Skip to content
Paperback On Subbing: The First Four Years Book

ISBN: 097269675X

ISBN13: 9780972696753

On Subbing: The First Four Years

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

Almost Gone, Only 1 Left!

Book Overview

On Subbing is a quiet classic. It's impossible to put down, or forget, Dave Roche's vivid, self-deprecating, tales of woe from working as a substitute teaching assistant in Portland's elementary schools in the early 2000s. He writes about the good days and the terrible ones, helping kids who can't function in normal classrooms focus on their work, keeping kids from fighting, and keeping his composure while they tease him or adorably flirt with...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Arresting. Can't recommend this enough.

This book suprised me. It was seriously one of the most engaging and affecting reads I have had in years. The author is witty without being cruel, and even his self-righteous or petty moments come off as charming, human. I couldn't stop reading.

the type of book you read in one sitting

Dave's writing is often hilarious, but not at the expense of those he is writing about. He has a unique perspective on his job and the world, finding his basis in punk rock and his work in helping to teach and take care of kids with special education needs. On Subbing is a thoroughly enjoyable read that gives the reader insight into the life of Dave and the schools he works with, all the while maintaining a sense of humor and also of decency.

hilarious and heartbreaking

I couldn't help picking this up at the Boston Zine Fair when I saw what it was about. I work in a behavior management setting similar to where Dave spends a lot of his time subbing, and he hit the nail on the head with narrative. At the same time that he makes the stories entertaining, he shows a real sensitivity to the setting and the kids there, which makes this book a great read. At the same time, he also gives a glimpse into what it's like to work with children and adolescents when you don't feel that far removed from the kids themselves, as well as what it's like to work with adults when you're unsure whether you can really be your punk-rock self and still keep your job. Once I started, I finished it within a day because I found it so engaging, and I highly recommend this book to anyone, regardless of whether you've been in this position or not, but especially if you have.

Fascinating and heartbreaking

This pocket-sized book packs a big punch. It is nearly daily journals over four years of a young guy who finds himself subbing in schools for the physically and learning disabled, trying in his own way to reach out to everyone from high school kids with behavioral problems to severely autistic children. This book is written from the perspective of an overgrown punk with little to no experience or training in working in these difficult environments, and so it takes an honest and unflinching look at a school system that most of us aren't aware of. The author Dave (last name likely omitted to protect his job or the children) is a bit of a clumsy writer, but he manages to be both matter-of-fact and interesting, and behind his almost repetitious daily observations is a simmering of emotion: frustration, exhaustion, pity, heartbreak, and the occasional sense of accomplishment. Dave succeeds at giving a good sense of the responsibilities and daily life of a special needs teacher, and as an outsider, Dave is horrified at how out of touch, cold, and ineffective most of these teachers could be. He uses these observations to better himself at a job he was woefully unqualified for, and he soon becomes a most helpful and caring figure for these children, some of whom can barely communicate or function. A very affecting read.

A moving, serio-comic exposé

The author mines gentle and touching humor out of very difficult circumstances -- i.e., special education classes in Portland, OR. It's clear that the author cares deeply about his students and their respective lives (often much more deeply than the system designed to care for them). The hidden world described in the book is painted in such detail that readers will never think about learning disabled or special needs children the same way again.
Copyright © 2023 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell/Share My Personal Information | Cookie Policy | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured