Handing your class over to a substitute is one of those things teachers seem to universally feel some anxiety about.
You're not only handing over your space, but you're also handing over your kids, your plans, etc. Still, there are times that it's necessary and it's not like a substitute can mess things up too badly, right?
One Reddit user asked:
So listen, there are countless wonderful and amazing substitute teachers around the world who education systems would totally fail without.
This article is not about them.
This article is about the folks who need to be led away in handcuffs.
This article is about folks who wake up on the HGTV side of the bed and decide to give the teacher's classroom a total makeover.
This article is about ... well ... these people.
Adam's "Phone"i feel sick butters GIF by South Park Giphy
I had a Grade 1 and 2 class last year and one student had diabetes. Let's call him Adam.
So Adam had a cell phone that beeps when his blood sugar is too low/high. It's connected to the monitor in his arm/hip. The cell phone has no other uses, no apps, no data, not connected to the school wifi.
The substitute saw his phone on his desk and promptly took it away as per the "no devices" rule.
During gym class an EA comes in to make sure everything is ok. Adam is visibly ill. He is pale, sweating; the whole works. Luckily this EA knows Adams medical plan, instantly asks the Adam for the phone and he explains that the substitute took it away in the morning.
The EA then LOSES IT on the substitute demanding the phone. The substitute calls in the principal - to demand that they reprimand the EA.
Instead, she got reprimanded herself as obviously she did not read the students safety plans.
She was asked to leave and the principal taught the class the rest of the day. Adam was fine, drank a couple juice boxes and had a granola bar. Mom picked him up shortly after.
The Miracle Of Birth
Back when I was a teacher, I had a sub decide my plans weren't good enough for her and went rogue. She decided to show my students videos of animals giving birth on YouTube.
I taught sixth-grade English...
Making The Space Your Own
Re-arranged my room.
Not in a "Moved Student A away from Student B and put her by Student C" way.
In a "Move the giant rug over to the opposite corner of the room, and completely change the layout of student desks, and rearrange a bookshelf" way.
I had the same thing happen!
Except she took my three big bookshelves apart and threw them in the dumpster. She said that she didn't like them and they didn't look like they belong in the room anyway.
I came back to the books just in a big pile in the middle of the room. Definitely the weirdest experience as a teacher.
Went to sleep for 1.5 hours. My class was freaking amazing—the sweetest, most thoughtful group I've ever had. When I got back the next day, I asked how the sub was.
Me: How was the sub?
Them: uhhh... he was fine. He kinda took a nap for a while.
Me: WHAT?! What did you guys do?
Them: Worked quietly so that we wouldn't wake him up. Eventually we ran out of work, so we just had silent reading.
Me: For how long?
Them: From when we started working until it was time to go outside.
Me: That's a really long time! Look, I am glad that you guys were so thoughtful, but if something like that ever happens again, please wake the sub up. It's not safe for the sub to sleep. He needed to be awake in case something happened.
Them: We would have woken him up if we really needed to. But we also figured he probably really needed the sleep.
Seriously. The SWEETEST class ever!
Such An Intriguing Cat
I had a cool Chinese Lucky Cat that went missing after I had a sub.
My students said the sub seemed really intrigued by it, talked about it several times, and even moved it from the shelf where it sat and brought it over to my desk.
It was gone when I returned the next day. 😒
How The Grinch Ruined Christmasgrinning the grinch GIFGiphy
The first year I taught 5th grade, I really wanted to do something special for my students before Christmas vacation.
I spoke with my team and we came up with the idea to make every single student a personalized Christmas ornament. We were going to surprise them by displaying the ornaments on a Christmas tree the day before vacation and they would be able to take them home.
I was gone for a department thing the day before we were going to set up the tree, and one of the least liked subs was scheduled for my class. Since I had stored all the ornaments in my closet, I simply asked if the students needed any supplies, make sure to get them yourself and not let them see the surprise.
The thing about this sub, and the reason she wasn't liked, was that her first line of defense was always to threaten to take away something from for misbehaving: recess, free time, lunch, etc.
I think you know where I'm going with this...
Fast forward to the end of the day, I get back to my classroom in the last 30 min of class so I could dismiss them.
