Does Being A Sub Suck?

I can remember all too well being in elementary school. And a substitute teacher came in. All hell would break loose. (OK, that’s not true, I did spent the majority of my years in a Catholic school so hell was only something that comes after death if you are bad).

Honestly though, no one wants to see a substitute teacher. In elementary school, I guess seeing a sub meant a free day. Not much work was going to get done. However, it’s a whole other ball game when you are a yoga substitute teacher.

In the past 4 days, I subbed two classes. The first class went well. I was familiar with the studio and knew the teacher that I was subbing for. I had taken her class a few times so I knew what her students would expect. This last time, tonight, it was a different story. I know the teacher, but I had never taken her class so I wasn’t sure of her style and what her students were used to.

I’ve been on the other side of the mat many times. Look, yoga is expensive. And many of us, no matter how hard we may try to practice non-attachment, get attached to certain teachers. I still do! We want a certain teacher and may not react too kindly when we find out there’s a sub.

When I sub, I make sure to tell everyone that I know how they may feel.  I try to make them as comfortable as possible. I point out that every teacher has a unique style and that they may learn or experience something new. I do talk about non-attachment and I share how I am struggling with it as well.

Teachasana is a great website. They recently featured an article on this very topic. It’s a must read for teachers.

If have ever subbed any kind of class, what has your experience been like?




6 thoughts on “Does Being A Sub Suck?

  1. I always took being a substitute very seriously – sometimes too seriously for the high school students I taught. It’s true that people get very attached to a teacher – and classes are money as well as time. I’ve found that adults are often very rude, and there’s no need for that. If the style isn’t meshing, make the best of it, don’t ruin the class for others, and talk to the manager or teacher after the class if you want a refund or credit. At least teenagers have the behavioral excuse of hormonal mayhem. 🙂

  2. Subbing yoga classes for me is always a new opportunity. To either teach a different style, teach in a different environment, meet new students or network for a new job. Always a blessing and you always get paid too. Namaste.

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