As a supply teacher in the Toronto District School Board, my work is never dull. Each day brings new experiences.
In the mornings, I have what is known as an LTO position: a long-term occasional job in which I teach Phys. Ed., Health, and Dance to grade 8 students. When I wake up in the morning and prepare myself for the day ahead, I always know what school I am going to and what students I will be teaching.
The afternoons are another story: I could get called into a different school with a different bunch of kids and a different subject all together. It is not unusual for me, a veteran, to go into a school I have never been in before and be treated disrespectfully by a group of students who believe this is my first day on the job.
This is one of the joys of supply teaching.
Sometimes I do not know where I am working in the afternoon until the very day I teach there. Then, I have to ensure I take a job within a fast travelling distance from my morning school since I take public transit and do not own a car.
I teach everything from kindergarten to grade 8, math to music, special education to regularly streamed students.
I could have grade 8 students in the morning and junior kindergarten students in the afternoon. That’s a 10-year age difference.
To cite an example of a typical day, last week I was teaching some grade 8 boys who, without my permission, were watching some gangsta rap on youtube. On the same day, I was teaching some 4-year-olds who were playing with stuffed animals and hanging on my every word as if I were a rock star.
As I said, my days are never dull.