Former Students Share Their Funniest Substitute Teacher Stories.

It's a tough job literally keeping someone else's chair warm. Especially when you have a bunch of teenagers ready to test you at every turn. These are the best stories of substitutes, from students and teachers alike.

This piece is based on AskReddit threads. Links on the last page.

My high school didn't hire outside subs. Teachers without classes or the priests would cover, or if they really couldn't find anyone, they called a parent from a list of volunteers.

My senior year I had a poetry class that basically no one, including our ancient teacher, gave a crap about. The teacher (a nun) went on a retreat for a week and the school called up a mom. The class decided that since our teacher was out and we were seniors, we were all gonna ditch and do our own thing.

I was a student assistant to the teacher, so I poked my head in about ten minutes after class started. There was this woman, sitting at the computer staring blankly at an empty classroom.

"Hey, just so you know, they let us cancel this class since no one cares," I told her.

She looked suddenly very relieved. "Oh, for a minute I thought the students were all ghosts."

She was completely serious. Instead of us ditching class, she honestly thought the students were invisible.



She was a substitute teacher for history. Her name was D. Emon. Miss Demon had a breakdown two weeks in and left us alone for four hours.



I had a sub who was a frequent substitute at my high school. He'd roll into class looking like he just smoked a bowl with Cheech and Chong; flip flops, Hawaiian shirt, shorts, 3-4 days unshaven, long silver hair in a pony tail, and a big ol' 420 blazin' grin on his face. (continued...)

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He'd always draw a big happy face on the chalk board so if you walked into class and didn't see him, you'd know he was subbing by that and you knew your period was gonna be chill. I don't think he ever stuck to any specific lesson plans, he'd just come in with a movie and pop it in and sit in the back shootin' the breeze with people and having a good time.


He wasn't particularly weird but later in life I always wondered why he was constantly getting hired to come back because for all intents and purposes he was a terrible sub. I looked him up and it turns out he was a filthy rich retired millionaire who subbed for free just because.

I remember he subbed for one of my science teachers for a good month while she was out on medical leave and it was the best month of my high school life.


My wife was a substitute teacher. She had a student pick up his desk and throw it at the ceiling projector. Broke the projector, nearly hit another student on the way down, and scared the crap out of everyone.

Apparently, that was the student's response to "Did you already turn in your homework?"



I had a sub who was just the strangest guy ever. This kid was sharpening his pencil while he was teaching and it was quite loud. Suddenly the teacher stops talking, growls, and pulls out a knife. Everyone starts freaking out, and the teacher walks over to the kid, takes his pencil and starts sharpening it with the knife.



1:05pm: History class begins.

1:06pm: Our substitute teacher - a man in his eighties - tells us that even though he may not be our regular teacher, we are going to have a regular day. He states that he will not accept any nonsense from us.

1:09pm: The class is treated to several examples of nonsense. None of them, it is reiterated, will be tolerated. (continued...)

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1:15pm: In the course of talking about the various forms of nonsense which will not be tolerated, our substitute recalls a young woman he once taught. She had reportedly come into the classroom wearing nothing but a fishnet pullover as a top and some incredibly tight leather shorts beneath the waist. Realizing that she broke the dress code, the teacher sent the girl away.

1:25pm: Our substitute reminds us that nonsense will not be tolerated, then asks if there are any questions.

1:26pm: A student asks about what happened to the exhibitionist girl.

1:29pm: While the substitute is offering the second part of his previous story, someone sneezes. The substitute demands to know if the sneeze was nonsense. He repeats the fact that nonsense will not be tolerated, then launches into a tale of a time that some kids in his class kept pretending to sneeze as a means of interrupting him.


1:35pm: Someone pretends to sneeze, thus interrupting the third part of the ongoing tale.

1:41pm: In response to a student not having their book, the substitute tells us how lucky we are to have individual copies. He regales us with stories of having only one book per classroom, then starts ranting about computers for some reason.

1:45pm: The computer-centric tirade transforms into complaints about how young people have access to pornography.

1:47pm: We are told about how "Playboy" used to be a respectable magazine that "wasn't just smut-smut."

1:50pm: The substitute is asked to define "smut-smut."

1:51pm: Someone pretends to sneeze. The class is again lectured about nonsense.

This guy never realized that HE was the nonsense.


So once I had to substitute for a teacher who got put on administrative leave for having an inappropriate relationship with a female student in his class. He hadn't been formally charged yet but the school board had received word that someone was planning to come forward, so they put him on leave and started an investigation.

