15 Moms Share the Craziest Substitute Teacher Stories They've Heard From Their Kids

Wendy Robinson | Sep 21, 2017 Big Kid
15 Moms Share the Craziest Substitute Teacher Stories They've Heard From Their Kids
Image: iStock.com/skynesher

little kids in classroom

It has been almost 30 years and I still remember my old substitute teacher, Mr. Morgan. He was the dream substitute teacher who arrived to my fourth grade classroom with a giant bag filled with candy. He quizzed us on different math problems and when we got questions right, he'd fling heaping handfuls of candy at the whole class. Needless to say, I remember that day as one of my best school days ever.

But, as an adult, I now know that not every substitute teacher is going to be as well versed in the art of winning over fourth graders as Mr. Morgan was. Some substitutes are totally forgettable, downright awful, or even just way overwhelmed with a huge stack of lesson plans and a classroom full of kids who want to do anything but listen to them.

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And then, there are the substitute teachers who leave kids with stories they'll never forget. Some are happy memories, some are downright weird, but either way, it's impossible to say these teachers didn't have an effect on their students. We gathered 15 of the craziest sub stories kids have ever told their moms -- and I have to say, some of these make the sugar buzz I got from Mr. Morgan seem pretty tame in comparison!

  • Dinosaur Dreams

    dinosaur sculpture

    "My first grader came home one day and couldn't stop talking about how a dinosaur taught her class that day. I kept asking questions and she stuck to the story -- talking dinosaur, all day. Another mom finally clued me in that the substitute teacher was a ventriloquist. His puppet? A T-rex." -- Mona C., Cleveland, Ohio

  • Spit Shine

    empty classoom

    "I'm still not sure I believe this story, but my second grader insists that they had a sub last year who made all of them spit on their desks and use tissues to wipe them clean. He said that he did it because there was too much pencil on the desks. Um, ew. I really hope he made that story up." -- Rachel E., Albany, New York

  • ABC

    kid playing with letter toys
    iStock.com/Daniela Jovanovska-Hristovska

    "I know I'll never forget the day my darling daughter came up with a new skill taught by her new long-term sub. Yep, my little frat-boy-in-training now knows how to belch her ABCs. So proud." -- Becca D., Norman, Oklahoma

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  • Three Hours of What?

    kids on the playground

    "My daughter had a sub last year that let them have PE for three solid hours. My daughter just told me the sub was fun. The next day we got a letter from the principal apologizing for the 'unusual activities.' I'm actually not even mad. She slept like a champ that night." -- Val D., Edina, Minnesota 

  • Thanks?

    girl sticking out her tongue

    "My daughter had a sub for health class. They were supposed to learn about hygiene. They actually learned about hygiene, how to make armpit farts, and the lost art of crossing your eyes. Gee, thanks? Super helpful skill to teach a group of kids." -- Doreen S., Tucson, Arizona 

  • A Real Clown

    man dressed as a clown

    "In our family, the epic sub story is the guy who came to my son's sixth grade class and taught the morning in regular clothes and the afternoon in full clown makeup. He waited until the kids went to lunch and surprised them when they came back. Apparently there were several kids who were rather frightened by clowns. Mayhem ensued. I'm pretty sure he wasn't asked back." -- Pamela D., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

  • Spanish Fun


    "My son had a junior high Spanish sub who didn't know any Spanish but thought bringing a piñata to school was a good idea. Why on earth would you give a room full of teenagers the chance to whack something with a stick during school hours?" -- Ullie R., Saint Paul, Minnesota

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  • Mr. Angry

    stern teacher

    "Apparently my son's third grade class (a group that can be a little on the rambunctious side) drove their sub so crazy that he dramatically broke a bunch of pencils in front of them and slammed a stack of books on the desk. I was horrified but my son thought it was hysterical. Kids are the worst." -- Janelle F., Billings, Montana

  • You're a Wizard

    mad teacher

    "One of the best subs our school uses is obsessed with Harry Potter. My daughter was so excited to get her when her teacher was out for the week. She used art time to teach them how to make wands. She taught them spells using spelling words. She had her own sorting hat. It was awesome. I was jealous, to be honest. I never had a sub that engaged before." -- Nicole M., Baltimore, Maryland

  • Sensitive Nose

    woman holding her nose

    "My kiddo had a sub who barfed in the classroom -- all over the teacher's desk. Apparently she has a very sensitive nose (I suspect she was pregnant) and one of the kids had a very stinky lunch. Her barf triggered a sympathetic barf in at least two of the kids in the front row. The poor custodian." -- Claire R., Fresno, California 

  • Service Horse


    "Did you know that mini-horses can be service animals? It isn't exactly 'crazy' but I am sure my son will never forget the sub who brought his mini-horse to school. He thinks it was the coolest thing ever." -- Tara D., Phoenix, Arizona

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  • Dance It Out

    dancing kids

    "My daughter's kindergarten class had a sub for six weeks when her teacher had a baby. The sub taught hip-hop dance classes on the side and used dance to help the kids get the wiggles out. The best part was that when her full-time teacher came back, the sub led the kids in a whole choreographed dance. You haven't lived until you've seen 20 5-year-olds drop it like it's hot." -- Ashley D., Dallas, Texas

  • Ha Ha?

    kids at school
    iStock.com/Weekend Images Inc.

    "I was shocked when my daughter told me that her preschool sub was 'so funny' because she 'pretended like Santa was just for pretend!'

    "Lady. Please don't out Santa to a group of kids you don't even know! Dang!" -- Sarah F., Rochester, Minnesota 

  • Political Problem

    kids in class

    "My son had a sub the day after the election who apparently couldn't stop crying. Like, I get it [that you're disappointed], but holy inappropriate. She asked kids to raise their hands if their parents voted for Hillary and then told them that they all get extra credit. Lady. You don't get to give extra credit. You're there for a day!" -- Gretchen B., Joplin, Missouri

  • Don't Touch

    girl playing with blocks
    iStock.com/Weekend Images Inc.

    "My daughter has a glorious head of curls. So imagine my surprise when she came home from school with a bunch of barrettes and clips in her hair. Apparently her sub thought her hair was 'distracting.' Yeah. I went BONZO and raised holy hell with the school. You don't get to touch her hair or make her feel bad about herself. That sub was totally out of line." -- Name withheld by request

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