All of a sudden, I'm met with 25 kids asking about their ornaments. I tried to play dumb and asked them what they were talking about.
Of course the sub said something.
She told the students about the ornaments and said if they misbehaved, she would tell me and I would take away their ornaments.
Instantly, I was filled with horror that the surprise was ruined for all 5th grade. They're kids, they told the whole grade during recess.
Also anger because that damn sub ruined the surprise and disappointment because I really wanted to see their faces when they walked through the door the next day and saw a special Christmas tree with their personalized ornaments.
It's not the biggest deal or anything, but I was really upset that weekend. To this day, when I talk to my old partners, I still refer to her as the Grinch!
They Left A Note
There was a harpsichord in the front of the classroom used both for demonstration and performance.
Not knowing what he was doing, the sub tried to tune 3 notes that had gone mildly out of tune while I was away. He managed to break the strings on all 3 notes and left a message inside reading: "Sorry about that . . ."
In 45 Minutes
A few of the periods I taught were co-teach classes where a percentage of the students in the class have special needs but can work well enough in a general population classroom with assistance from a special education co-instructor.
These classes were often very rewarding to teach, but one downside of teaching that population from a logistical standpoint is that I was often required to attend 'ARD' meetings. Basically every special education student has a meeting about twice a year, sometimes more frequently depending on need, where administrators, teachers, counselors, parents/guardians, and the student themself all get together to go over their status and review the various educational accommodations the student is receiving to determine what may or may not need to change to best suit their needs.
I didn't have a problem with attending these meetings per se, but because they only take ~1 period, and several teachers are rotating through various meetings over the course of a day, the school had devoted 'ARD subs' who were more akin to babysitters (at best) than substitute educators. That means that during that one period, hell can randomly break loose.
One year I had a 'tough' student who had some serious attitude problems, but was a good person underneath it all and with whom I'd done a lot of work with to improve her engagement and interest in my class.
About half way through the year, I got called for an ARD meeting during the period I had said student. In my absence of ~45 minutes the sub decided to pick a petty argument with my kid, who was rightfully offended but unwisely overreacted.
Things escalated to making threats and nearly coming to blows with the sub. My student ended up with in-school suspension for a while.
Getting the story from all parties and witnesses involved later, it was pretty clear the sub was to blame, and the kid who I'd worked so hard with was back at square one. I eventually got her back on track, end she ended up with one of the highest grades in my class at the end of the year.
I could only imagine how much better she could've been without that setback and the amount of trust in adults she'd lost after being punished for something the substitute teacher was at fault for.
What Actually Happened
I came back after being gone ONE DAY and my students told me the substitute teacher flipped over tables in a rage and was escorted from the building by a cop.
That's not what actually happened, but it's not far off.
Apparently the sub left the room to take a 20 min phone call and the kids thought it would be funny to flip the tables over.
The substitute then had to flip the tables right side up while yelling at the kids.
That's what they called "flipping tables in a rage."
So now let's talk about what actually actually happened after the table thing.
During lunch, my Special Ed. Co-teacher came into my room to set up and caught the sub MAKING OUT WITH A STUDENT.
She was 18 to his 25. That 20 min phone call he took earlier was to set up the lunch meeting.
The principal then had him removed from the building by the resource officer; so yeah he was escorted from the building by a cop.
This is why I say having a sub is more work than just coming into school my damn self.
Hell And The Holocaust
I'm the student in this case, but I'll still share the story because to this day I'm still fuming about it.
When I was in year nine history we were learning about the Holocaust. My teacher was out that day, and we had a sub who no one had ever met.
We all went into the classroom, sat down, and waited for him to say something. His first words to us, and I quote, were "The only thing humans have done that is worse than the Holocaust is the crucifixion of Christ."
Literally. No hello, no introduction, just that.
Now, in the class there were a lot of kids who were atheists, and a few from other religions. There were also three Jewish siblings whose great grandparents were murdered in a concentration camp.
People went absolutely wild, yelling at the sub of how insensitive that was when we had Jewish students whose own family were victims of the Holocaust.
The sub went bright red and started screaming that we were all going to hell and that we had sinned so terribly he couldn't bear to look at us. He left the room and that was the last we ever saw of him.
