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Help for the Sub

Somewhere between college and grad school, I worked as a substitute teacher. The experience made a lasting impression on me as stories from those days seem to crop up in many conversations I have today. I usually have my friends in stitches as I talk about the antics of the kids in my classes. The most colorful days were those when I was assigned to sub for a teacher who left absolutely no lesson plan.

I used to pretend to put on a robe and tell the kids I only used the Socratic Method. They had fun and we all learned A LOT. But sometimes the teacher would be gone for a few days or more without warning and I’m not ashamed to say I’d run out of material. If there had been a classroom projector and Internet access, the teacher could have recorded her own lectures with software like Camtasia ( or uploaded their PowerPoint presentations to Slideshare ( for free and not only would I, the sub, have been supported and successful, the students would have also been able to access the teachers lectures and notes later from home. There are so many other uses for a classroom projector—but that is the one that comes to mind right now as I muse over school days and opportunities long gone by. But wait. It is not about the technology. I subbed for teachers who saw no need to create a lesson plan a week in advance. A classroom projector webcam, whiteboard and killer software can't solve that problem.