Thursday, January 14, 2021

Two Stories about Substitute Teaching. Twelve and Thirteen.

I subbed yesterday. Certainly, that's fodder:

Fresh from student teaching, Darby keeps hearing about a teacher shortage, but at the same time, she keeps getting passed over for the jobs she applies for. It's December, so most of the openings are actually filled, but still. "You were our second choice," the principals keep saying when they call her to say that someone else will do so-and-so's eight-week maternity leave. Eventually, all of the first choices will already be hired, and then she'll actually get a job. In the meantime, she'll sub. 

It's a dystopian nightmare from the start. No lesson plans, kids who throw chairs, one who defecates in the corner, and worst of all, a guy from her graduate school program who just happens to end up at the same schools she subs at each day, even when she district-hops midweek. What's with this guy? And what's the definition of stalking?

That's one. Here's another:

Ingrid lands a long-term sub job. She's pumped because she's been out of the workforce raising her kids for a few years, basically going crazy watching spit-up dry on receiving blankets and shaking rattles above their wobbly heads. But now the twins are in Kindergarten and the next one can do daycare. Ingrid's husband wonders whether the daycare investment is worth it, but Ingrid insists. "What is the price of my fucking sanity?!" she demands. He lets it go.

Little does Ingrid know, she's walking into another nightmare. The teachers in this place are unbelievably competitive. They hide lesson plans from one another, steal each other's recess spots, and trash-talk each other's contributions to mandatory workplace potlucks. Ingrid's got to not only manage her rowdy class and keep them quiet in the hallways, but she also has to navigate this grown-up bullshit. A week or two into the job she discovers one teacher's shocking secret, and suddenly the power dynamics start to change.


3 comments:

LH said...

I'm surprised there aren't more stories about substitute teachers. It's definitely fodder.

"What's the price of my fucking sanity?" is a perfect line.

mm said...

I have to agree with the sanity line!

KC said...

Daycare is a must.