I'm A Terrible Sub Blog Cover 2

I’m a terrible sub

Mr. Rob

I hope this email finds you in a harmonious state, unlike the cacophony I unwittingly orchestrated last week.

I had the “pleasure” of substituting for my friend’s music class, and let’s just say, it struck a chord, but not the kind you’d want to hear twice.

The Prelude: A Lesson Plan and Good Intentions

Armed with my friend’s lesson plan and a naïve sense of optimism, I marched into the classroom, ready to face the music—literally. The plan was simple: follow the script to the T, impart some musical wisdom, and get out without hitting any sour notes. How hard could it be, right?

The Crescendo: Misjudged Appearances and Bucket Drum Mayhem

Picture this: a group of kids, eyes sparkling with the kind of mischief only a substitute teacher can inspire. I made the rookie mistake of judging the book by its cover—or in this case, the student by their demeanor.

The kids I pegged as troublemakers, with their rowdy laughs and questionable t-shirts, turned out to be the most engaged listeners. And the little angels who walked in so sweet at first? Well, let’s just say their fall from grace didn’t go unnoticed.

Twenty-five minutes in, the class resembled less a music lesson and more a battle scene with bucket drums as weapons of mass disruption. Even the rhythm name game, a typical winner, was a disaster!

The Finale: A Colorful Turnaround with Prodigies

Desperation breeds innovation, or so I’ve heard. In a last-ditch effort to salvage the lesson (and my sanity), I busted out Prodigies, the colorful music lesson program I’ve spent the last 10 years building.

Like a band finding their rhythm, the class transformed. The once chaotic bucket drummers morphed into focused musicians, their eyes glued to the vibrant hues and engaging content. It was nothing short of a miracle. They were focused on the scrolling sheet music, playing bells like champions, and singing confidently with the solfege hand-signs. And to my delight, my voice was saved by the on-screen version of myself.

The Coda: Embracing the Routine

Reflecting on the day’s symphony of errors, I realized the importance of having a routine that resonates with you, especially when you’re stepping into someone else’s classroom. As a music teacher—or an accidental substitute like me—embracing and adapting the structure can turn dissonance into harmony.

So, to all my fellow accidental educators, remember–even when you think you’re the worst sub in the history of substitute teaching, there’s always a way to tune into the students’ wavelength and find your groove together.

Wishing you harmonious teaching adventures this week and every week,

– Mr. Rob

P.S. I’ve officially retired my “Substitute Teacher of the Year” dreams, but hey, at least I’ve got a story that hits all the right notes! And if you need some colorful bells or curriculum yourself, make sure to drop by the Prodigies Shop at shop.prodigies.com.