Career woman…that’s me! I have an illustrious career as a SUBSTITUTE TEACHER. In the Catholic School, no less, so you KNOW I am making some pretty big bank. Making bank–makes me sound pretty cool, huh? Except the fact that I just used the word cool, pretty much clues you into the fact that I–am NOT! I am okay with that…really. I gave up that ghost a long time ago. That…and any clothing item with the word skinny included.
Why, Substitute teaching? Weelll, I kind of like it. You’re like a Super Hero. Coming in and saving the day, and the school, from potential chaos and collapse when Mrs. Regular Teacher has a sudden emergency. You get to slap on your temporary I.D., sensible shoes, practical outfit, hop into your Super Hero Mini-Van and you are off to save the day. Oh yeah, and shape and model young minds. That took it a little far, huh?
Actually, I have learned A LOT substitute teaching. Like, I can think on my feet like nobodies business. For example, the day the music teacher left lesson plans that called for an I-Pad. Uh, problem, not an I-Pad to be found. Solution…talent show. Those kids are NOT shy. Just have to remember next time to set better ground rules. No hand springs or jokes that begin with…”So, these 2 guys went into a bar.” But impressive talent. Note to self, get The Brothers piano lessons.
And those notes the teachers leave to tell me who is line leader, etc. Totally, not necessary. I sub a lot in first grade and kindergarten. Those kiddos are power-hungry and control freaks. They give me that info before we walk through the door.
Lesson number TWO… I wish I would have paid better attention in math class. Although I can think on my feet, it stinks when I have to use it to cover up that potentially 80% of the room knows way more than I do.
Oh yeah, and if anybody wants my opinion, technology is over-rated. The smart board, weelll, turns out that stands for you have to be really smart to use it in the first place. I had a student try to comfort me with the fact that, “It’s okay, my Mom had to go to a 2-day class to learn to use it.” Thanks, kid. I say, BRING BACK THE CHALK BOARD! Those kids LOVE jobs. If they think line leader is where it is at, they haven’t lived until they have cleaned erasers.
Also, the chalk board never requires a new bulb or a password that I can never remember. Plus I have to admit, I love writing on a chalkboard.
Catholic school or not, those kids are a rough crowd. You screw up once, and they are ALL OVER YOU!! THAT’S NOT HOW MRS. REGULAR TEACHER DOES IT!! “Yeah, well, do you see her here?” Actually, that is just my inside voice.
They are pretty cool to. Like the day an entire 3rd grade class took pity as we banded together to help Mrs. Substitute Teacher figure out the smart board. Or in kindergarten someone usually throws you a bone and declares their feelings of utter joy that you are their teacher that day with a big gluey hug. Weelll, just as long as I don’t screw up their schedule.
Today I took my life in my own hands and ventured into a complete new substitute teacher category…Pre-School. They may look cute enough. But they are the toughest of the tough. I stood with a big, pre-school teacher smile, complete with sweet, peppy voice when one-by-one, I was greeted with, “Who are YOU?” And their voice was not so sweet. I was banished from “center” after “center” as I tried to find my place. I was not wanted in the “kitchen”. For the tea party I was admonished when I tried to “enjoy” my plastic cookie. “It’s not time to eat yet, I’ll call you when it is.”
On I go to the lego table where I am flat-out told that “no, he did NOT like what I built. And ripped it from my hands to show me the right way to do it. I didn’t tell him, nobody likes a know it all!
Then I move to the sensory table. Those kiddos were mesmerized by the corn meal flowing through their fingers…they didn’t even pay me the time of day! I had had enough rejection, I moved on.
You want to know what you DON’T KNOW, go to pre-school. For instance, I was so excited when the felt board was pulled out. I remember thinking those were the BEST. I did not hesitate to jump right in with Little “Joe” for some bonding and felt snowman making. This was my place, I’ll be welcomed here! I thought…WRONG. Turns out, according to “Joe” I actually stink at making felt snowman, and mine were immediately discarded. Just because he made a felt snowman gerbil, he thought he was all that.
I felt badly though. Turns out this snowman gerbil was made to pay homage to his Dear Departed gerbil who had moved on to a better place. “I’m sorry”, I said, when he shared this sad tale with me. “That’s okay, it wasn’t YOUR fault.” Thanks, kid.
Snack time…NOW we’re talking. I could pass that subject any time, any day, any grade. WRONG…so excited that I received a personal invite to sit with the girls. I happily pull out my orange. “That’s your snack?”, they said, noses curled. WOW! I want my Mommy!
The best part of Substitute Teaching in a school with a crucifix in every room. Instant behavior modification. Just look at the kid, point at the cross and stick out your lower lip and declare, “would HE want you to behave this way.” So, I guess, the biggest lesson I have learned…if you can’t beat em, join em….EXTRA RECESS?…anyone?anyone?
In the meantime, I will just press my cape.