Humor Non-Fiction posted August 9, 2019

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Some things you don't want to remember

Adventures Substitute Teaching

by Earl Corp

I Remember Contest Winner 

I remember my experiences substitute teaching and I'm here to tell you substitute teaching ain't easy.

As a freshly minted graduate armed with my teaching degree from Slippery Rock University I found myself as a substitute teacher.

I actually kind of enjoyed doing it, except for the low pay. You swooped in and did something different everyday and if you didn't like it, it was only for the day.

The very first time out I was called in to cover shop class. I was pretty excited, I thought it would be a fun day, chilling out and making something.

Not hardly.

When I got there I was told if you're not a certified industrial arts teacher insurance won't cover you to be in the shop. I was to hold a study hall, and since it couldn't be in the shop it was decided I would be holding it in a different room each period.

They would come on the PA system during the last five minutes of the period and announce which room I'd be in. This went on all day, I was so bored out of my mind I vowed to myself I wouldn't sub for shop again.
I did end up subbing for shop again. It was in a different school and when I got there the secretary threw me the keys to the shop and set me loose into the wild.

Cool Beans, I thought.

I was in the shop handing out tools when the assistant principal burst in looking harried, and she was out of breath.

"Put it all back," she gasped.

It seems the insurance rule applied here too. The only saving grace was the shop had a classroom across the hall so we were in the same room all day. This was absolutely the last time I would do shop.

There couldn't be anything worse, Right?

Oh but wait, there is.
Hands down my worst experience subbing was as a kindergarten teacher.

Why a kindergarten teacher you may ask.

There's a very good reason.

When I was called to sub in kindergarten I tried to palm it off.

"I'm a secondary teacher," I said.

"Oh, but they're loads of fun"

They were desperate; I must have been the last one on the list.

The morning started off okay until potty break time. There was a restroom in the classroom and the kids had to wait their turn.

I had a little guy who was anxious to go he was doing the pee-pee dance, but I told him he had to wait. I know that I know better, but I turned my back.

In that second he rushed into the bathroom, pushed the other kid off the toilet, and was sitting on the throne before I could blink.

Next was the line fiasco.

 I was supposed to move them in a line to the cafeteria. The girl in the lead was skipping and humming. I stopped the line and told the kids we were to be quiet in the hall.

When we started moving again she immediately started humming and skipping again. I stopped the group and sent her to the back of the line. That should have been the end of it.


When we started moving again she started crying.

"I-I-I'm the line leader,' she stuttered.

" Not today you're not."

This began a real tantrum, obviously you're not allowed to fire kindergarten line leaders.

Then there was the crowning glory activity of the day.

About 2 p.m. they brought cookies down to the room.

"These are from the PTO," they told me.

The last time I was in kindergarten was 1966; we had milk and cookies every day. So without another thought, I passed out the cookies.

Another teacher came over to check on how my day was going. She stopped in the doorway like she had seen a tripwire.


Awww crap, I thought

And these angelic little children who were happily munching away on cookies laughed at me.

"Mr. Thorpe, you're so silly, we knew that."

This was the building Anna taught in. At lunch she saw me sitting there with a thousand yard stare.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

"They're horrible, I'd rather serve a year tour in Iraq than do another day in kindergarten," I said.

I was laughed at and called silly for the second time that day then she reminded me that she had said.


Take it from me, subbin' ain't easy.


Writing Prompt
Begin your non-fiction autobiographical story or poem with the words 'I remember...' Complete the sentence conveying a moment, an object, a feeling, etc. This does not have to be a profound memory, but should allow readers insight into your feelings, observations and/or thoughts. Use at least 100, but not more than 1,000 words. The count should be stated in your author notes.

I Remember
Contest Winner



This is the God's honest truth. all of 792 words. Enjoy.
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