms and lesson plans are so organized and engaging that students don’t find much time to cause trouble. Even to a head-in-the-clouds girl like me, I know that’s not true all the time.

But I know I can do it! can’t I?



  1. The Rain said,

    Yes, you can, because what you said is absolutely correct–the ones who want to be there will survive the problems, out of sheer desire. If you’re waking up at 3:30 a.m. excited over the whiff of a job, you have what it takes! 🙂

    And at the very least, you’ve spent some time in Sunday school. *ANY* contact hours are a good thing. The friend that I talked about in my post didn’t really have anything to rely on besides his student teaching, and it really hurt him in the end. It’s one of those things where he thought he wanted to, but when reality kicked him in the shin his desire went away, fast.

    You’ll be alright. I look forward to seeing the adventure on your blog!

  2. Kim said,

    Thanks so much for your encouragement!

  3. Courtney said,

    Hello! I found your blog b/c I love A Wrinkle in Time. Also, I’m a 9th grade public school English teacher who went straight into the classroom with little training or expereince- 5 weeks at Teach for America boot camp. YOU CAN DO IT! Yeah, it’ll be hard and you’ll cry and eat lots of ice cream, but its SO WORTH IT!! And if English is your thing, then high school is for you- I started off in 4th grade 4 two years, but made the switch because literature is what I love. Robert Fried’s The Passionate Teacher is one you should read and Jim …’s The English Teacher’s Companion (Heinemann) is the source I keep going back to.

  4. happychyck said,

    Where there’s a will, there’s a way! There is no perfect formula for what makes a good teacher. A good teacher has to have a lot of trick in her/his bag and that you get with experience. Your learning curve will be steep the first few years.

    When I was getting my degree (traditionally) there was a lot of pressure from my peers for me to sub to gain more experience. Unfortunately, that path wouldn’t pay the bills at the time, and I needed to keep my steady job. I found a teaching job right out of school, and forged my way, just as many teachers had done before me–without subbing.

    Volunteering in classrooms is another way to gain experience–while you observe other teachers’ techniques. It’s also a more authentic way to get a feel for the classroom because you’re witnessing typical days with the good and bad included. Being in the classroom on days when the teacher is gone is not going to show a typical day.

    Anyway…good luck in your journey!

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