"Are you the substitute?"
So many smart-ass answers come to my mind when a kid asks me this, especially if they are over 5th grade. I mean, who else would I be? "Are you the sub?" No, I am Mr. Jones, your regular teacher. The sex change was a success, thank you. ......No, I am but a figment of your imagination...maybe I'm not even real..... Oh no, I'm just lost. I was looking for the nearest laundromat....
But no, I smile and reply "Yes, I'm the sub. Good morning."
Because I'm a professional, that's why. ;)
And the response to having a sub changes dramatically from the little kids to the big kids. In 1st-3rd grade, I am greeted like some kind of shiny new toy, and within 10 minutes, I usually get declarations of "I love you" and "You're the best teacher I ever had"...but by the time they hit 5th grade, it's minor curiosity coupled with indifference, and by high school, I am but a phantom in the classroom as they walk right by me and barely even look. There is always one sweet person who offers a smile, like they are trying to say "Yeah, we're all a-holes. I know. Sorry." I know. It's like a rite of passage, being a twerp to the substitute. I don't take it personally. I know something happens during puberty that turns those loving little angels into snarly, ill-mannered teenagers. I see this as my trial-by-fire. If I still want to be a teacher after 4 years of this, I must