Monday, March 24, 2014


When I checked in I saw it right away. The yellow sticky note of doom. It's how the secretary lets us know that she needs us subs to cover an extra period.

This day's yellow sticky note of doom was extra nefarious. It informed me that not only was this class special ed, it was also "ED". Which stands for emotionally disturbed.

What could go wrong in one period?

The teacher was there when I arrived. He explained their assignments to them, and then he left for his meeting.

One boy dug through his backpack. He had his book, a sheet of paper, and something to write with. What could he be looking for?

"Problem?" I asked.

He muttered his response, but I still heard every word he said.

"Problem? Problem? You're like one of those internet trolls, popping up with a smiley face, saying, 'Problem? Problem?'..."

Um, okay...

At least he wasn't throwing angry words at the student on the other side of him anymore. (I'm not sure what he was angry about, but he was ranting about something.)

Another student crossed the room to start a random conversation. Never mind that he was supposed to remain in his seat and do the work assigned. The conversation about some guy and a local gang was much more important.

I went over to gently nudge him back to his seat. Muttering boy took offense at this as well.

"That's why everyone hates subs. You come in and stick your nose where it doesn't belong. You're the most hated creatures at school. Why anyone...?"

Wow. That was really vicious. If I had been a newbie sub that would have brought me to tears. But I'm not a newbie sub.

My thoughts were more of the this-boy-is-really-angry variety. And not only was his teacher grateful to see me (so the teacher could attend his meeting), there are some students who genuinely do like me. So, not really Most Hated.

Soon thereafter, muttering boy blew up at another student and stormed out of the room. Just as another student predicted. I guess his diatribes are a daily occurrence.


  1. Sometimes kids can be shites.

  2. Whoa, talk about harsh. Someone really has some anger issues. I hope they're dealt with properly.

  3. You were perfect. All you can do is meet anger with calm. Reacting in fury will only demonstrate the behavior you'd like to curb in the boy, and reacting in hurt will give him control. You have a very tough job.

    VR Barkowski

  4. I can't look at an angry person without seeing the sadness that caused it... I have read a few of your recent posts, what great insights into the life of a sub :)

  5. Rough comment to bear, but it sounds like maybe he had other problems in his life and you were just a nearby target that he could attack. I think you handled it well.


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