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Tracey C.



I have just started subbing. I graduated in Dec. with a Sociology degree and am taking classes for school counseling in Graduate school. I am also middle age so this is all a new experience for me. Does subbing feel easier the longer you do it? I had a horrible, uncontrollable day on Tues. with middle school students. I felt frazzled, exhausted and totally out of control. I am praying this does get easier and I can manage each classroom I teach. I am wondering what the heck am I doing in school counseling?
Also, the longer you sub the more you get called? I am working 2-3 days a week now, if I am lucky. I was hoping to work 5 days to help pay for graduate school.
I have high school english tomorrow!
Thanks for any help you can give me.


Full Member
review this board

You asked if subbing gets easier. Some days it does, some days it doesn't. Read many of the posts on this board and you will get a great deal of good ideas and good/bad day stories. Type in "classroom management" in Google and you'll get lots of info to go to.
This site is just great. You'll find you're not the only one with good days and bad days. Hopefully the good days will outweigh the bad. But everyday is a learning experience. We're all "life-long learners".
Also, anywhere on here that you see "Augustus" posting or answering, read his posts, he's very good and down to earth (and so are many others on this site).
Good luck, remember, it's not about you, it's about the kids. You'll do fine.

mme NPB

Full Member
Yes, I think it does get easier to sub as you gain experience, though it is true you can still have bad days(as many posters on this forum will tell you).For me, it is vital to have a very good idea in my mind of how I will manage the class before I go in, taking into account a variety of possible scenarios that I may encounter. I spent many weeks preparing myself mentally, as I awaited completion of the paperwork required to sub, for what I knew was going to be a very challenging job. I read posts here constantly, googled "substitute teaching" etc, and read books in order to be prepared. I think all that helped me greatly, but there is no teacher like experience to show you the way. There is alot of trial and error until you figure out what approach works best for you.I agree with "This Way Up" that you can learn so much from this board. As to your second question, how often you get called can depend on who you are working for, how many grades you are willing to teach, and how badly they need subs. If you make yourself available all the time you can usually get a fair number of jobs. As well, many teachers will request you once they know you and like your work. Good luck!

mrs. pancake

New Member
yes, it gets easier

I've been subbing for about 2 years now, and I totally understand that frazzled and out of control feeling. However, I think it gets better. When I first started I came home frustrated everyday and usually spent the night complaining about the day to my husband (who was luckily also a sub at that time and understood!) Now, I come home and rarely talk about my experiences. Not to say I don't have bad days, but I know how to handle them. This board is a huge help and I agree with the person who said to read Augustus' posts! I think the biggest help is just time. Luckily, it doesn't take long to get experience! The kids will test you and you'll learn quickly how to handle it. I also can't believe how mean I've become! But, that's a good thing. I used to be afraid of being mean, but I've learned that the kids don't retaliate when you are--they were just testing you and actually respect you when you aren't soft.
I've also many times thought, "what am I doing in education?" but everytime I think that, I always come back to the conclusion that I do want to stay in education.


Thank you for all your comments. I went into sub this morning only to find out the teacher didn't need me until noon so I went room to room helping out other teachers. I certainly am making my face known.
I am glad I found this forum and will certainly take all the advice I can get. Thanks again.


I agree subbing does get easier

I do agree that subbing gets easier with experience. In addition to the experience, you have the potential to gain respect of both staff and students. Once you develop a relationship with both groups, you will find your job a lot easier. Also, don't take the bad days personally. The students may act out in your presence, but they truly are just testing the water, showing off or whatever. Be fair, but firm. Be yourself. When you have a bad day, remember that you don't have to ever take that class again. Of course, I say that, and then when the job is offered again, I will accept it. I usually don't regret taking on a challenge. I have a class that I sub for 1-2 times per month. That class started out pretty rough. The regular teacher has her struggles with that class. She has a lot of special education students, both learning and behavioral challenges to deal with. At first, things were just awful, especially when they had a sub. A para was assigned to work with this class for 2 hours a day and that, along with the teacher's perseverence has worked wonders with these kids. For me, that translates into a calmer atmosphere when I substitute. I too am learning more about the kids in this class, and what works and what doesn't work with some of those students.

As for being called - I work for a rural school. I made it known that I only sub for one school. I also have spent time volunteering if I didn't have a sub job. The way I see it, whether I'm volunteering or not, I will receive the same paycheck in the end. I need the money and volunteering certainly is free. The benefits are far more than I could have imagined. First of all, I have a sense that I am making a difference for some of the teachers and students. An added benefit is that when I am not subbing, but volunteering, I am making myself known to the staff. Some teachers appreciate that and will call me when they need a sub. Other teachers just find me convenient since I happen to be in the building when they are thinking about their next day out of the classroom. Keep in mind that volunteering can be for the teachers or the students. The copier is located in the teacher's lounge so I talk to many of the teachers during their planning time while we are all waiting in line for the copier. One day I just happened to be volunteering and a teacher had to leave suddenly when her son needed to go to the doctor's. She was taking her class back to class and passed me in the hall. Of course, volunteering is good for everyone and we don't have enough volunteers to go around in the public school system today.


Junior Member
Handle classroom better

I don't know if it necessarily gets easier. You definetely know how to handle students better and the first few times I was nervous where now I am not. I don't know about other subs the first day I was worried about students liking me or not and I wasn't that strict and let them get away with too much. Now that I have subbed for awhile I know that you are not their to be popular but just to do your job. Also it seems that students respect teachers more that are strict then those who let them get away with things. They need that structure in their lives.

There are a few classes that are just totally out of control that are in junior high and high school where I sub and now that I have subbed for them a lot they know what to expect. Then I think it does get easier because if they know that you are not going to put up with disrespect they will be more likely to listen and it will make your day easier. On the other hand there are always those students that will give you a hard time no matter what. Just take one day at a time and do your best.