"A must-read in today's teaching world." - Geoffrey Smith, Director, Substitute Teaching Division of STEDI.org
"Required reading with a due date of 'immediately!'" -William Zimmerman, Iona College, Education Department
"Hilarious and touching." -Barbara Pressman, Author of Substitute Teaching from A to Z, Florida Atlantic University, College of Education
"Captures the terror and humor of the lone educator thrown overboard into a sea of students." -Peter Rudiak-Gould, author of Surviving Paradise
A mid-life career change introduced me to a quirky profession where many employees receive no training, are given enormous responsibilities, solicit sex from minors, and suffer unfortunate events, like having their hair set on fire. The pay averages $14,400 per year. When author and teacher Frank McCourt wrote that teachers are "the downstairs maid of professions," he tipped his hand. Like many educators, he had forgotten the substitute teachers in the sub-basement....
Thus begins Sub Culture, a journalistic memoir that exposes a national crisis within education and offers solutions across the board.
Journalist, mother and substitute teacher Carolyn Bucior challenges the status quo in this dusty corner of education. She talks to national experts in teacher absenteeism and substitute teaching in order to make sense of her experiences in various K-12 classrooms, from first-grade PE to high-school chemistry.
Take your seat in the front row to hear why...
Substitute teaching is costly. The U.S. spends $4 billion a year on subs.
Substitute teachers are ineffective. Subs are 10 percent as effective as regular classroom teachers, yet they lead a year's worth of a student's K-12 education.
Substitute teaching is dangerous. Subs have had their coffee spiked with hand sanitizer, been struck repeatedly in the head with a dodgeball, been sentenced to 40 years in prison when school computers displayed pornography and more.
Substitute teachers are dangerous. Subs have told children Santa Claus is make believe, stolen money from school offices, sexually assaulted students and more. Shockingly, 56 percent of school districts never interview substitute teachers face-to-face.
Teacher absenteeism is unacceptable. U.S teacher absences are: significantly higher than those in the U.K.; highest on Fridays; hurting urban students most.
Solutions can begin immediately and at low-cost. Experts nationwide offer solutions geared specifically for school administrators, school board members, substitute teachers, regular teachers, policymakers, schools of education, PTOs, and parents of K-12 students.
"In damning detail and side-splitting humor, Carolyn Bucior brings observations from her own weekly adventures as a substitute teacher in suburban public schools to bear on important questions of policy and ethics in U.S. public schools." -Raegen Miller, Associate Director for Education Research, Center for American Progress
"As a storyteller, Carolyn Bucior offers that rare (and delicious) combination of wit and depth. In Sub Culture, she uses her narrative gifts to teach us about a phenomenon that will scare the hell out of anybody who cares about the education of children." -Lary Bloom, New York Times contributing writer and author of The Writer Within
"Sub Culture surprises you; it's funny, true and refreshingly honest, then goes further by revealing things I always suspected but never knew about schools and kids. It's a great read for anybody who cares about life and education." -Lisa Holewa, Author of What Kindergarten Teachers Know