Subs Fufill Their Joy Of Teaching

Karla Rivandeniera, Stephen Somma, Patrick Healy, & Brian Gendron Describe Being A Sub

Karla Rivadeneira

One of Morgan’s relatively new subs, Karla Rivadeneira, left for Peru on March 24th. Currently, she is finishing her master’s to become a Spanish teacher and hopes to enhance elementary students’ language skills in Peru. Karla said that COVID-19 gave her little experience in the classroom, which is why she is subbing to gain experience in the classroom. She started subbing at Captain Nathan Hale Middle School in Coventry, Connecticut but later started subbing in Clinton because it was closer to her home. Karla said that the hardest part about subbing is not seeing the same students every day, which makes it difficult to make conversation or connections with these students because she does not know them. Although this is hard for her, she says that she likes seeing the new students because it challenges her to be social, and she finds it interesting to see how they act. Karla says that students act differently when a sub is around, in middle school settings, while in high school settings, she finds that students are more focused and independent.

Patrick Healy has been subbing at Morgan for only a few weeks. He said he subs because he wants something to do that would keep him active, instead of staying at home all day. He is 75 years old and retired. The only job that he pursues right now is subbing here at Morgan. Mr. Healy does not sub at any other schools, at least not yet. Mr. Healy said that not knowing enough about the curriculum to actually teach is hard sometimes, especially when students need help and ask him questions about the work. He says that students definitely act differently when there is a sub. He remembers that he acted differently with a sub when he was in school. His favorite memory so far was in a history class when students were learning about Pearl Harbor. He enjoyed this class because he has vast knowledge about Pearl Harbor and was able to share what he knew about it.

Stephen Somma

Stephen Somma has been a sub in the Morgan community for quite some time. He was previously a sub at the old Morgan, which he thought was a very interesting place because of how old it was. He lives in Madison, where he also subs, but he generally comes to Morgan when there is availability. “I enjoy teaching, and I teach at the college level as well. It’s always been an interest of mine to teach history and various subjects, and I enjoy interacting with students” said Mr. Somma. He is a professor at Post University in Waterbury. He said the hardest part of being a teacher is being in several classrooms and having to adapt each time He said subs have to gain control or else things could break down, and students can feel like they do not have the discipline level that they have with their teacher.

Brian Gendron

One of Morgan’s well known subs, Brian Gendron, said that he is a substitute because he wants to have a positive impact on students in an important stage in their lives. This is why he not only subs, but he is also the Morgan track coach. So far he only subs at Morgan but when he is not subbing, he is a real estate agent. Real estate is his primary job, and when the market is slow, he subs at Morgan. He graduated from Morgan in 2015 and has always been a Clinton resident. Mr. Gendron says the hardest part of being a substitute is drawing the line between being lenient and strict with punishment. Mr. Gendron says that kids act differently when there is a sub, and it is very obvious from when they walk into the front door. He says the best part about subbing is the fact that he is able to become closer with students and help them as best he can.

All these three subs have one thing in common. They all have a passion for teaching and have said that they enjoy subbing. All the substitute teachers agreed that students act differently when their teacher is absent, but usually, this only happens at lower grade levels. All of these subs sub for the same reason: to fulfill their joy in teaching.