If Substitute Students Existed…..

I’ve been far too serious lately in my blog posts and I think it’s having an effect on my blood pressure.  I was inspired by my daughter earlier (along with a friend of mine from Facebook) to write this post.

My husband (also a teacher) was taking a day off to attend an appointment.  My daughter asked if she could stay home too. My husband firmly told her no.  She huffed that it wasn’t fair that he could just have a substitute teacher go in for him and that she wished a substitute student could go to school for her.

And I wondered what THOSE sub plans would look like…….

April 15, 2014 – Substitute Student for  Sara Chasm

Dear Sub Student:

Thanks so much for coming in for me today.  I’m so sick, I feel like I’m going to die.  I hope the day isn’t too rough on you.

To begin with, after signing it at the office, go to my classroom.  It’s #217.  Down the hall to your left, past the concession, a right at the janitor’s closet and down to the end of the hallway.  My locker is five away from the door.  My combination is 24-16-31.  If you don’t know how to work the lock, just ask a teacher.  They’re always helping kids with their lockers.

I’ve included a class seating chart with my desk outlined in bright orange.  The desks coloured in blue are my friends, the desks in red are people I don’t know much about, the desks with the Xs on them are the kids you should talk to in case you have questions about anything throughout the course of the day.  The black desk is that of my arch nemesis.  You are NOT to talk to him under any circumstances and if we have partner work avoid him at all costs.  Seriously.  The trouble maker kids and the kids who are usually sent to the office are also marked down.  I’m an “academic” student so I try to stay away from these people because sometimes when they get into trouble they can pull other kids down with them.

The yellow stars represent the people I play with at recess.  We meet under the flagpole every recess and decide what to do.  Today its my turn to pick.  Please pick “school” and assign roles accordingly.  I like to be the teacher.  Jenna will complain that she wants to be the teacher.  She will probably make a big deal if she doesn’t get her way.  If this happens, just tell her she can be whoever she wants to be when it’s her turn to pick.  If she continues to be a pain, roll your eye starting from left to right, sigh heavily, and say, “Fine Jenna.  You can be the teacher.”  Then you can pick Principal (which is a better role anyways because you’ll get to boss her around).

Ok, so the day!

After sitting down you will notice the schedule my teacher wrote on the board.  All my books are in my desk.  My green duo tang in for math.  My red is for Social. And my yellow is for Science.  I hope we don’t have LA because I brought that home and it’s with me.  Oops.  If we do have LA, just ask the teacher for help.  She’ll know what to do (usually).  Sometimes she forgets what we were doing the previous day and in that case, just roll with it.

My Social Project on Dinosaurs is not finished.  You will need a computer to do the research.  My log in name is schasm3695 and my password is: Sch00L!  Please note the upper case letters and those are zeros, not Os.  If you have trouble logging in, just talk to Jason (the one with the heart around his name on the seating plan).  He’s the “tech” kid in class who helps everyone. He’s super smart with computers! And he’s really really really cute.  But don’t tell him I said that.  

Here is a list of websites I have been researching:



and http://www.wikipedia/dinosaurs/facts/657/file/org/research/Htx90L/longinternetname.htm

Just type these in exactly and you will see what you need.

At recess you will be allowed to eat a snack.  You will only have time for a quick snack and if you don’t put your wrappers in the garbage, the garbage patrol monitors will get on your case so it’s just easier to throw your stuff in the garbage.

Ok, Math.  We’ve been studying fractions.  I’m very good at fractions so please make sure you do any work assigned correctly.  If you aren’t sure of the answers, just copy off of John.  He sits next to me on my left (note seating chart).  He always gets everything right.  It’s super annoying but also helpful when I have a substitute student.  

Now Art class……the smocks are in the closer (you won’t want to get your nice school clothes messy!) and we are working with paint today.  My preferred colours of yellow, green, and purple.  If those are all in use, feel free to use orange or red.  Please avoid blue and that pukey mustard coloured one.  It’s gross.  And it’s runny so it’ll just make a mess of everything.  Hopefully the teacher doesn’t put it out anyways.  Watch out for Jack and Jill, they’re clumsy and if you paint next to them they will probably get paint all over you.

Music class….I’m really tall so I’m in the back row.  You won’t know the words to any of the songs we’re singing but that’s ok.  The kids sing together as a chorus and I don’t have a solo so just operand close your mouth and pretend you are singing and it’s all good.  If the teacher calls on you for anything, just remind her that you are a sub student and don’t know what’s going on.  She’ll pick someone else.

Ok, clean up at the end of the day!  We stack our chairs.  I’m in row 4 so you have to stack your chair on the 4th pile.  Make sure all the garbage is off the floor from around your desk.  Also, you won’t be able to write down the agenda notes because I have my agenda at home with me, just use a piece of paper from the scrap paper pile on the back shelf and leave it on my desk.  I’ll see it in the morning when I get back (assuming this puking comes to an end and my fever goes away).  If your desk is neat and tidy and you are standing quietly, the teacher might pick you to go to your locker first!

I hope your day goes well!  Leave me notes on anything you feel is important.  Don’t forget to tell me about every little interaction and conversation you had with my classmates. It’s important I know EVERYTHING that went on during the school day.  Seriously….EVERYTHING.  In fact, when you get home tonight, it might be easier just to email me since I’m sure you will have lots to say.  My email is schasm@school.com.

I was reading this to my daughter who got a good laugh out of it, but at the end she said,  “Do you really have to write down every little thing when you get a sub?”

And I said, “Well yes, especially if it’s a sub I’ve never had in my classroom before.  They will need to know how the day works.”

My daughter rolls her eyes, gets up from the chair and says on her way out of the room, “It would be way easier to just go to school………”


About Cherra-Lynne Olthof

I've been a middle school teacher for my entire career (which began in 2001). Like my students, I too am a life long learner. My goals include helping my students to achieve their goals, support them in their learning, and to encourage them to think "beyond the grade".
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1 Response to If Substitute Students Existed…..

  1. Sally says:

    Mission accomplished! People really have no idea how much work it is to be sick!

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