Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Split-ting Head-ache.

I was a substitute teacher the Junior the Special Ed room. It was going to be an easy day. All I needed to do was follow students from room to room throughout the day, help them out if they needed, and possibly keep them in line when they got squirrelly. But the plan went awry, my friends, when it came to be known that 4 of the six regular teachers were at a conference, meaning that in most cases we were two subs with a room full of tricky, conniving and hormonally charged youth. God help me.

Finally, in 8th hour (the last hour of the day for those who don't know), I got to be in a room with a regular teacher instead of a sub. The same students, that had just four minutes ago tried to out-yell one another while we struggled to get them to do their science projects, were completely docile, sitting nicely in their desks, paying attention, and doing what they were told. It was as if I had stepped into the Twilight Zone.

I can still remember the moment when I realized that there was only one wonderful sound (the teacher's voice) in my ears, instead of a clamor of teenage shrieks and hollers. I actually felt my scalp relax.

It has always irked me (in a purely theoretical and perhaps elitist way) how we demand so much from our teachers and yet pay them so little. Today I came away with concrete experience, and I'm very far beyond "irked". I think it's absolutely criminal that these people don't get over 60k a year - STARTING - because this job is way harder than the 30k-a-year salary that most teachers get (lower for starting wages, esp. in rural areas like this.) I was paid $97 (gross) for my work today, and I am feeling very used. GAWD. This was worse than my stint in the elementary a few weeks back, when I subbed for the gym teacher.

Maybe with experience and training, this gets easier. Probably it does. But I still think we're screwing our teachers by underpaying them. It's not fair to them, or to our kids.

End rant.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yo, it's weird. Teachers definitely deserve more money (well, most of them). Subbing can be easy money, but those hard days? My complaint is that there is no training for subs. At some of the schools here I got the
"blood borne pathogens" video, etc, how about a video on basic discipline? ???
Hugs to you and chocolates! Let me know if you want to come to my recital and need directions.... WW