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EXCLUSIVE

Students shocked by sleeping TDSB supply teacher

By Joe Warmington, Toronto Sun

A supply teacher appears to be sleeping on the job Friday at Subway Academy One, an alternative secondary school on Phin Ave. (Supplied photo)

A supply teacher appears to be sleeping on the job Friday at Subway Academy One, an alternative secondary school on Phin Ave. (Supplied photo)

Somebody get the teacher a pillow. And maybe a blanket.

Perhaps the lesson in this classroom was so boring even the teacher fell asleep? It wasn’t math class but somebody in there may have been counting sheep.

You have heard of students catching a nap during a Friday afternoon lecture, but this time it was the teacher who dozed off.

Not in the staff room. In the classroom.

Let’s just say this Toronto District School Board teacher was giving a lesson on the ABCs and Zzzzzzz.

It all happened at Subway Academy One, an alternative secondary school on Phin Ave., in the Jones and Danforth area, part of the Eastern Commerce campus.

The classroom for teens up to age 19 has desks — but as an alternative school it has a couch too.

A supply teacher on Friday took full advantage of it.

”The supply teacher arrived, took attendance, and promptly went to sleep on the couch,” a source said.

It wasn’t supposed to be a lesson in slumber.

Students were shocked. They didn’t know what to do. They knew from all the snoring that he was OK. They did not want to disturb him.

Pictures were captured.

“He was still sleeping at the end of class,” said a source. “The students went to check on him later and he was fine, he was walking around in the hall.”

We have learned in the past you have to be careful with sleeping-on-the-job stories. I remember the George Robitaille story at the TTC very well when people caught the subway ticket taker asleep in the booth.

Problem was he was actually ill, on medication and died a few months later. George was a good worker who could have been off on sick leave but he loved his job so much he tried to keep working.

And after taking so much public heat for the photo of him asleep on the job, he was really good natured about it. We went out to his house later and had some fun with him as he explained his situation. When he died, a lot of people got the message of not judging a situation without knowing all the details.

We are doing that here this time. We are giving this teacher the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was tired, overworked or had a good reason. We would love to talk with him. We tried to find out his name but have so far been unsuccessful.

The TDSB reaffirmed on Monday it is investigating to find out what happened. But at first blush Friday, they were very concerned.

“We have been made aware of this situation and will be investigating,” spokesman Ryan Bird said. “Except for designated breaks, it is unacceptable for any staff member to be sleeping while on the job.”

One student was called to the principal’s office Monday and asked to provide cellphone images and recordings of the snoozing teacher, which he did.

The student, his mother said, was certainly not complaining about the teacher — whose name he didn’t know — getting a nap while on the clock but thought it was humorous. He even captured audio of the snoring.

The teacher had that one coming. It’s not that big a deal. It’s not like it was a kindergarten class.

We would love to hear from the teacher to find out why he was so tired. The Sun has left a message for him with the school board. We also attempted to reach the teacher representative from OSSTF District 12 but have yet to hear back.

Maybe Sleep Country, Bad Boy or the Brick can hire this supply teacher as a spokesman?

Whatever happens, hopefully it won’t result in the tired teacher getting a failing grade or in serious trouble. Just get him some rest.

Seems like he may need it and it appears like he got a start on that Friday afternoon.

joe.warmington@sunmedia.ca 

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