The Sub

There is nothing worse for a teacher than having to take a sick day when you’re really sick. I still have to get special lesson plans done. I have to call in a sub, never knowing who I’ll get. Then…there are the notes. I’m mentioning this because, like I tell my kids, I never call in a sub unless I’m below 50% health wise.

Yep, you guessed it. I was out yesterday. The fever was over 100. I was coughing, sneezing and losing anything I ate one way or the other. I had chills from the fever and I was so dizzy I couldn’t see straight when I woke up. I was a mess!

I knew that I wouldn’t get better in an hour. I called the sub line and asked for a sub. I sure hoped that I had one – we’re so short on subs these days. I typoed some plans for the sub – hoping that the poor sub could make out the plans and emailed them to my Assistant Principal. I called her to make sure she knew not to expect me. Then, I went back to bed and slept without even worrying about whether a not a sub would be assigned.

I emerged from my death bed a couple of times to try and pour some soup down my throat; I soon realized that it wouldn’t help. My wife came home and checked on me a couple of times, but I’m not the “Oh baby come and pamper me” kind of sickie; I’m the “Go away and leave me alone!” kind of sickie. The sleep did it’s job, though, and by 8:00 that night, I realized this flu might not be terminal. By 10:00, I was able to crawl out of bed, take my night time medicines and crawl back into bed.

The next morning, the fever was gone. I was hungry! I ate a little bit and kept it down. I could make it back to school. I dreaded the note, but knew I could face it. Kids have an innate ability to know when I’m feeling bad, and for some reason they behave better on those days, so I wasn’t worried about that. It’s just how they behaved for the sub that worried me.

I pulled into the lot and was met by a couple of my students. “The sub was good, sir.” they took pains to inform me. That worried me. What did this sub let them get away with? I walked down the hall and got to the door. I breathed a quick silent prayer, and braced myself to see what the sub said as I opened the door.

I didn’t even need to read the note. I looked around the room and staggered a bit. I headed for the desk and plopped down in my chair. I couldn’t believe it. The sub had cleaned everything. My beautiful, workable mess was gone. It would take me days to recover. Two months of paper piles were now stacked neatly. No longer could I reach into a pile and pull out the papers I needed. I had a very short time to re-mess up the room to get ready for the day. I hate having to use subs….

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