No subs here

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Remember subs?

I remember subs. I even know a few.

I helped console a sub awhile back. He told me the students had been singing loudly and screaming in class all day. They had even screamed AT him at one point.

That sub does not plan to be back and I don’t blame him.

In our more difficult urban and impoverished school districts, classes often double up because no sub can be found. Given how hard the kids can be on subs, I’m not sure that much, if any, learning loss results.

Eduhonesty: “Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build
and nobody wants to do maintenance.”  ~ Kurt Vonnegut (1922 – 2007)

Discipline is at an all-time low out here. Well-meaning counselors and deans endlessly talk to students, trying to help them understand why their behavior should change. I have a news flash for those counselors and deans: Most of those kids know exactly what they did and why it was wrong. They are experts at telling stories that adults want to hear.

These once and future thugs don’t need to “reflect.” They don’t need second, third, fourth, etc. chances. They need consequences. Consequences might result in some reflection. They might result in the district managing to keep a few more subs. As a teacher, I have the leverage of grades to use to influence behavior. I also have a relationship with individual students. But subs rely on student goodwill and the threat of consequences from the Dean’s office to hold their classrooms together.

Eduhonesty: Sympathetic listening has its place, but it also builds thugs. Those students who were singing loudly while that sub tried to talk? They should have been suspended. That singing and screaming was an act of aggression against the sub and the excuse, “We was just singing!” is unworthy of any discussion or reflection. These kids are smarter than that. They knew exactly what they were doing.