After the first day of covering his classes, I was sitting in his office. Then I hear this pounding on the classroom door. (continued...)

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It sounded like someone had taken a 10-lb frozen turkey and was slamming it against the wood. I opened it, and to my surprise there was a huge, angry man there.

I guess the girl's dad hadn't got the memo that the guy who had probably taken advantage of his daughter was on leave, as he started spewing obscenities at me while describing the ways he'd painfully end my worthless life at a pretty high volume.

I kept trying to stammer that I was just a substitute, but I was kinda terrified and he was kinda on a roll. I finally just shouted "I'M THE SUBSTITUTE TEACHER!" and his face just turned beet red. He apologized profusely, and I told him not to worry about it. I was just glad I wasn't about to get beat up on the first day.



We had a very old substitute teacher that was always very nice, but one year she came in and her smile vanished as soon as she saw the new Japanese student. She started yelling at him and then told the entire class her Pearl Harbor story. Turns out her fianc was killed. She never substituted after that.


We had a stereotypical old hippie lady who would wear sequin pants and a pink sweater with a cat on it. She subbed at my high school, and we all loved getting her, because she would never enforce any rules.


Like... none. If you wanted to leave and go wander the halls for twenty minutes she was "supportive of that." If you just wanted to take a nap, that was "groovy." Knife fights? "That's what freedom is all about, dudes." Also, she gave out candy.

She never taught the lesson that was left. Instead, we would usually engage her in conversation until it was too late for her to start. Then she would play games with us.

I'm not sure how she was able to keep her job, but I had her three or four times throughout high school. I could also never figure out whether this was her real personality, or whether she was playing a role in order to survive the trial by fire that is subbing.


This isn't a weird substitute teacher I had, this is a weird substitute teacher that I was. (continued...)

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It was my first day subbing, and I had a group of freshmen taking earth science. The lesson plan finished with 20 minutes left in the block, so I let them hang out/socialize. I overheard the following exchange:

GIRL: You're a dork!

GUY: You can't say that, that's offensive!

GIRL: Nope! Dork isn't a bad word, so I can call you it all I want.

GUY (to me): Isn't dork offensive?

ME: Well, not generally, but the actual meaning is pretty gross...

GIRL: Wait, what's it mean?

ME: Umm...


I had made a terrible mistake. In my quest to feel smart and show off my knowledge of obscure facts, I completely forgot a simple truth: all kids nowadays have smart phones, and will use them at the drop of a hat. Moments after I trailed off, a third kid looked up from their phone and exclaimed

THIRD KID: It's a whale's penis!


THIRD KID: It's a whale's penis! There's pictures!

Everyone immediately started pulling out their phones and googling "dork". Within minutes the whole class was looking up the names and pictures of various animal genitalia.

I never did get invited back to that school.


The first time I subbed in a 5th grade classroom a few students brutally murdered the class pet hermit crabs.



We had a substitute named Mrs. Zikos, but she always had us call her Mama Z. Everyone who attended my high school in the past twenty years knows Mama Z. She was pretty old, so she had all of these crazy stories about her life. But old age was definitely starting to set in. (continued...)

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Some of her stories had no clear beginning, plot, end, or meaning. For a while, she called all of the students her squirrel babies. She would randomly decide that one person was president of the class or one person was most qualified to take her job if something happened to her while she was teaching or any number of bizarre circumstances.

Everyone loved seeing Mama Z in the halls because you knew that you were going to have a fun day if she was around.


Our Latin teacher broke her hip ice skating over the Christmas break, so they dredged up a teacher who'd been born shortly after the Civil War.


It would take her half the class period to take attendance, and then she'd regale us with stories about how the adults would grease up the kids and sew them into their clothes for the winter when she was young.


Our usual teacher was named "Dick" and our sub couldn't control the class at all. Twenty minutes in the entire class was pounding on their desks and screaming, "WE WANT DICK!!! WE WANT DICK!!!" She quit. Never came back.



We had a substitute teacher that came into school one day wearing a trench coat and fedora. He looked so creepy that the French teacher called him in as an intruder and our school was put on lockdown. He was just a weird guy in general; he would draw inappropriate cartoons on the board and have the class vote on which accent he would use for the day.


We had this one substitute teacher that was just kind of mean. She was an older lady, 60ish. So I would always make up excuses to ditch out of the class.

I've been banging her grandson for 6 years now.



Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

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