I've now subbed three days--in three different schools and at three different levels.
My first experience was at the middle school--teaching 7th grade Lit/Lang. I didn't hate it, but I really didn't enjoy it. And when I considered that I made the same amount subbing for a half day with kids who were constantly trying to get away with something that I would have for tutoring a student who wanted help for an hour, it was a little depressing. I was also reminded of when I was teaching fulltime and never knew what sub I would be assigned for an absence. I left videos or worksheets. Now that I'm on the other side, I can tell you how boring it is to teach that stuff!
My second experience was at the local elementary school, teaching a full day of fourth grade. I had a FANTASTIC time! The kids were great--wanting to be helpful and to show off a little. The teacher left me REAL lesson plans. I also knew many of the staff (since my kids go to school there), so lunch was even fun in the teacher's lounge. Unfortunately, I was also informed that the principal has a policy of not allowing parents to substitute in their child's GRADE (not just class) and since T. is in fourth grade, I won't be doing that again.
My third experience was at the high school where I used to teach. I taught Geometry and Pre-Algebra. Though this was a bit more challenging (behavior-wise) than the elementary school, and the teacher didn't leave much that I could actually teach, I enjoyed this as well. The best part is that I was asked to do a long-term sub position (which, unfortunately, I really can't do this year). Still, it was flattering to be asked!
I'm pretty sure that I don't want subbing to be my main occupation--it's tough to not know what you're doing day-to-day and the pay isn't that great--but I do think it's something that I can fill in with on days/weeks that I have space. And I've learned that I'll pick elementary and high school positions before I go back to the middle school! Middle school teachers are a special breed and I admire them, but I don't wanna be one!
Finally, perhaps the worst thing that I took away from this experience is a cold that seems particularly nasty. Since none of the rest of my family has had this, I have to think that I picked it up on my own--probably at the elementary school.