The substitute classroom is a place of both peril and humor. We enter, unarmed and at a logistical disadvantage. Kids have an innate need to test a sub, to see if the absence of their regular teacher offers an opportunity for blissful chaos. Often, they succeed in this attainment.
More often, a seasoned substitute teacher -- while not exactly commandeering the class -- has a reasonable chance at survival and even occasionally, success. There are times when the stumbling errors he or she makes and the humorous candor of the young charges make for excellent dinnertime stories. Usually one must wait a few days for these events, viewed live as near catastrophe, to cool to palatable temperature.
Substitute teaching is not for the faint of heart, nor for the uncaring. Amidst the conflicts, skirmishes and misunderstandings, an understood goal of learning and enabling drives us to answer the call, which usually comes about 5:30 A.M. Groggily but nobly, we don battle armor to enter the classroom yet again as "The Sub."