Guy left his lunch plate in my room.
There was half a chicken thigh and rice on my desk when I showed up. That's bad enough, but it's not the worst part. The worst part was that it was a Friday sub.
I showed up on Monday. It smelled so bad.
NKOTB Oh Nohangin tough new kids on the block GIFGiphy
I'm definitely late to the party that was last week, but I think this was a good one. I am a teacher, but was reminded of what I horrified by as a student.
This happened in the 4th grade. It was 1989 and The New Kids on the Block were performing for the school that sent in the most index cards with their school's name on it.
The Student Council was pushing for this every say for what seemed like a full year. It had gotten annoying. But those 8th graders gave their final plea over the PA system.
It was a Friday and out sub looked like she was having "a day."
Throughout the announcement, my Catholic grade school friends snickered, giggled and poked fun. Our substitute was visibly upset, "shush"ing kids, while talking to herself under her breath.
At the end of the announcement, we all erupted in a low "BOOO!" to which the substitute screamed at us: "EXCUSE ME! That is enough!"
She began to sob and cry, "How dare you do that to those people..."
Huh? We were more than a little confused.
"Put yourself in their shoes. What if you were a new person in a new city or town. Wouldn't you want people to be welcoming and loving when you arrived? How dare you laugh and make fun? and 'Boo' of all things! You should be ashamed of yourselves!"
Wiping her tears with crusty tissues from her pocket, she pointed to one of my classmates who raised her hand. "What, Meaghan?!"
The New Kids are a singing group.
Fuming Over Fumes
Oh my gosh. I totally forgot my best sub story until I read some of the others lol.
One day I was absent for district training. Most of my team was out, too. So there were several subs around. During first period, several of my students started complaining that a strong gasoline type smell was giving them a headache. It was really bad, and the substitute kept telling them she didn't smell anything. Same thing happened again the next period, but one of my students happened to be a principal's daughter. She texted her mom, who came to investigate. The smell was strong they smelled it in the hallway. They had to evacuate the entire 3600 student school while the fire department came to check it out. By the time they came, the smell in my room was gone.
However, several people still smelled the gasoline outside. The other substitutes were crowded together, and realized the smell was coming from MY SUBSTITUTE.
It was such a strange smell to be on a person that no one realized it was her. One of the principals asked her to go home and come back after lunch, after she had gotten rid of the smell (they didn't have any spare substitutes to cover my afternoon classes).
She came back...but this time she smelled like gasoline mixed with a bucket of perfume. She hadn't even changed clothes! It was so wild to hear that evening haha.
Mr. Retired Art Teacher
We have a retired art teacher who subs in our district, that pretty much ignores lesson plans and just does art all day. Long story short: I was recruited in November to take a class of 4th graders after their teacher just walked out of the classroom and quit.
I've got 13 days before parent/teacher conferences and I want my new classroom to look nice and welcoming for the kids and parents, so I spend the entire weekend decorating the classroom.
The following week I have to go to the district office for some training, paperwork etc. so I schedule a sub. Guess who I get?
Yep, Mr. Retired Art teacher - nobody had warned me about him at that point!
Not only does he ignore my lesson plan and do art all day, he takes down ALL of my decorations, kids work, required postings etc. and fills the walls with his "art." He took down everything I had just worked so hard doing.
Plus he throws my stuff in the garbage! That old man does not know how close he was to death when I saw what he did!!!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
The Mandela effect is when multiple people share the same, incorrect memory.
Its name stems from when paranormal researcher Fiona Broome falsely believed that the future president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, died in prison in the 1980s.
A false memory she shared with a number of others.
Our memories have been known to deceive us, as we might frequently forget someone's name or one of our numerous online passwords.
But when we share a memory that turns out to be false with many others, convincing ourselves it wasn't the truth can be a very difficult ordeal indeed.
Redditor Mysterious_Boat_1701 was curious to hear people's most unsettling experiences with the Mandela Effect, leading them to ask:
"Which Mandela effect freaks you out the most and why?"
A mysterious gym
"Just had one personally."
"Went to a mall where there was supposedly a gym, asked around and nobody that worked at the mall knew what I was talking about."
"Looked around and couldn't find it."
