Before I started the work of being a substitute teacher, I had certain stereotypes in my mind of what a sub was or was not. Most of these were negative. I had literally seen substitute teachers sit and read a book while the students did, well, whatever. I had returned from an absence and seen clear and obvious signs of neglect that were preventable. Most insidious of all, I had my own cherished memories of making life Hell for the poor, unforunate soul who subbed for Mr. Green in 6th grade!
Thus as this stint began I realized I could either "fall into character" and act according to these stereotypes or do something different
Is that you, John Wayne?
It was clear to me that I would not survive if I chose to simply show up and do the minimum. For my own sake I decided that I would focus on the noun, not the adjective in "substitute teacher." It seems to be paying off. Students may be surprised that I plan to work them hard, but I think they are largely relieved. Who likes to waste time? That's really the other option. Especially when you're talking (as most classes seem to be) 80-100 minute block periods.
Move over, Duke! I'm gonna be myself today.