In Florida substitute teachers range from retired teachers to high school grads. This presents unique challenges for the floating teacher who needs one.
This year I have my own classroom, but I have a floater 5th period. She came in sick the other day. She had called in a sub who “didn’t work out” to the extent that someone called her and told her she should take over, sick or not.
When I was floating, I had a sub who told my students that I hadn’t left plans (I had) and let them play cards and watch TV all day. I also had a sub who let my students take both lunches.
I have been a sub too. It is a hard job, but it is hard in direct proportion to the effort expended. Unfortunately,, subbing for a floating teacher is extra hard. There are more plans, more searching for unfamiliar classrooms, more discipline issues because of the attention a sub must take away from the students to give to her surroundings, materials, and schedule. God forbid she had an inherently unruly class- the kind teachers won’t turn their backs on- on top of her other duties.
Floating teachers can make it easier for their subs by leaving detailed lesson plans and emergency lesson plans, just in case. There are forms in my book, The Floating Teacher that make this a little easier. Schools, however, don’t let teachers request particular subs. They should, though, at least for the teachers who float. And subs should be aware up front of what they’re getting into.
Floating is a challenge for teachers, and it’s also a challenge for substitute teachers. There should be special training provided and a higher pay rate for this demanding task.
It is a terrible thing if students lose a whole day of education because their teacher has a workshop to go to or isn’t feeling well.
What do you think?