Friday, March 12, 2010

They Know What to Do

Dear Classroom Teachers,

Please, do not leave me instructions with the words "the students know what to do."

Invariably, they all either come down with a case of sub-induced amnesia or they just decide they don't want to do what they "know" they should be doing.

And while I understand that your classes are all filled with "good kids" who are "a bit chatty," please do me a favor and let me know who works better away from a group of other kids who may be creating distractions.

Thank You,
Vagabond Teacher


  1. This is required reading for every teacher that ever gets a sub. I worked in a high school home ec class today and they couldn't even tell me what number kitchen they usually worked in so I could pass out their cakes from the day before so they could eat them. I am convinced that they, in fact, do NOT know what to do and they are sitting there in a fog most of the time.

    I really like when teachers write "good luck" at the end of their note too. That's funny.

  2. AMEN.

    All teachers should have to be subs before they get their own classroom. That would make days like these non-existent.

  3. My sub for this coming Tuesday will be forever indebted to you for this post as I have gone back to tweek my plans so his or her day will be more enjoyable! Thanks for the reminder!

  4. I hear you! We need to know who to rely on and who to separate. Two or three sentences can change the course of a class or a day.

    Every once in a while I post to complain about poor plans. Monday's plans were particularly spare: Check out this post:

  5. "The kids know what to do" = recipe for disaster.

  6. Thank you! It's really aggravating when plans don't have clarity. How hard is it to type 2 or 3 sentences of instruction for the sub?

    I once subbed for a 1st grade teacher who wrote "ask Ashley where it is/how to do it" every few lines of the plans.

    One, I kept wondering what she expected me to do in the event that Ashley had also been absent that day.

    Two, subs shouldn't be put in the position to ask six year-olds for help, not when it could have been much easier for the teacher to describe what they mean.