Thursday, September 15, 2016

Poetry Thursday: For My Sub

I am having some surgery tomorrow, and any teacher knows that being out of the classroom is always more trouble than it's worth, with all the list of things you have to set in place for while you're gone.  I've prepared the quizzes and the sub plans and I'm lining up details, and one of the things on my list was to put up a Poetry Friday post early.  This, which I first posted back in 2013, seemed appropriate.

Sonnet for my Sub

 I'm writing down the mysteries of my class
All that I do, and why and how and when
The intricacies of a bathroom pass
Which students you can trust (but even then
You must be on your guard, and watch your back),
And here is the procedure for the roll
And don't let those kids get you off the track,
Make sure you let them think you're in control.

Sub, I've tried to give you foolproof lessons,
Easy instructions, here's how to be me,
And yet I'm (this is such a lame confession)
Not thrilled by interchangeability.

I wish my absence filled the world with sorrow
But failing that, please teach my class tomorrow.

Ruth, from

Here's the roundup.


Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

I hadn't read this before...very humourous, but so true. Best wishes with your surgery!

Sally Murphy said...

Good luck with surgery. Your poem made me smile.

Irene Latham said...

Dear Ruth, keeping you in my thoughts and prayers today and all days. I love the honesty in this poem... how we want to be missed/irreplaceable... and yet we're so grateful we're not! It's a strange part of being human, isn't it? xo

Joy said...

Hope your surgery goes well. This is a fun poem. The closing couplet says it all.😍

Laura Shovan said...

Heal well, Ruth. I love the humor, hope, and acceptance of reality all balanced together in your poem. So true when you have to step away from the classroom.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

From the intricacies of a bathroom pass to the thoughts about interchangeability, I love how this poem doesn't candy coat. Wishing you well tomorrow and speedy healing, Ruth.

skanny17 said...

As a 40 plus year veteran, I know the substitute planning woes and blues...fill my shoes? Who , you??? No can do....ha ha ha. "We loved Mrs. XYZ, can she come back again we got to go out for recess three times" or "Mrs. ABC was mean she made us do too much math, etc. " I hope that all goes well for you Ruth and look forward to your good news. I had not seen your Sub Sonnet before and love it. Someone should write a book about all the various ways teachers deal with sub plans, ie when you know you will be away and when the emergencies occur. (MY worst plans and a messy desk) but I had amazing colleagues!!! I know your darlings will be on their best behavior, though, right? I am sure they will miss you a ton. Be well and heal....Many prayers and a hug for you.
Janet F. aka Janet Clare Fagal

Tabatha said...

Thinking of you and wishing you good health, Ruth! I'm going to send this to a friend of mine who subs a lot.

Brenda Harsham said...

Wishing you and your class well. Subs have a hard time. Love the poem.

Donna Smith said...

Hope your surgery goes smoothly!
Love and understand fully "Not thrilled by interchangeability"!
They do miss us and the constancy really that we provide on the day to day routines. I'm sure they will be happy to have you return soon!

Molly Hogan said...

Love the poem, especially the intracacies of the bathroom pass, and hoping surgery goes well and is followed by a speedy, uneventful healing!

Jane @ said...

I love it! On one level we want things to move smoothly in our absence, but deep down inside I think we always kind of hope that we'll be terribly missed and that nothing will be the same without us. ;)

jama said...

Good Luck with your surgery. Love the candid wisdom in your poem. :)

Violet Nesdoly said...

So clever, Ruth. I especially grinned at these lines:

"And yet I'm (this is such a lame confession)
Not thrilled by interchangeability."

Be well, now, please be well.

Heidi said...

Dear Ruth,

You got it, spot on, the tyranny of trying (like no one in any other job has to) convey in a few pages the intricacies of the art we practice, built on a bedrock of science and experience. I hope your sub is someone you know and trust, and/or that you can let it go and relax into whatever good your surgery is meant to bring!

Bridget Magee said...

Your sonnet will leave any sub well prepared - and amused! Sending you healing vibes, Ruth. =)

Doraine Bennett said...

I'm late in getting around to Poetry Friday, so I know you may not read this, but know I'm holding you in my prayers for quick healing. And for your sub, too!