Tag Archive: Subbing


Been doing prep for work tomorrow. Rather research about the school. Even found a nice website with staff pictures links to tumblr pages, blogspots with homework, group discussion pages and I’m like jackpot except the teacher that I’m in for doesn’t have anything online. Hell the official school page don’t even have a photo. They have photos of all the paras, subs, special Ed Teachers….everyone but the bitch I’m in for.

Which means she probably quite and these kids haven’t had anyone all year.

I’m looking forward. According to the website I’ll be one of 4 minority teachers at a high school in the Bronx. In fact I’ll be extra as the teacher I’m
In for isnt even listed on the official unofficial website for the school.

Looks like a great school though. Scored an A. They even have a foreign exchange program with china. Everything is fine. Except the teacher
I’m in for apparently never existed.

I blame whatever wrong that happens tomorrow on subcentral.

I logged into subcental and accepted a job about 1.5 hours Away in the Bronx. It appears to be a decent school and the job is for special Ed. According to the website they don’t have self contained classes and so my job should be to assist the generalist.

My inclusion special Ed grad course reading for the night says yep, you’re fucked. Me too. But maybe these kids will be my new ninjas for the year.
Ima try to get an hour of sleep in. I’m excited and nervous-

Every day is a new day. Optimism. Watch this space for whatever tom f uckery I encounter.

Cuz tomfuckery is one of my closest friends .

C. A. K.

march wrap up

The phrase says “beware the Ides of March” but really March was what I should have been wary of. Despite the images and ideas of Green, growth and hope- I found myself thwarted by the children I had eagerly dressed myself for in the AM’s.

My problem in the past month was not situated to just one location and or with one, singular population of schoolchild. Meaning I didn’t just interface with just high schoolers or just middle schoolers. I didn’t just monitor sections of regular,  CTT, inclusion and/or self-contained classes exclusively. Nor had I been just situated in just one borough.

Yet, the amount of attitude or the things that came out of these kids mouths were, well, in their own vernacular, “OFF THE HOOK” or my personal favorite “O.D!!!!!!”. Friday, I probably had been cursed at more times than metro buses that are missed, stop signs that exist or maybe even those yellow cheese schoolbusses with their flashers out (when all you want to do is get home.) However, the main difference is that all the anger and disrespect sent towards me was completely uncalled for.
In the past week alone, an 8th grade girl at a middle school decided to brand me a “rapist” because I pestered her about having her cellphone out in gym class.  Yeah.  She did.  Yes.  Seriously.  Other kids jumped on that disrespect train, and it caught me off guard. I kind of wanted to cry but I had other classes to make it through.   Overall, the school day was great but the rapist cloud hung over my head.  I would return to that same school aon Friday afternoon, and my fingers would be crossed hoping that all that jazz would be forgotten.  But then she walked in third period.

Two statements were made from her.  One  of her statements utilized that term towards me and I had to throw her out.  Which was a struggle as it was.  She fought with every ounce of her strength that she could muster to disrespect me and claim the room as her throne.  Yet, I refused to engage her.  I could explain my reasoning behind it but as I told her- “for the next forty minutes I am your guest teacher; Not your actually teacher. They called in. And as such I have my own set of rules which may or may not be the same Z your regular teacher’s. But they are in line with the board of education.”
However I continued by saying “I am an adult And your teacher and you will leave this room. An you will not address me in your manner of choosing. But you will leave this room.”
And she didnt and so I had school safety called to remove her from class.

Teaching Thursdays-

So Thursdays seemingly are my sweet spot for Subbing. Last Thursday, at a school that I seemingly knew and had visited as a moderator on field trips well….well…it was different.

Rather, the 8th grade went crazy because most of their their regular teachers were out on a professional development.

Wild, Wild, West. Children, here, there, everywhere, like old McDonald’s farm but not in rhyme. Not just scores of slang, and rude comments. Oh, and disrespect.

While essentially co-babysitting this one section with another Guest Teacher, I listened to them berate her for her job, and education. This from an 8th grader. With ghetto-licious nails, and an IEP.

