For all six or seven of you who follow this blog regularly, you may remember that I was going to sub in the local school district this year after being away from that world since the last day of school in June 1996.
Here’s the link to the post: https://jmsimpson.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/20-years-ago/
I did sub twice so far, and maybe I’ll return for another try.
And maybe not.
My past teaching experience was with high school students. So when I walked into the middle school to sub for an eighth-grade teacher, I thought I’d be in sort of familiar territory. Well, I guess I was, but I had forgotten two things — the decibel level and the fact that adults don’t register in an eighth grader’s frame of reference. In other words, they looked right through me. I was a ghost. In fact, I was worse than a ghost.
I was a substitute ghost.
I couldn’t find the sub plans until halfway through the second group of students. And then half of them wanted to read the assignment silently — a few did. Most of them didn’t. By the end of the day, I was tired, my feet hurt and I was famished (no lunch, although I had to escort them back and forth to lunch).
“Where’s the lunchroom?”
“Just listen. You’ll find it.”
My second sub job was for a fourth-grade teacher, who was in the building working on team curriculum. She kindly returned once in a while to make sure the carefully plotted schedule was being adhered to. It had been a long, long time since I’d been in a fourth-grade class, and I was in awe at how detailed the substitute plans were at this level. Math, science, language arts, geography, special instructions for special needs in and out, art, band, music, lunch, bus passes in 30-minute to 45-minute increments. By the time I read all the instructions, I was 15 minutes behind.
Thank goodness for the teacher’s aide, who knew the answer to every question EXCEPT how to get back into the assignment sheet on the whiteboard in the front of the class, which I mistakenly closed with a click of the pen during the first class.
At least I felt like a human being; they definitely saw me, noticed I was breathing. They even said I looked like their teacher’s mother. I kinda did. They listened too. They were sweet, they got excited about everything. They read quietly during reading time (mostly). And they were great helpers (really).
But again, by the end of the day, I was wiped out, my feet hurt and my head was killing me. This time — I had lunch — but no coffee. And I was desperate to find a bathroom. Ahhhhhh!
I don’t know. I think I’ve learned my lesson. I like being the student better.
I’m taking a drawing class right now. And I think I’ll stay on this side of the teacher’s desk from now on.
I still have a lot to learn.