"Come back a few months later and it’s right there in front of my face, you'd have to be strung out to not notice it."
"idk how or when it just appeared but it freaked me out."- prex320278
A "fruit"ful logo.
"That the fruit of the loom logo never had a cornucopia."
"What’s crazy about that one is that someone emailed the creator of the logo about it and he said even he remembers it having one."- mrcock2·
Less well intentioned than they thought.
"I Mandela effected my whole family once."
"Years ago there was a football player on a rival team that always did a dumb celebration after he got a sack and my family and I always hated it."
"One night after he did it my family started trashing the celebration and I said as a joke 'we are all going to feel terrible when we find out he is doing that celebration as a request from a make-a-wish kid'."
"Fast forward to years later and our team is playing that team again."
"The player got a sack and did the celebration."
"I rolled my eyes and said 'I hate that celebration so much' my mom instantly turned and said 'don't say that, he is doing it for a sick kid'."
"'I actually like it."
"So I was like 'what?'"
"'No there is no sick kid', my whole family then proceeded to argue with me'."
"They all vividly remembered reading articles about it, seeing special report segments before games about it, and other information."
"Some of them even thought they knew the disease the kid had and even extra details about why the kid chose that specific celebration."
"They all had these shared memories that they were sure were true."
"I was floored by all this and insisted none of that was true."
"So we looked it up.'
'No kid like that ever existed.'
"They still have trouble wrapping their heads around this one."
"Turned out human memory is not near as reliable as we think"
"It was American Football and the player was Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings and his cattle roping sack celebration."
"This was maybe 10 years ago."- AUSpartan37College Football Win GIF by Michigan State FootballGiphy
His eyesight was better than we thought.
"Mr. Monopoly's monocle."- Additional_Day9903
It's not easy being green.
"I have a personal one that to this day a decade later still destroys my mind."
"I had an old(ish) 2001 dodge neon."
"With BLACK SEATS.'
"I drove this car for years and years, like 80,000 miles.'
'All through college."
"I took work breaks in my car, commuted hours every day total, to college and then the opposite direction to work and back."
"I even lived out of this thing on several occasions.'
'The day I go and trade it in, I'm pulling misc things out of the car at the dealer."
'And the seats are GREEN."
"Not even a little."
'Like very unmistakably GREEN."
"In my black Neon, with black interior, that ALWAYS HAD BLACK SEATS."
"My girlfriend then, wife now, goes oh they've always been green."
"EXCEPT THEY F*CKING WEREN'T DON'T LIE TO ME."
"This is still upsetting to this day..... life is a lie and nothing is real."- ZakuLegionWinona Ryder Omg GIFGiphy
An urban legend was born.
"Not a global one, just a family thing."
"Back in 2002 my grandma had her 60th birthday, my father took us home at 10.00pm, ready for bed."
"We, me and brother, were 12 and 14 at this time."
'All went well."
"Over the years, a story was made up that we went missing after visiting the local playground after dinner at said grandma's birthday party."
"Some neighbors help to search us, the whole train of 'missing children in a smal village'-thing."
"Fun fact: we never went missing."
"Dad brought us home, put on 'Toy Story' on tv and left."
"My brother and I heard first about this in 2015.'
"From different people on different occasions."
"'Ah your one of the missing boys'."
"I first thought they were mocking me for a different event.'
"I got lost, but it was 2013, alcohol inflicted, different story."
"But then they ALL tell us the same story about us going missing."
'And the stories are damn close to 'true' in every story my mum is driving around the same neighbors to different locations to search, old wine yard, old mill etc."
"Sometimes I think I got lost on the most brutal way."
"I was lost and changed this plane of existence with another one."
"It sometimes made me think about my whole life."- tjorben123missing kenny mccormick GIF by South Park Giphy
Memories are a fascinating thing.
They can be changed or altered with even the tiniest suggestion.
And making the truth seem less believable than lies.
One last time. One last meal.
How do you chose a last meal?
Let's hope we never have to find out.
People on death row get that option.
Do they deserve it?
Whose to say?
But they have it.
A steak. A pizza... Burger King.
The food world is their oyster.
Oyster. Also an option.
The menu is endless...