Where is the parental discipline at these days?

Let them h**s fight….

“I’ll see you after school….” (An entry into Substitute Teaching Journals)

Wednesday, after two grueling days of different school, hard kids, I accepted a job from Subcentral accidentally.  Well, not accidentally considering I need the money but I would have preferred to have accepted a job at a school I knew or  at least one where I didn’t have to make the West to East transition via subways and buses.

The teacher was nice enough to leave an assignment via text  instructions on the system message board.  Unfortunately I don’t have a printer, nor did I have enough time to copy all the questions down; I left with hopes and dreams that I would reach school and the questions would have already been printed out, or that I would have at least 5 minutes to do so.

Wrong.  So wrong.  The office staff albeit congenial, informative, and encouraging had printed out instructions completely different than what was posted online.  My schedule began with 803 and began with a back to back double period.  (Assessing the situation, I began thinking – Period 1- silent reading, gather bearings absorb the type of children then Period 2 – teacher work “to be collected.”) During that first period, I could print out the instructions online from one of the nice computers provided by Bill Gates.

Wrong. So wrong.  The classroom was locked.  My buddy teacher didn’t have a key.  There were a Smartboard, white board, and plain ole chalkboard but no accessible writing utensils for any of them.  I dare not search my backpack for fear that any student think I had something valuable inside.  I had a City Year/Peace Corps assistant who promptly told me “I’m sorry, Mr. Kent but  Mr So and So has problems with them, as you will see.” Oh, the foreshadowing.

Boy did I see.  Adjectives and nouns to describe the situation include but are not limited to fidgety, unruly, IEP heavy, behavioral problem’d, disrespectful, IPOD owning, jerk faced and oh so rude. City Year screamed names over and over again, we had to call the main office who then called an Assistant Principal, and 2 (two) kids were taken to the SAVE room for being rude to her.  Not even 2 (two) minutes after she left the room, all hell returned.  On the plus side, I made it through attendance on the Section Sheet, and was able to print out 22 copies of the questions from the CPU.  A quick survey on the return (which I had warned was to be graded via Mr. So and So…-)2 kids finished the assignment completely.  10 attempted, making it through question 4 and the remaining however many turned in at least wrote their name on a blank sheet of looseleaf paper.  City Year said that was much better than she thought it’d be.  What, had she expected me to have been shot?

802- Not as evil.  A little more work turned in, but after 10 minutes I had already mentally jumped out the window, broke my ankles and crawled home.

4th period, on my schedule I had something called Library duty?  No idea what it meant.  Neither did the office staff or another AP.  So I got a free prep.

Then suddenly emerged 602.  Yes…Sixth grade.  Even the emergency sub lessons hadn’t even acknowledge 6th grade class. But I had this already covered.  On the chalkboard, I wrote out on “Do now – Brainstorm everything that you did after school yesterday.  Make a timetable.  List in Order.”  The intent being that we would write a 3 paragraph narrative of what they had  done after school yesterday, and revise it with a peer editing  rubric I had typed up during Library/Prep.  Another City Year had to call their adviser because of behavior and ultimately I found out that she took away their free period she had promised them some time ago.  In this class, even the nice kids were somewhat a-holes to me.  It’s ok, I’ve got tough skin.

However during after my lunch period and the subsequent prep following…I heard a commotion in the hallway.  So I peaked out through the door window, leaving the lights of my class off.  Children?  This early?  I had had some of these kids in class earlier today, but  being how those went and that I don’t know these girls from Eve, I took a moment to consider potential actions.  I’d already been shown how mean and vile they could be; thus the decision had been made -I wasn’t stepping on the scene.  It’s not in my contract to take any such additional abuse from them.

(Here’s what I witnessed…. )

A semi-circle crowd of girls.  In the center, two uniformed Hispanic girls, eyeing each other until one finally said “Bitch, your pussy smells like oatmeal and dry, dead fish.”   Whoa. What? All I could think was, Wow, you’re 12 years old and this came out your mouth, at school. Shenanigans.

