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Substitute Teaching: A Tool for Practicing Humility

Posted by Ronnie on January 6, 2012 at 10:00 AM

A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. Proverbs 12:16


As a substitute teacher, it is easy to become annoyed practically from the moment I walk into a school. The kids love to walk into a classroom and yell to each other, "It's a sub! We've got a sub!" As in, "Fresh meat, guys!"


Fortunately, I've become pretty well known and apparently well liked in many of the schools where I work. Yesterday, once again, I was ignorant of schedule changes. As I tried to understand why the 6th grade students were not going where I thought they should go, one of the kids, a little know-it-all, who reminded me of Woody Allen but with black hair, began to say in a whining voice, "She's just a sub, guys, she's just a sub. She doesn't know." The tone implied, "Ignore her. She doesn't know what she's talking about. She's just another idiot sub, she doesn't know anything."


I looked up to see his eyes fixed on my face and I gave him my most charming smile. His countenance lightened as he smiled back. He repeated his statement, but this time with an addition. "She's just a sub, guys. How's she supposed to know? Give her a break."


I thanked him for understanding and told him how the scheduling was different last year. He calmly explained to me that the scheduling process had been changed. "How could you have known? he asked me. It's not your fault. It's a dumb rule anyway, it confuses everybody."


Our exchange changed just like that, with a momentary smile. The other students calmed down and gave me some encouragement. And we all ended the exchange on a happy note. I could have gotten annoyed with their initial tone and the conversation would have taken a completely different route.


Being a substitute teacher has helped to keep me humble. I often have to ask questions and depend on the students, if they are old enough to help me navigate some of the intricacies of each school. I look at every day as in opportunity to, without ever mentioned Christianity or religion, be an ambassador of Christ wherever I go.

Categories: Inspirational

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4 Comments

Reply sharon wareing
12:54 PM on January 6, 2012 
we are the ones that can make or break our day,,,,, if we greet the day with a smile an treat others with that smile it multiplys an spreads if we great the day as a grump it will come back to us in spades ,,,,, sometimes its hard to smile an greet others but it is well worth the effort , an as christians its sometimes the only way we have to show others Gods love ..,, an children learn though how we treat them an will quickly respond to our love an care of them ,,,,,,,,,,,, sometimes thats the only love they get .
sharon in tenn
Reply Katy B
1:32 PM on January 6, 2012 
it's always nice to see something preceeded by Spripture.
Reply Ronnie
3:15 PM on January 6, 2012 
Katy B says...
it's always nice to see something preceeded by Spripture.


Thanks so much, Katy. I need to always remember to start my day with Scripture. Sometimes it's so easy to jump out of bed ready to attack the day, that sometimes when it attacks back I go running for my Bible a bit too late! LOL!
Reply Ronnie
3:18 PM on January 6, 2012 
sometimes the only way we have to show others Gods love ..,, an children learn though how we treat them an will quickly respond to our love an care of them ,,,,,,,,,,,, sometimes thats the only love they get .
sharon in tenn
[/sharon wareing]
You are sooo right! There are times that boys or girls will sit near me and begin to tell me bits about their lives and it can be so heart breaking. That very child who was getting on my last nerve a minute ago, now has my heart. I can't tell you how many have told me they wish I could be their mom or that their mom could call me. And because of regulations I never mention Christianity or religion, they just feel it. Thanks for visiting, Sharon. I hope you come back again.