The students cheered as I (the Substitute Teacher) told them I would be teaching them for the day. I had taught them before when their teacher was sick and we had fun. They loved their classroom teacher and when she was away, they asked her if I could come in. This wasn’t the only class that cheered when they knew I would be teaching them for the day.
This is a common occurrence for Substitute Teachers (Occasional Teachers, Supply Teachers, Casual Teachers). Students have their favourite one and are happy to see us. They make us bracelets and draw us pictures and express happiness that we are there. Principals, teachers and office administration book us weeks in advance and we rarely have a day off unless we purposely keep it free.
We need to tell these stories as Substitute Teachers so that the common idea about us changes in popular culture to reflect this reality and not the old-fashioned idea that Substitute Teachers are basically horrible. We need to let people know that in Ontario you need 6 years of university to be an Occasional Teacher. We need to start proudly telling our stories when people ask what we do.
So, what is your story? Please leave a story of a picture of a bracelet someone made for you. Let’s share now.