Thursday, October 09, 2003

Learned lots of things today!
#1: GATE kids are just as annoying as regular kids.
#2: No matter how tired you are, a walk feels good.

Today friends, I was a 7th grade social science teacher. The teacher was very organized, which made my job easier. Also, I got to school late (bad substitute, bad!) and got to class just a minute before the tardy bell. Luckily, this school does morning announcements over the PA system, so it gave me a chance to read the lesson plan. Basically, I had to pass out a test and make sure they didn't cheat. After the test, the kids had to do SSR (sustained silent reading for all you non-teacher types). This was more difficult than it sounds. Just picture yourself at that age, no teacher, with a sub who expects you to be quiet for the entire class period of 55 minutes! Yeah, it was like that. I mean, some of us would have a hard time sitting still and reading for that amount of time in a comfy chair with a nice cup of tea, some mint meringues, classical music or jazz playing in the background, with a fire going and a light drizzle outside the window....excuse me, where was I??? Oh, yeah, school.

Anyway, after I had collected all the tests, I let them quietly "discuss the test" and do homework for other classes. That kept them busy for the last few minutes, and they actually behaved very well. I just had to growl at some GATE program (gifted and talented education) kids because, after doing the first 2 or 3 questions, they were commenting to each other about how easy the test was. I said if they spoke again, I would take away their test and send them to the office (heh-heh-heh). After the tests were in, I said to save any comments for Monday, when their teacher returned.

Which leads me to a tangent: OK, so the kids know I'm a sub, and that that means I am not their real teacher, and most teachers give the kids a heads-up if they aren't going to be at school, and give them an idea of what they are going to be doing while the teacher is absent (at least that is what I did). But I don't think they put it all together. What I mean is I get a lot of flack for the lesson plan of the day, which the teacher put together. Like today: some kids complained about the test to me as if I could fix it or it was my fault the test was set up that way. I've even had kids say that what we were doing was boring and why did they have to do it. It's not like I came in and decided to do the boring thing. (After re-thinking this scene in my head, the student was probably being obnoxious.) Their teacher did. I told this particular student that it wasn't up to me, and she said, "But aren't you the teacher?" I guess being kids, they see adults like me as having control over their school lives, which is true. Unfortunately, this excludes me. On the bright side, I guess that means they respect my authority.

The other side of the coin would be substitutes that don't follow the teacher's lesson plan and do all sorts of wrong stuff. I've heard of this occuring a few times.

Well, since I've had the pleasure of subbing at this school quite a bit this last month, I am starting to see more of the same kids in each class. I got lots of comments on that, ranging from being so-and-so's personal sub to stalking what's-his-name at school.

I think that subbing has been good for me. It has given me a chance to focus on my classroom management skills. As a real teacher, most of my days were spent planning and researching lessons, creating curriculum, and GRADING. As a sub, my most important task is to maintain control of the class so that they can do the assignments at hand. My withitness has greatly increased!

It's time I brush my teeth, floss, and gargle. And get to bed! Tomorrow, I am the same teacher, which is good. They are beginning a unit on the Medieval Europe. My favorite period of time!!


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