A month of substitute teaching

I can’t believe I’ve actually got to write this. I never thought I would ever be well enough to teach. The past month has been a huge journey, I honestly don’t even recognize myself anymore.

Things I never could have done before, I can now do (if not perfectly). Teaching a class on my own, speaking to teachers, parents and pupils, without anxiety, it’s amazing.

Even eating lunch on my own at a table surrounded by pupils (we eat together) would have terrified me, but now I do it and I actually eat.

In high school, a boy told me I “eat disgusting” which led to me not eating in school for the next 6 years. That and being told I’d put on “puppy fat” led to anorexia, which I have struggled with ever since; although since my last 2 months of pregnancy I have managed to eat really well without any relapse, so let’s hope it carries on.

I had an incredibly tough day today and I’m really wondering if I am cut out for this so I thought I would write a pro and con list.


  • Good money
  • Flexibility
  • Don’t have to take work home
  • Get to teach all subjects
  • When a lesson goes well it’s so rewarding
  • Make friends with other substitutes
  • It’s helping me to learn Swedish


  • Sometimes shifts are few and far between
  • No contract or security
  • Both pupils and some teachers show less respect to substitutes
  • Lesson plans you are given can be terrible which gives you no hope with getting the class to do work
  • Have to teach things I have no clue about – especially lessons in Swedish
  • It’s hard to develop a good working relationship with the pupils as you aren’t often teaching them
  • Some of the behavior is incredibly hard to deal with

If you have any experience teaching pleaaaase tell me your magical tips and advice.

Louise x



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  1. Once I was within hearing range of a teacher doing a cover lesson. The class showed early signs of misbehaving. Before it got further she said, “I know things are a bit strange today. It is for me too. But I am still a teacher and I expect you to show me the same respect you show for Mr X.” The class settled rightaway.


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