Introducing our April Sub of the Month, Xavier Landrum! To learn more about why Xavier decided to give substitute teaching a try, read our short interview with him below.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Xavier. I am fairly new to Colorado Springs as an adult and I can say that I sincerely do enjoy the mountains from time to time. In my spare time I enjoy playing basketball, Xbox, of course, socializing with close friends, and exploring the State of Colorado!
Why did you decide to be a substitute teacher?
Well, originally I wanted to teach English overseas. I actually have an advisor from the International TEFL Academy, (based out of Chicago) who consistently sends me emails about enrolling. I would love the opportunity to be an international English instructor so that I can learn and be a part of a new culture! Personally, I want to travel to Japan to teach English. I love everything about the culture and have always wanted to go. I figured that being a substitute would provide an exceptional experience where I could learn about the flow of a school and classroom and what to expect as a teacher. After substituting for this semester, I feel more motivated to go overseas and teach English while learning a new culture.
What do you love most about substitute teaching?
One thing I love most about substitute teaching is the warm welcomes I receive from staff. They are always really generous and kind to me upon arrival, even if they don’t recognize me. I also love the reactions on students faces. Most of the grade school students always tell me in excitement, “YOU ARE THE FIRST BOY TEACHER I HAVE EVER HAD!”. Some of the middle school students ask how old I am. When I tell them that I am only 25, they generally say “You really look 17 or 18 though… I hope I look as young as you do when I’m your age!” It really does put a smile on my face knowing that, while I am not a full time teacher yet, I am still providing the students, the staff and the school with as much help as I can possibly give while leaving positive feelings and demonstrating how to be a great role model.
Do you have any favorite grades or subjects you like to teach and why?
Yes, I love all the students, but if I did have to choose, it would be Middle School. I can somewhat relate to them, outside of being a substitute teacher, when it comes to sports, music, gaming, etc. I have learned that students feel more at ease whenever they have a teacher that can relate to them. There have been several times when a student would randomly talk to me about their personal life and maybe ask for advice, and knowing I can provide great life values or advice for their future makes me feel great.
If you had to give any advice to a new substitute teacher, what would it be?
I would definitely tell him/her to be themselves. Always follow the teacher’s requests while subbing, but don’t try to be just a substitute! Every time you approach a school, whether they recognize you or not, be the best version of yourself. Everyday, someone new will see you, whether it is a student or staff member, and you always want to leave a great first impression. Don’t try to please one student, one class, one staff member or one school. Try to please them all!