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The Substitute Teacher

Remember being in elementary school when the teacher was out and the substitute was there in his or her place?  Maybe you weren’t the kid that made life tough for the substitute teacher but that kid probably did exist in your class.  Some kids didn’t try to tease the sub but rather tried to get away with as much as possible.  You remember “But Mrs. Jones lets us do art all afternoon, not just for an hour.” Said the kid who would rather do art than math.  Oh, maybe that was me.

In any event, the tables have turned and I have now found myself being a substitute teacher in a local pottery class.  The regular teacher had to have some surgery and will be out for a few weeks so I was invited to take over her class.  Tuesday was the first day for me and it was a lot of fun.

Happy Pottery Soap Sponge Cup Holder by Lori Buff
Happy Soap/Sponge Holder

The students are great.  They are fun, smart, and interesting.  For example, one of the students is a sculptor but he’s stepped away from sculpting for this class.  He isn’t interested in making a great work of art or anything like that.  He calls this his “therapy time.”  He’s just playing.  As teachers we are just guiding him gently and answering questions as he needs them answered.  He doesn’t throw pots.  He puts the clay on the wheel and creates a pot by carving away the clay he doesn’t need and doing some pushing to get the shape he wants.  He was doing this while we discussed the beauty of asymmetry.  So his pots are technically thrown wrong but artistically they are right.  That’s alright with him.

I enjoy teaching because I get so much from my students as they get so much from me.  A pottery class normally has lots of giving and lots of smiles and laughter.  We could all use a few hours of that in a day.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff


  1. wow, how cool to be able to teach in a classroom atmosphere, I am sure it will be enjoyable all the way around.

    1. I can’t speak for the students but I’m having a great time.

  2. Oh I know, like a refreshing dip in the creative pond!


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