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Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I pity substitute teachers, I really do. I think my job's hard but I have a chance to build a rapport with my little devils to the point that some of them may be slightly less inclined to make my life a living hell... Subs don't usually get that opportunity. But then there are subs who, I feel, have more than earned their fair share of shitty behavior from the kids. Let us consider Crazy Vietnam Guy. He once told a class he could take any one of them on in hand to hand combat because he survived the Vietnam war. He wasn't saying this to be entertaining or interesting, he was threatening them. They don't take kindly to that approach, so they gave him more hell after that. I hadn't seen him for a while and had hoped that maybe the powers that be figured out he was as nutty as squirrel poo and fired the bugger, but there he was last week substituting for my science teacher.

Out of pity, I've made sure to be in the room whenever there's a sub on duty in any of my kids' classes... Also for selfish reasons so my kids don't get written up for inevitably cussing the sub out, getting written up, getting suspended and so giving me the extra work of sorting out their learning what they miss in the mean time and getting missed assignments done. So I go in there and give evil eyes, call names out really loudly to remind them that someone who knows damn well who they are is in the room, that sort of thing... 

So I walked in and hoped that my momentary hesitation and consideration of turning tail and running out wasn't that obvious. There he was in all his rotund  glory. Crazy Vietnam Guy. He started off the period by complaining  very loudly to me that he told them not to call him in to sub for anyone today because he was very tired and couldn't stand to deal with the kids today. I could see the kids glance up and harden their looks at him. I was in the midst of helping some kids out when I hear him start in on one of my most challenging kids... 

Crazy Vietnam Guy: So you're going to be a smart ass too?

Oh damn it. He's not only messing with one of my worst kids, he swore too. Shit, shit, shit. My kid may very well have done something wrong, but now the sub has thrown all credibility out the window by lowering himself to their level.  

After all the kids leave, he picked up where he left off complaining about these kids. I tried to be polite and smile and nod but then the conversation took a turn I wasn't expecting.

Crazy Vietnam Guy: I know it's a cultural thing, that they're loud and all that... And I'm not racist (you always know sentences that start that way never end well), I've got half black grandbabies, but I can't stand that sense of entitlement...

Now, I notice a general sense of entitlement amongst today's youth, but it transcends race from what I can tell. He went on...

Crazy Vietnam Guy:... When they walk down the middle of the street, I have seriously considered just stepping on the pedal.

I laughed politely. This was a joke, correct? Oh no... It wasn't.

Crazy Vietnam Guy: No, I'm not joking. I really have thought about it. No one would think I did wrong. But I care more about damage to my Jeep than some black kids.

Oh and we have a winner. Holy jumping Jehoshaphat. Why do people like that work in public schools with high percentages of African Americans if they can't fucking stand them?! Good grief. I dashed out at that point, went straight to my boss and told him to expect a referral on my chap but that he may want to take into consideration the sub's handling of my delicate student and would he please, please, please, please never let that sub work with our kids again because he's a racist. He pursed his lips and nodded silently. He'll be back. We needs subs too badly. Dammit.


x l said...

Oh, WOW... WOW! :-/

TeacherLady said...

I know. It really does leave you at a loss for words.