Redditor No-Caterpillar4212 wanted to know what our menu choices would be if we faced the end. They asked:
"You're on a death row, you have one hour left, they ask for your final meal - what is it?"
I'd want 2 hours in a Golden Coral with a bar. Covers it all.
Masailor moon cooking GIFGiphy
"Everything my mom has ever made."
"I want a nice filet mignon, medium rare, a baked potato with everything on it, and a nice Cabernet from a good year - I'm thinking 2135."
"'Sorry, we couldn't get the Cabernet from 2135. So instead of what could have been a great wine request from a more plausible period of time, you get this crappy stuff we sourced from Wal-Mart. Enjoy your meal, I hope that maintaining your sense of humor was worth it."'
"Something badly cooked so I will be sick and want to die sooner and have diarrhea so bad it will be a last revenge!"
"Taco bell it is!"
"If Taco Bell makes you poop a lot, it's a sign that you probably need more fiber in your diet."
The Yuck Factor
"A huge bowl of baked beans, a bowl of shredded wheat, a six egg omelette, and a gallon of apple cider. I'm gonna make it awful for everyone."
"Save yourself the hassle of eating all that, just ask for one pack of sugar free Haribo gummy bears. Should make for an interesting time for the folks watching you die."
"You void your bowels when you die too so that should be lovely."
PerfectFried Chicken Scandal GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
"Fried chicken with some Fanta."
Fried chicken is on the top of everyone's list!
DetailsInterested GIF by Nick CannonGiphy
"150mg of MDMA. I’m dying happy."
"This should absolutely be allowed. If our leaders insist on the practice of capital punishment then the condemned should be able to ingest any substance they damn please."
"McFlurry. Those machine are always broken. I just bought myself some time."
"Is this like an American thing? I worked at a McDonald's in Denmark once and our machine was never once broken when i was there."
"I saw a video about this once. I'm a little fuzzy on the details but I think it has something to do with the contract that was signed in America. Only one company is allowed to do maintenance on the machines and they basically lock out if it's cleaned incorrectly. It's a crap system."
"Cabbage!! Add some cabbage. I don’t know if an hour if enough to take effect but there was an old coworker on a cabbage diet. Omg she smelled, like it was coming out of her pores. She knew she smelled and kept apologizing and reminding us of the diet."
The OG Always
"Olive Garden. Unlimited soup and breadsticks."
"I saw a sketch once, can't remember who it 2qs from. But a an inmate ordered the all you can eat buffet and had been eating for like 8 years. He's constantly on the toilet and takes micro-naps between bites."
"Unlimited for 1 hour. Cool."
How GoldenGolden Girls Dorothy GIF by HULUGiphy
"If my grandma is still alive her potato soup and cheesecake. Hopefully I'd be able to cook said meal with her one last time."
Let's hope none of us has to make this decision.
Most people have friends they've been close to for most of their lives.
But at the same time, friends evolve, and everyone finds themselves losing touch with any number of people they at one point considered their friends over time.
Most of the time, this isn't intentional, but just simply happens.
On rare occasions though, people might realize that their friends were not exactly who they thought they were, and didn't like who they revealed themselves to be.
Redditor One-Refrigerator69 was curious to hear stories of people who realized their friends were not exactly the nicest people to be around, leading them to ask:
"When was the moment you realized that your friends are assholes?"
Compared to others...
"When I started hanging out with better people."- Darklink326
All it took was getting my life together
"When I quit drinking ‘cos it was killing me."
"There were people I literally saw every single day who just disappeared as if by magic."
"12 years ago this week, as it happens."
"I’m not anti-drink, far from it."
"Some people, me included, just can’t enjoy it without it becoming a problem."
"Everyone is different."- bigdaftgeordie
A little perspective goes a long way.
"After I realized that other people don't sh*t on each other on every possible occasion in their circle."
"And that it isn't right when a 'friend' uses every known insecurity as an argument against you when you do not behave the way he/she would want you to."- ViscousPlatemanThe Simpsons GIF by MOODMANGiphy
Lack of respect for other people's things
"I let my friend borrow my ps2 when I went to boot camp."
"When I came back, he said he sold it and gave me $50 I think?"
