The "I don't envy you!" comment comes from an honest place. People usually remember being in a class that was terrible to a sub. I am also very familiar with this comment because I was a Child Care Provider for 15 years before I got my Masters in Teaching. It does bother me though. Why not envy me? I get to hang out with awesome kids, teach them something, and make a difference in their lives. What's not to envy?
As for choosing when I work, "I wish!" So far I don't get enough work. I usually only get it when I would like a day off, or when I have already accepted a job with lesser pay. (Sub Afterschool Care, Instructional Assistant, or Kindergarten Enrichment) I recently accepted a temporary position, to fill in for someone on leave, as the Director of an Afterschool program. It's only part time work, but I am only available to sub a few hours a day, a few days a week. Since I took the job I have been offered an 8 hour sub job every day. I just know that when the job is over, the phone will stop ringing!
Sure, I am not responsible for the day to day in classroom, but that doesn't mean I am not responsible for those kids while they are in my hands. I have to do well for them, their teacher, the principal, and the school. I have to remember that I am being watched and each day is a job interview for the chance at another day. If they don't like me for any reason, I could be off the list for that classroom, school or school district. It's a lot of pressure some days.
How do you answer?