(Wait…Wait…It gets better…)

The second one retorted  “Why you care about that?  You want to taste it, you nasty bitch! I should let you…all the boys said you give good head.”  Wow.  Funny-ish, but damned strong.  Harsh.  Seriously.  No words to fully describe it….The response to that from the other girl (who was being restrained by her friends) was a glaring “I’ll see you after school, bitch.”  As an adult, and guest teacher, I should have stepped in, and tried to do something, but again, if they don’t like each other, then I had no hopes of being anything other than cannon fodder or even worse, a unifying target.

(Wait…Wait…It gets better…)

We can do this now.”  And then they did.  Clawing. Scrapping. Kicking. Punching. Screaming.  Circling.  Indecipherable threats.  Kids blocking the door.  Oooo’s. Teachers rushing.  Children cheering.  Children screaming.  Again, this is my first day guest teaching here ( and probably my last after this shit.)

(Wait…Wait…It gets worse…)

Finally separated by school safety officers, the taunts continued.  Suddenly, ONE OF THE GIRLS BROKE FREE.  Soaring towards the other girl, she was caught by a female teacher who had simply  stuck one arm to stop her from reaching the other girl.  School safety  (police officers assigned to schools as security) took one chick somewhere unknown, the other to the SAVE room AND THE TEACHER to the Principal’s office.

(And finally…)

After my next class, I went to place collected papers into Mr. So and So’s mailbox in the office.  Upon entering the room (again, mind you, the main office) I could her SAVE room fighter complaining that her mother had been too lazy to come to school and get her transferred out.  “My mother…” this, and “my mother….” that.  Always about her mother, but never accepting her own personal responsibility when asked about her language or suggested actions to take to avoid the fight.  Anyway,  I had lingered long enough and walked into my next awkward situation- the female teacher who had reached her arm out was being consoled by another staffer; the principal had no choice but to charge her with corporal punishment and thus she was being Rubber Room’d or wherever they put teachers on time out (since the Rubber Rooms supposedly all evaporated in June of 2010.)

So in summation, the teacher who broke up round 2 (two) of the fight was being sent out the school immediately, to languish in purgatory somewhere, uneasily aware that there’s a chance that her career could be over, yet the two girls (or rather hard bitches, but I shouldn’t call them that…) were getting detention or a minor suspension.  Their cases would be decided by a school led investigation and ultimately decided by the administration.   Potentially, they’d be back in no time flat,  while the teacher (again, whose only crime was actually to quickly stick out her arm and prevent more violence) is just poof, gone, lickety split.

And this is why I stood by and did nothing but watch.  My health and career are not worth it.  Breaking up a fight between students once it has started is probably one of the worst things you can do in this school system other than  smacking the ish out of a foul-mouthed brat.  This week, a female teacher attempting to get between students was punched in the stomach and had a miscarriage.  That kid who did it probably wont be charged with anything, but I’ll bet that that teacher will suffer even more.  Already having lost a child, she’ll be reassigned from students that she has gotten to work with daily, and adopted as part of her routine.  Will she lose them too now?

Does that song go “it’s like a jungle sometimes, it really makes me wonder…what keeps me from going under….”  Why  have I’ve placed time and money out of my own pocket for certification tests to be locked out of a full-time job because  of a hiring freeze that will seemingly never end?  Why have I elected to have paper thrown at me by a child in 6th grade (there was more to Wednesday after the fight….)Please, Chancellor Black, resolve this!  Show me the reason your waiver has been granted, while others who have educational experience were passed over. I mean since you worked as a head in the publishing industry well I’m certain you must have read a book on how to remedy this situation.  Please, do something, and make it matter.

Otherwise, for the time being, while  I may want to  fight for students and reform, well when the students fight each other (and I’m not talking about in debate...) I’m going to follow in the immortal words of the rapper Trina and “Let them hoes fight.”

[Chester Kent.]

[ChesterintheRye @ ChesterintheRye.wordpress.com]

Ps…if any other Sub teachers out there would like to add some interesting stories of their own here, I’d be more than happy to give you access to the blog.