Being a supply teacher presents its own special challenges. Generally students try to get away with worse behaviour than normal. It can be a struggle to get them to listen and to work diligently. This is actually understandable, as respect for authority doesn’t come automatically to them. They have to “test” newcomers to see if they’re worthy.
There are many frustrating things about being a supply teacher, and I’ve had many difficult classes. But, when reflecting back with an objective lens, these things can be almost endearing, or at least make for funny teaching stories.
Things students have said to me as a supply teacher:
- We don’t have bells at this school.
- Our teacher always lets us go early.
- We always write our tests in pairs.
- I’ll pee my pants if I don’t go to the bathroom right now.
- If I die because I can’t get drink of water, my family will sue you.
- switching names
- everyone tapping their feet all at once
- not having the right materials ready/on hand
- not knowing what anything means (words, instructions, etc.)
- going to “the bathroom” and taking 30 minutes
All very “classic” things, really! I think these have all been done since public education started! Sometimes I tell the students to come up with something new 😉
Despite all of this, I’m quite enjoying this role!
What are some funny/interesting/off-the-wall things you’ve seen as a supply teacher?