Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Horrors of subbing

I was excited to sub third grade today. They're cute, but smart and I had recently subbed K at this school so I was sure it would be a fantastic day.

I arrived at school early today to get a good look at the sub notes and prepare for the day. The secretary handed me a HUGE stuffed folder and sent me on my way. One of the first things I read in the folder was about a student...let's call him Forrest. Forrest apparently has some social and academic issues.

In the classroom I found a two page note with instructions on it. Oh, wait, no. This was a generic note that really had no details in it but referred me to her lesson plan book. The lesson plan book was full of chicken scratches that I'm sure made sense to her. Somehow I had to muddle through all this muck. She also failed to tell me when or where to pick up my kids in the morning. What a way to start the day.

Kids came in excited to have a sub and immediately forgot how to behave. And it continued through the entire day. Talking while I was talking. Wandering around. Tattle tales. Just exasperating behavior.

One student asked me if he could fill out his student of the week poster. I asked him to wait until his teacher got there the next morning since I knew nothing about it. He agreed.

Specialist came early at 10:30. I was glad to give my students away for an hour. I had turned on Mean Teacher face and wouldn't walk in the hallway unless they would stfu. We could usually get about five feet before they would start talking again. Computer lab was far away. We had to move from one building to the next. As we entered the next building I hear students say, "Forrest ran off."

Awesome. So I shoo the kids off to lab and run out the door after this kid. He's nowhere to be seen. The custodian who is outside didn't see him. I'm trying to figure out how I can alert the office without stopping my search when he comes running from around the corner. He had gone in another door and claimed he had been with me the entire time.

I stopped and asked him if he understood how scary that was, especially for me--a substitute teacher who doesn't know the kids and then one of them runs away on her. He said he did but he wasn't happy about me talking to him.

I sent him off to lab and I went straight to the office. Once I found it. Immediately when I walked in I began crying. I told them he had run off but that he was safe in lab now. That the other students were really making the day difficult, too. The principal went to get Forrest and when he returned he pulled m into his office where I cried some more. He promised me Forrest would be sent home and that if I needed any help to let him know.

The kids came back, unfortunately. All but one who was probably at home eating lunch and watching tv. We did some work before lunch and I let the line leaders lead the way. They took off. Loud and running down the halls. The librarian stopped them. I finally caught up and gave them the what for. We walk into the wait I walked. They ran! The lunch ladies talked to them.

As I'm standing there telling them they know how to behave in the cafeteria, they are there every day a mother came up to me and asked if I was the sub.
"Yes," I replied.
"I'm Hank's mother and he's over there crying because you told him he couldn't do the student of the week!"
"What? No. What?"
Another thing NOT IN THE SUB NOTES! His parents came to see him do a special presentation. Came from thirty minutes away. I pulled Hank aside and told him I had no idea his parents were coming and that I didn't know that was what the poster was for. I apologized profusely to the mother and told her it's been a tough day. Hank and I were squared away.

I cried alone in the classroom during lunch.

The principal stopped me in the hall and asked if everything was going better. Not so much. He offered to come in and talk to them about their behavior but never showed. The dad got to witness the kids walking all over me all afternoon.

I'd also like to tell you about M. She had these damn scarves that she wouldn't put away so I took them. They weren't even scarves. They were pieces of fabric she cut at school. Next thing I know she has them in her hands again. She tells me they're Arabic hajab. I told her fine. She can have the scarves back IF she wears them but they are not to be played with. She agrees. Did I tell you how European this girl's name was? She's NOT Arabic but on the off chance she did have some Arabic culture I'd get in trouble for being racist. Anyway, she doesn't know how to put it on and it's cut crooked. LOAD OF BS. This student also did NOTHING the entire day. not one thing.

My head hurts so bad. I'm drinking some framboise...even made a framboise float. Think I'll watch some Deadwood and prepare for middle school math tomorrow. sigh.

1 comment:

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I am laughing out loud! (Sorry.) Your day of horrors reminded me of my own subbing days--which from a distance are quite amusing, but at the time they were as horrible as yours. Thank you for sharing this piece. I think you'll make an excellent teacher, once you get your own classroom. After all, look at all the experience you're getting with OTK (Other Teachers' Kids)!