"This was in 2006."- madmike-86
Lack of mutual respect
"When he does sh*t to me and acts like it’s no big deal, then I do the same back and he gets offended."- Primary-Maybe-2749·
Constantly being taken advantage of.
"They only bothered with me when it suited them."
"I'd rather have nobody than have to deal with that."- zombi33mjhappy eric cartman GIF by South Park Giphy
When they literally revealed themselves to be criminals
"When they robbed me at gunpoint."- Ok_Student8032
When they stopped liking them after a change of situation
"Fourth grade, when my parents economical situation went downhill and suddenly no one invited me to their birthday party."
"Until Seven years later no one had never invited me to their birthday, or to anything at all actually."- Justalittletoserious
Not being able to get a word in...
"When they tell me to shut up when I say anything."- the_golden_cheesela respuesta GIF by Becky GGiphy
Violently playing with emotions
"She got a boyfriend and would let him listen to our phone calls and not tell me, even if I was crying about personal stuff that I would only ever tell her."
"Then they both started lying to me about my crush liking me back, forcing both him and me into awkward positions, telling everyone we liked each other so they'd play along, swapping places constantly to make us sit next to each other, pressuring him into giving me a lap dance, making him kiss the prettiest girl in the room, etc, and encouraged me to shoot my shot more and more."
"All the while they knew he didn't like me, he had told them both directly."
"One night I was crying on the phone cause I was so confused why my advances weren't working, and they just kept explaining it away, blaming some other bullsh*t reason and telling me to try again."
"The next day they told me they were laughing throughout the whole call, because I didn't get it and I was so upset."
"I should add I had no dating experience at all and nobody had ever liked me at this point."- Juliemj
It's always sad when our friends disappoint us.
But when our friends proved to be completely different people than we thought they were, it can be devastating.
As the saying goes, one never truly knows who their friends are.
When visiting any foreign country, one should always be familiar with the laws and customs of the land.
After all, what might be generally accepted on your home turf, might be frowned upon, if not illegal, elsewhere.
For that matter, even locals might need a refresher course on what they can and can't do while at home.
A recent Redditor was curious to hear what tourists and locals alike should avoid doing in the USA, leading them to ask:
"In the United States, what should you never do?"
Stay out of the skies!
"Don't fly a drone in Washington, DC."
"The whole D.C. Area is a no fly zone."
"It's a federal offense."
"Just don't do it."- PeytonCarrK
Cops can't be bribed.
"Don't try to bribe cops when you get pulled over."
"I had some Argentinian friends immediately pull out their wallets and start pooling their cash when they got pulled over once.'
"Fortunately someone in the car noticed and told them to put it away immediately."- PeytonCarrK
"Don't pay off the police."
"My dad has friends from several third-world nations where it is common practice to give the police some cash when you are pulled over."
"However, if you try to bribe a police officer here, you'll get into a lot of trouble."- JohnASmiley
Know your rights.
"Everyone, including foreigners, has the right to be silent and have a lawyer when being questioned."
"Don’t say anything."
"Also, even if you speak English fairly well, ask for an interpreter."- WickedLilThing
Enjoy all that nature has to offer... carefully!
"Don't wander off in the national parks."
"It's very real wilderness and you can get lost and die out there."
"This includes going over railings you aren't supposed to, or off trails."
"People have died accidentally falling into a steam geyser that looked like normal water, mauled by animals or left to the elements."- AlphaOhmeganational parks GIF by Visit The USAGiphy
Allow plenty of time!
"Expect consistency at TSA in airports."- WickedLilThing
Some terminology doesn't translate...
"If you’re from England, they’re called cigarettes here."- Yung_Onions
Make sure your license is up to date.
"If you come from a walkable country don’t come here expecting the same."
"There are some areas with good public transportation and bicycle/pedestrian friendly streets but for the most part, especially outside of cities, the areas are designed to accommodate cars more than anything else."
"The reason a lot of Americans drive everywhere is because, depending on where you live, we have no choice."- The_Cars93Dog Driving GIFGiphy
Wait for instructions.
"Get out of your car and approach the cop when being stopped by a cop unless told to."- hildrash
Whether your'e waling down a street in a foreign country, or the street you've lived on for your entire life, it's always wise to be on guard and aware of your surroundings.
Not to mention, obey the law.