Who Ordered the Sub?

By Moana Aquino, Highlands Voice, Highlands Intermediate School  

For many students, having a substitute should be a day to celebrate, but what do other students think? According to a poll taken of 184 Highlands students, about 54% liked having substitute teachers, while the 38% did not like substitute teachers and the remaining 8% were uncertain.

    Iverson Yago, a Ho’oko eighth grader, reveals that substitute teachers are important for students and the school. He says that they help to keep the students in place and reinforce the rules so that students will follow them. According to Yago, his favorite substitute teacher is Mr. Wade since he does not waste time and gets straight to the point. However, there are substitutes that have made Yago uncertain about their intentions. “Once I had a substitute last year and out of the blue, someone started coughing and the sub was just watching the person choke until another student took care of it by doing the Heimlich maneuver,” Yago explained.

    In Hawaii, there are at least 5,200 substitute teachers registered with the Department of Education, however, about 1,500 to 1,700 substitutes will not be able to teach in schools because their lack of qualifications to meet the new federal standards (Honolulu-Star Advertiser.com). Furthermore, the state Department of Education reveals that about 44 percent of teachers in Hawaii hired in the 2011-12 school year had left within five years. Therefore, long and short-term substitutes were put into action to fill in their place (Hawaii Tribune Herald).

     Mr. Yamatsuka, a well-known substitute teacher in Highlands, says that students can misbehave, leading to strict behavior. He added that the students that make him act more strict are the students who do not listen to the person in charge and act rude or bother the him when he is doing something important. However, even if Mr. Yamatsuka sometimes acts stern towards some students, he says that he likes the good students who listen to the instructor to do certain things and who ask for help when they really need it. “You know, some students are just really hard headed and just never listen to the teacher,” Mr. Yamatsuka shared.

     Just as the Highlands students and teachers show, substitute teachers are useful and help to keep students learning. However, substitutes who teach at Highlands could receive more training on how to deal with certain situations, especially ones that could keep students safe.


Photo provided by Highlands Voice

Mr. Yamatsuka does a crossword puzzle while talking with his students during lunch.