Substitute Foolery

You know how students often think a substitute teacher is fair game for some silliness. Not long ago a teacher bud of mine arranged for a sub to cover his class while he attended a local math conference. In preparation for the sub, he put desk tags on the students’ desks so the sub could read the names from the front of the room. The tags were not secured because they were meant to be temporary.

When the students arrived, they realized the tags could easily be switched. But instead of risk being caught switching the tags, they told the sub that the tags were moveable because they had flexible seating!  What the students didn’t know was that their teacher and the sub were keeping in touch via text. The sub didn’t mention the flexible seating arrangement at first, however she did mention that two or three students were consistently yakking. My teacher bud knew he had separated these students and with a bit of probing learned what the kiddos had done. The following day the students innocently returned to their designated seats having no idea that they were about to be busted!

You have to admit this was some pretty quick thinking on the students’ part. They were very shocked to learn that they had been found out and pledged to never try to trick a sub again.

Does this tale bring to mind any substitute foolery you’ve heard about or experienced?




3 thoughts on “Substitute Foolery

  1. As far as I know, my PreK class never pulled any tricks on substitutes. In other grades (usually first grade and above) though, students often lie to the subs when they get to computer lab. They sit by their friends but tell the sub that they really are sitting at their assigned computers. And unfortunately, they sometimes get on websites that they should NOT be on.

  2. My kinder students have tried to pull a fast one on the “guest” teacher before. At least one tattletale will fill me in when I return. I always use the term guest teacher in hopes the students will treat the sub nicer.

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