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Mrs. White Gives The Skinny On Subs.

Being a substitute teacher requires temerity, and as Laura Moss White conveys through her book, “Mrs. White’s Sub Snips,” a good sense of humor. With 15 years of substitute teaching experience, White, who is currently an adapted physical education specialist, was chock-full of fodder to put out into the world. Her aim was to create an engaging and comical book through illustrations based on her subbing stories with disarming honesty. As Caitlin Skaalrud illustrated and White provided material, a dynamic duo merged together.

Often the underdogs of the educational system, subs may feel invisible and alone in a field where they may not always receive the due appreciation. In addition to eliciting bellyaching laughs, White’s book may also provide solace and solidarity for the brave soldiers, I mean subs, who continue to march onward. And for teachers, and other faculty in the school systems, it could be a helpful way to get a peek into a sub’s perspective and possibly reflect on how to create a better environment for all, White says.

White is now weaving together a contrasting work—a collection of poetic musings, titled “Spiritually in Origin,” encompassing nature and spirituality. Readers can find the writing in a similar vein as Ralph Waldo Emerson’s prose about transcendence and finding beauty in the sublime outdoors.

I don’t remember ever being in school and envying a sub. It seems like a thick skin would be necessary to be one. Would you say you have a thick skin, and how did you learn to have thick skin?

I don’t think I have a thick skin personally. That’s why I probably remember all these things. So many people get outright attacked. You know you take it as a personal assault, because the kids outright attack you and insult you to get you to react. If you go into the profession, you can decide I just want to do elementary, the little guys. Because if you’re sensitive, it’s better to have when the kids are open to you and embrace you.

As a sub for 15 years, you’ve taught general, elementary, and secondary education. Which was the hardest?