Ready, set, teach!

You thought you’d be teaching right? Think again… Some of these moments are my tall tales and others are true stories I’ve heard from other substitute teachers…

Just an ordinary morning in the life of a substitute teacher.

You get the call and a job and instantly check google maps… It only takes a train, 3 buses and 5 km hike over a mountain to get to the school. And you have 30 minutes to get there.
All prepared for a days work with kids.

After riding the bus for two hours you start to question yourself and your choices.
Your first time here, huh? Just take the third corridor left, elevator up, stairs down and after the dining hall head towards the library, turn 360 degrees and walk to Mordor.


Try to get organized in 30 seconds before the bell rings
Usually it’s just like…

Some classrooms and teachers are more organized than others…
Reading the teacher’s notes, you’re like… French?! No one talked anything about french??

So you do the best you can…

A lot of bullying going on in the classroom so the teacher thought it would be best if instead of moving on with the curriculum we just do some “teambuilding exercises in the gym”. With a strange sub teacher?!?! For the whole day??? Um…

The teachers instructions are on the computer. Don’t have the guest login information.
Can’t figure out the Smartboard system in this school.

Substitute teachers have all kinds of skills they can utilize.

“My class is a very lively class”.

Trying to be tough at first and implement your rule system
Sure your names are Spiderman, Zorro and Batman.

None of the students came back to class after recess.

found the whole class playing from the school yard after frantically running around the strange school looking for them and wondering if I was the one in a wrong place. I must admit I was a little impressed that the entire group of 4th graders made that decision together and no one chickened out..

Sometimes you try very hard but it’s just not your day.

For some reason I always thought I’d be the teacher who was more in tune with the youth culture.

Fieldtrips in strange neighborhood with strange 1st graders.
Fieldtrips in strange neighborhood with strange 6th graders.

I’m all like:
Supervising every single recess.
In Finland every 60 minute lesson has 45 minutes teaching and then 15 minute recess. Finnish winter -10 F…
“This lesson was supposed to be X, but instead you can just do ‘something’”.

Went on a date after work. Had Play-Doh stuck in my hair.
1st-grade-chic not a thing?

“A very ordinary temp job for a few days”. Found out when walking into the classroom that the class had only four students. Realized immediately why that was.

Me after two days:

High jumping. 6th grade. Learned everything I know from youtube the night before.
Modern Physics. High schoolers.
“Can you explain the relativity theory once more in a way that everyone can understand?”

At the end of the day…

Your friends are all like, you teach for 5 hours a day, how can you even be this exhausted??

And no matter what crazy things happen sometimes…


2 thoughts on “Ready, set, teach!

  1. alhassan97 says:

    Hi everyone, I love this blog and I follow it. This is the only blog that i follow. Thank you for a very refreshing , and energetic blog.
    We all love teaching, and love our students and this is why we keep learning, improving and give.
    Love your post and thank you for sharing
    Eman Maamoun
    Arabic Language Teacher at Atlanta, GA, USA

    • Meira says:

      Thank you very much for your kind words! I started writing for myself only and I still do, and I’m happy if someone can relate to my thoughts! Teaching is such an amazing job and I love all the enthusiastic teachers always looking for the best ways to improve learning!

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