Musings about Japan and life as a human, a cosplayer, a minority, a music lover, an English teacher.

Substitute Teachers

Today I found out that one of the classes was going to be looked after by a substitute teacher. It just so happened to be one of the fourth grade classes …the talkative one.

Of course, anyone who went to school would remember the feeling of having a substitute teacher. Regardless of whether your regular homeroom teacher was mean or nice, there was always a feeling of excitement and curiosity among some students about who the substitute teacher would be, if they’re a new substitute or one with a reputation, a man or a woman, young or old, etc.

I don’t know how Class 4-2 acted earlier in the day, but when it came time for me to make my classroom visit for English, I was wondering what would happen. Their homeroom teacher is a nice and outgoing guy but, for lack of better words, he can’t control his class. He’s a first-year so I guess I can understand.

So could it be any worse with a substitute teacher there? Honestly, no. I don’t think it would have made a difference at all. The substitute was a young woman, probably around my age and about an inch shorter than me. I was expecting the kids to be having a field day climbing on desks and yelling or something, but it was only as hectic as it is when their regular teacher is there. As I expected, the lesson plan that goes so smoothly in Class 4-1 couldn’t even be finished in Class 4-2.

By the end of class, the substitute bowed to me and said “Sorry,” because she knew how difficult it was to get the kids to pay attention. I was about to say that it always happens, but instead I just said “It’s okay,” and smiled.

Despite how hectic everything was, one student particularly enjoyed the lesson. “English class was really fun today!” she told me in Japanese, which made me feel much better.


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