Bowditch From A Substitute’s Perspective


Kinsey Kubitz, Journalist

Substitute teachers are very much needed in schools, and when teachers are absent they are who everyone relies on. I interviewed Mr. Grogan and Mr. Mo, two of our permanent substitute teachers here at Bowditch. Their perspectives on teaching and being a substitute teacher at Bowditch are very important and they have shared with me their opinions and thoughts about being a substitute at Bowditch.


Overall, both Mr. Grogan and Mr. Mo think that it can be hard to be a substitute teacher. At times Mr. Grogan thinks it can be easier, especially here at Bowditch. “Teachers are really good about having a sub-plan when they know they will be out of school.” Mr. Grogan expresses. Teaching kindergarteners is the most challenging of all grades, and they are the hardest to teach because they do not work well changing their schedule, and handling them without clear instructions can be hard.


Mr. Mo has been a substitute teacher at Bowditch since 2017 and has been a substitute for 10 years. Mr. Grogan has been teaching as a substitute teacher for a little over 4 years now. Mr. Grogan took the job because it meant being close to home more often, instead of being a roving sub in the San Mateo, Foster City, and Belmont Redwood Shores districts. Mr. Mo subs for schools around the district and his latest schools besides Bowditch are Abbot Middle School and George Hall Elementary. 


“When I am here at Bowditch I have the full support of the teacher I am covering to issue any yellow slips or referrals as needed. Though, to be honest, there are some students that treat those things like they are putting one of their kindergarten drawings on the fridge for their parents.” Mr. Grogan says. He tells students the expectations that he sets so there is no shock when they might get in trouble.


Being a substitute can be challenging at times because you have to go in and out of different classrooms without knowing what they are learning. Some teachers may overschedule their kids and add to many plans, and without knowing what they are all learning you don’t know what to start. Some teachers are also under schedule leaving time for kids to goof around and get in trouble. It can be hard a lot but you learn to adapt and being a permanent sub here at Bowditch you learn the general concept of what classes are doing, and how much time it takes for things.


Substitute teachers work very hard for our school community overall and we should respect them and treat them just like our normal teachers because they have to put in lots of effort making the students respect them and try their best to stay on task and they have to learn the rules from the students. Substitute teachers work hard and we should do our best to make their job of going in and out of classes teaching and supervising us.