zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Survival Guide for Supply Teachers

A Survival Guide for Supply Teachers (1st Edition)
8 1/2" x 11", 22 pages, $3 (cash money preferred, trades accepted)
To clarify, supply teacher = substitute teacher. I wasn't sure what a supply teacher was at first, so I have to assume that there are others out there who are/were equally ignorant. And now on with the review...
Gary's zine is - exactly as the title suggests - advice for new (and experienced) supply teachers. Gary covers it all, from what to do in order to get supply teaching jobs, what to expect once you've received jobs, what to do when trouble arises while on the job (and Gary assures us that it will from time to time), what to do at the end of a job, and how to get more jobs in the future. This zine is quite comprehensive despite its length, and considering that I have never supply taught and do not plan to, I was surprised by how interested I was in the subject matter. Perhaps it is because my dad has been an elementary school teacher for more than 30 years now. Or maybe it is because Gary has a very approachable and engaging writing style. Probably both. Seriously, this is worth checking out. The only suggestion I would make as far as improvements go would be to add more personal anecdotes, tell more stories. Five plus years of supply teaching should provide some pretty entertaining/interesting stories. Perhaps we can expect to see that in a future edition...if there is one. So, here's my plan: everyone within reading distance of this review gets their hands on a copy of this zine so that Gary feels compelled to put out a second edition. Should work.
Gary Flanagan
3-42 Spring Street
Saint John, NB
E2K 3X5

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