Saturday, September 20, 2003

So, like the reasonable person that I am, I'm taking Tim's advice and writing this blog in Word. Or, did write in Word, whatever.

Today I was a Kindergarten teacher. Seems that the regular teacher got moved to another school in the area, and that teacher is taking over this class on Monday, so I was needed to cover for today. When I arrived, I was impressed with the organized administrative staff. Also, they were very supportive; at least two people gave me their phone extensions. The classroom was beautifully arranged, bright and lively, more so than the last K room I was in. The teacher had left some decent lesson plans, and the neighboring K teachers made a point of coming to my room and introducing themselves to me and offered to help me at any time. This was great! (A bonus, as this is the same school that has the elementary science teacher position I interview for on Tuesday!)

Anyway, the first thing on the list is to have one boy do the "calendar," one girl do the "weather," and sing the "Days of the Week" song. Sounds simple, but I have no idea what the calendar and weather people do. Also, I spent some time looking for the tape/CD of the song, and not finding it. When the aide came in, she said to look in the boom box (which was the first place I looked, "duh") and checked it out herself after I told her it was empty. "Oh," she said, "Miss E must have taken it with her." Apparently, she had taken several other things including the weather station, so had to improvise on that one.

For the most part, the kids knew their routine. Unlike the other day, where I felt that we were always rushing from one activity to another, I had some free-time. Actually, the kids were getting out of hand before recess, so I had them cleanup early and read them a story. It was amazing! I brought out the book, the kids were a bit squirrelly, but once I started to read, they settled down and paid attention to the story! Recess was cake, as I wasn't needed on the playground, which was good, as there were more crying for various reasons.

Next on the teacher's agenda was the alphabet. This school follows the Open Court program to teach kids their letters. That is all I know. When I asked a friendly neighbor about it, she was a bit huffy at my ignorance of this program. Luckily, she got over it right quick. To me, it seemed that we were to sing the "Alphabet Song" for 50 minutes, clapping after the letters G, N, Q, and W. After 30 minutes, I was done, and a few kids had begun to cry because they were hungry. I tried to comfort them, saying that lunch was in 15 minutes, but that only made it worse for a couple of them! I read another story which surprised them, since it wasn't part of their routine. So, I ignored the crybabies, and asked if any of them knew any songs. One little girl began to sing about little ducks, and luckily I was familiar enough to join in and soon everyone else did, too. It was amazing! Just by reading aloud or singing a song, they all shut up and joined in! After the duck song, we still had 5 minutes, so I began to sing the song about the monkeys teasing the alligator. They liked that a lot, especially when I slinked through them, quiet as can be, and then SNAP! someone was grabbed!

Lunch was at 10:45 (can you believe it?) until 11:15. Then I got them ready to go home. I pretty much snuck out as fast as I could when they all left. The admin asst asked me how it went, and I had to stop and think. It was an experience, I told her. She grinned and said she could never do a Kindergarten class! Had to treat myself to a cheeseburger and fries after that.

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