I approached it with this mantra in mind: The human heart is the same everywhere. Meaning, that despite the awkwardness of being an understudy, these students have a human need and I can help them in whatever way I can help them. So help me, God.
It was actually very pleasant if not completely delightful (for when is work ever thus?). I subbed for a History/Government/Economics teacher and that was good because I'm competent in those areas. I did an impromptu "intelligence test" by writing the following quotations on the board and soliciting volunteers to answer the question Who said that?
- A little more than kin, and less than kind.
- I want no intellectual education. ... I would prefer them only to learn what they will acquire freely following their play instinct.
The second quotation is more obscure so I had to give the hint "World War 2". We ran through a list of Who's Who until we got to Adolf Hitler. Hitler said it, but John Dewey certainly thought along similar lines (and he would agree with Hitler that this free play must be guided toward a socially desirable end). Those ends are arguable quite different but the means more similar than dissimilar.
I have only one negative comment about the school I subbed at: the darn 55 minute class periods. Too, too short.