The third full week of September is set aside as Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week.  As a substitute teacher for the last 12 years, I know firsthand that this is a group that doesn't always get a lot of love. 

The teachers we fill in for and the administrators and staff are always glad to see us.  Often we are needed at the last minute, which means that we have to be ready for almost anything.  We get there five minutes before the kids do.  That is the nature of the job.  Some students actually seem surprised that we don't know everything!

Some students think that having a substitute teacher in the classroom means that they can see what they can get away with.  A few are successful.  Most find that the sub knows most of their tricks and is ready to put an end to the mischief.  Who are they kidding?  We were young once and did most of that stuff to the subs we had!

One of the best things about the job of substitute teacher is that you have students that surprise you in a good way.  They do nice things for you, for each other, they give you a glimmer of hope that the next generation might just turn out okay.

That is all most of us can ask for.