Long-term substitute teachers join the BSM community


Brook Wenande

Long-term substitute teacher Fred Bandel chats with a student before class.

Michael Paulison, Staff Writer

This school year has been anything but normal. Students and teachers have had to adapt to the new changes and be as helpful as possible. For classes and teachers, substitute teachers have always been extremely helpful, especially the subs that have taken a spot as a long-term teacher. For Benilde St. Margaret’s, three of those long-term substitute teachers this quarter.

One of these long-term substitutes is Ms. Emily Chmielewski, who has filled the spot of 8th grade religion where Ms.Susan Hinnendael usually teaches.

Chmielewski just started to teach full-time this year, as she did student teaching in the fall. She recently took this long-term sub spot. “I got my teaching license in the middle of the year…taking the long-term substitute spot to fill time before getting a full-time job,” Chmielewski said.

Chmielewski sees one of the benefits to being a substitute as getting to learn about a school from the inside. “It’s really fun to come into school to see the culture…it’s good to get a snapshot of the culture,” Chmielewski said.

Another long-term substitute is Ms. Nicole Wolfe, who has never been a long-term substitute teacher before. She currently teaches the junior discipleship course in place for Mr. Charlie Keyes, where she’s been since the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Though she hasn’t been a sub before, Wolfe has a background in this field. She was originally interviewed for a Little Knight position, but once the school noticed her degree in theology, they offered her the discipleship position. “I taught religion, which was sex ed and the Old Testament, but that was 23 years ago,” Wolfe said.

For Wolfe, there is a lot to enjoy about this position, but the most important thing is connecting with students. “Building relationships with the students. When I did it randomly I’d remember faces, but now with them every day building relationships and getting to know the kids a bit better,” Wolfe said.

Though these things are great, it can be difficult getting into the swing of things after 23 years of not working. “Getting back to work every day has somewhat been a challenge, I don’t do as much everyday stuff around the house, so it’s been a shift as a working mother,” Wolfe said.

Another long-term substitute teacher is Mr. Fred Bandel, who has taken over three different classes: two World History Thematic classes for sophomores, as well as a US History class for juniors. “Keeps a busy day,” Bandel said.

Though Bandel teaches these three classes, this is his first time as a long-term substitute teacher. This school year, he started as a regular sub, but when the opportunity came, he was happy to be a long-term substitute. “I had the opportunity to do the World History class, which I enjoyed a lot and when the next opportunity came, I jumped in,” Bandel said.

Bandel has been with BSM since the end of November and some of these parts of this experience are new to him. “I’ve never taught high school, all my teaching experiences have been in the medical field,” Bandel said.

Bandel has grown a large appreciation of what teachers do every day. “How difficult of a job it is, how many hours you put in to do it properly, it’s the hardest job I have ever done, but by far the most rewarding job I’ve ever done,” Bandel said.

Bandel seems to have a lot to enjoy about his position. “The best part is probably just the interactions with the kids,” Bandel said.