The One and Only Mr. Tobin

Mr. Tobin, a guest teacher at Helena High, is definitely one of a kind. He learned most of his teaching skills over at Billings, where he taught high school band for 8 years. Now he is a site specific guest teacher, teaching mostly at Helena High. Tobin loves subbing because he gets to learn new things every day. New class, new subjects, new kids, it’s all different.

Tobin likes guest teaching at Helena High, but there are some definite hurdles to overcome as a sub. “The hardest part I found, at least for me, is the schedule. It’s difficult because you don’t get a routine of the same prep everyday, I might be needed for a different classroom, it’s different every day. Different day, different class. You never quite know where you’re going to be,” Tobin said

Tobin teaches all over HSD1 (Helena School District 1) but he prefers to teach high school because he feels more familiar and comfortable with the way high schools operate compared to grade schools. “I like dealing with high school students, I deal with them better. I don’t like dealing with 4rth (grade) and below” said Tobin. He has taught at Helena High School and Capital High School as a guest teacher, but he prefers Helena High over Capital High. “I’m from Helena High, that’s where I graduated, so I think I prefer Helena High just because I’m more familiar with the building,” Tobin said subbing.

With only 2 years of subbing under his belt, he’s definitely got the system down. On top of that, he has some wild stories to tell about his early teaching years. It was his first day subbing in the Billings middle school. He was trying to land himself a spot at the school, but things got hectic the second he walked in the room. “I graduated in the winter, so there was that half year between when school was over and the next year started. So I was living in Billings at the time, I had finished my student teaching and graduated. I was working at a Blockbuster type store. I was subbing during the day and doing that at night. My first day subbing, I graduated just 3 weeks before, I think I was 21, I’m like yeah! I’m going to go in and change the world! Then I walked into my first day subbing, and it was a 7th grade classroom in Billings. Kids at the time were kicking 2 flaming tennis balls back and forth across the room. Another kid was trying to light the tennis ball so he could throw it into the mix. That was my first ever day teaching and getting paid for it, and I walk in at 7:30 in the morning kids are kicking tennis balls on fire,” Tobin said.

The one and only Mr. Tobin has seen it all. From flaming tennis balls to other classroom shenanigans. Tobin has learned what it means to be a guest teacher and does his best to put smiles on the faces of others.

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