Thursday, March 12, 2015

Full Disclosure

How much should a sub tell the class about a teacher's absence?

Most of the time this is a non-issue. I don't know where the teacher is and I admit as much to the class. (I could, of course, lie and make up a story, but that's just not me.) But there are times when I do hear something...

All Ms. P said in her email was that she had to see her dentist. That was the part addressed to the principal. The rest of the email contained the lesson plans for the day.

Do I say she has an appointment? Do I say she has an emergency? Do I say she's seeing the dentist? It's hard to know how much she tells them. It's hard to know how much she wants me to relate.

Algebra 2. 1st period. The class arrives...

"Did you see the picture?"

"I didn't click on the link..."

This conversation and the students expecting to see a sub led me to inquire further. Turns out the teacher sent them an alert that she wasn't going to be in class. She included a selfie. She broke a crown, and... Well, it looked painful.

What? I asked to see the picture. Several students were willing to show me.

Well, now I don't have to worry about how much info to share with them.


  1. I've never subbed before, but I know I wouldn't say she had an emergency because the kids could panic. I would try to keep her privacy and say she had an appointment. But it's neat that she already notified her students and even sent a selfie. The times are sure changing, aren't they?

  2. I can't believe a teacher took a selfie of her cracked tooth and then sent it to her students. I just have no words. Non-professional comes to mind

  3. That's a good way to get the message out. I don't see what's wrong with a teacher sharing something like that with her students. It shows she can communicate with them.

  4. I wouldn't tell the students why their teacher is absent.
    I wouldn't want any of my colleagues to tell the students why I have to miss the class, either.

    1. I figured as much, which is why I generally keep it vague.

  5. I don't tell my students why I'm away unless I'm going to a professional inservice. I was sick last week though and told them i had been away with a cold so they'd take pity on me and behave when I returned the next day. It didn't work.

    1. Would you believe that some teachers tell their students a whole lot more? There was this one time where I was being deliberately vague, and the class managed to guess.


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