In response to the article “School district to test all substitute teachers” (Wichita Eagle, June 22), it has been a privilege to be able to substitute teach in Anthony.


In response to the article “School district to test all substitute teachers” (Wichita Eagle, June 22), it has been a privilege to be able to substitute teach in Anthony.

During the months which I taught, the principal resigned. When you start a new job, you feel apprehensive, not to mention when you just moved. I moved from Newton to Norwich and began using my substitute teachers’ license.

My experience was both rewarding and stressful with kids who were in a teacher's office and in their computer with the only discipline was for the student to leave that office. My background is in criminal justice, and my temper flared. As I began to go over the rules of the school with sixth graders and discipline them for an hour instead of teaching band which I have no experience in, was to say the least, a mess!

Later, I discovered that most of these children had parents in prison or jail. These kids reflected this behavior. Jail or prison meant nothing to them. It was their way of life. Other responses from teachers were both pleasant and unpleasant. Some teachers would back you up when the students were so misbehaved that you could not even teach, hiding in corners, playing cards or playing with whatever they could get their hands on.

One day I was to have the students watch videos and read for the day. None of them wanted to do as they were instructed. The principal came in the classroom and joined me. I was at loss on how to instruct them. She suggested taking part in the library for a while.

Please advise teachers that when substitute teachers come in and take your place, this does not work.

— Sincerely,

Margaret Mae Heart,

criminal justice professional,

licensed emergency substitute teacher, Norwich