Monday, March 24, 2014

A Letter from Your Substitute Teacher

Dear Mr. B,

We've never met before. In fact, we probably will never meet in person, as the worlds of Industrial Technology and ESL don't often seem to collide. Still, after spending a day in your shoes I feel like I know so much about you and what kind of teacher you are.

"How?" you ask?

Well, I saw hints of your personality as I sat down in your chair and admired the tidiness of your classroom and the careful way you had assembled your detailed substitute teacher binder.

I sensed your concern for your students and your desire for them to succeed as I read your note encouraging me to read all of the IEPs for your students so that I could know how best to help them in your absence.

As my eyes wandered around the room and read the posters challenging your freshmen to earn college credit, to get involved in after-school activities, and to THINK before they speak (words that are True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, and Kind), I learned that you are a teacher who wants students to pursue excellence, and who believes that your job as an educator is not limited to the confines of the classroom.

I saw that you are loved, valued, and appreciated by your students, as their faces fell in disappointment when they peeked into your room and discovered that you were missing.

I deduced that you are self-sacrificing, as I realized you do not feel entitled to isolated planning periods or even a quiet lunch, but instead view those parts of your schedule as opportunities to open your classroom door to kids who seek a quiet place to work or just want to escape a crowded cafeteria.

I ascertained that you are trustworthy and considerate, as athlete upon athlete arrived at your door, toting heavy sports bags, explaining that you always allow them to store their belongings in your room.

Finally, I saw that you have high expectations for your students and maintain a productive classroom, as your students worked diligently all day long, knowing exactly what to do and making good use of their time--even in your absence.

So, you see Mr. B, we have never met, but today I feel honored to know you. I respect you, and quite honestly, I want to be like you.

Your Substitute Teacher,

Laura M.


  1. Holy cow, this is great. What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful teacher who you've never met. You really spent your time in his room with a writer's eye! Wonderful!

  2. Wow, the observations and attention to detail is phenomenal. What an awesome opportunity to notice so much without the teacher actually being there. I hope you left this note for Mr. B! What a special gift!

  3. What a lovely tribute to a teacher. You certainly made great observations. Loved the THINK acrostic. If only everyone could follow that!