Thursday, April 24, 2008

the joys of teaching

I really do enjoy teaching, but some days do come along that I feel like I need to reconvince myself. Subbing is a little intimidating sometimes because of the fear of the unknown: what the class will be like, quality of the plans, and countless other "little things" that could quickly turn into "big things". Yesterday, was one of those days I wasn't whole heartedly enthusiastic to get back into teaching...and then I received a call this morning for the same class today.

I was in a 3rd grade, and honestly, it was an ok day until 2 boys almost got into a brawl. The disrespect, even after being reprimanded, and feeling of entitlement on behalf of each of the boys was unacceptable and frustrating for me. I did the best I was able to in the situation with the amount of time I had, but it still left me feeling...ugghh. Is this really what I want to do? I really love the teaching part, but dealing with nasty monkey business isn't my favorite. I come home thinking, if my child ever said those things to his/her teacher...or did that to a classmate... I hope and pray my husband and I will be able to train our children, with the Lord's guidance, what is right and wrong and the proper place and respect children, I believe, should maintain and give to those in authority. I also hope these children learn too.

Yes, I was also the meanie or imcompassionate teacher when I received 2 requests for the nurses office by 2 little girls, one with a canker sore, the other a bruise she got a couple days ago. I think you're going to be ok! Am I really that bad that you want to leave on account of old bruises and a canker sore?? I do remember in 5th grade when we would race to sign up for the bathroom when the teacher would pull out her guitar. Come on now! I'm not singing Kermit the Frog songs ("It's not Easy Being Green") to you! We also sang Mariah Carey's "Hero" song. Umm, we felt a little, ...a lot, silly.

On the other hand, I had some really memorable times with these students. In Social Studies we read and discussed about farming and manufacturing. We talked about how goods are sometimes bought from other countries and we ship ours to other countries too. So, off the cuff, to make it "real" for them I told them, "if they were comfortable" to ask the partner next to them to check the tag on the neck of their t-shirt to see where it was made. You would've thought I brought in a 10 pound bag of candy! They thought this was the best activity ever! (Though I did have to emphasize NOT to take their shirts OFF...oh dear, talk about getting fired!) Students were coming up to me dragging their partner along by the tag to ask me how to read, "Indonesia" and "Malasia" and all sorts of different countries. Yes, I believe 2 or 3 were made in the good old U.S.A....I was actually surpised that many were. Watching the students make their connections and seeing that light bulb go off is such a thrill for me. These kids had down by the end of today what supply and demand meant, as well as scarcity and a couple other terms I thought were pretty hefty for 8 year olds. It was also exciting for them catching onto division with remainders.

And of course, there's always at least one flub for me when subbing. I took the kids out for recess and were just heading back in as another class was coming out. Literally, like 4 steps from the door, I watched as the little prop thing (umm, a classy piece of shingle I think), that stopped the door from shutting, fell out and left us with a locked door. The students were yelling, "AHH, we're locked out!" just as any dramatic 3rd grader would, and so I asked them what they do when this happens. "Uhh, this doesn't really happen. We could walk to the front door!" As much fun as it would be to walk alll the way around the school, most certainly disrupting each class with their windows open, we waited for someone inside to walk by and rescue us. Sure enough, within a few minutes we were back in the building to the classroom. I felt like a stupid substitute, but oh well, if that was the worse thing that happened to today...I'll settle for it.

I did take myself out for a McDonald's burger and milkshake tonight. That was my reward and wrap up to a good day! Those chocolate shakes are like a spa treatment! Well, I've never been to a spa...but I think I can make some connections!

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