Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tales of a Substitute Teacher

Throwback to my Sr. Prom: Let me explain.  I'm in orange.  I've subbed for the dad of the girl in the black, strapless dress, I'm still great friends with the girl pulling a statue pose, and I have the brother of the girl in the short, blue dress in class this week and next.
In case you missed me raving about my students, I decided to dedicate an entire post to my first week of a two week subbing job (for the same teacher).

Last Friday I received a call for a subbing position.  I asked what day they needed me.  The response was, "Actually, it is a long-term position for Ms. S----."  I was excited and overwhelmed all at the same time.

Let me explain each emotion.  I was excited because I wasn't expecting a long-term position, and that meant TWO WEEKS at the high school (and, two weeks of consistent work and pay!).  But, more than anything, it meant I would be at my favorite school for TWO WEEKS!  The overwhelmed feeling came because it meant I would be teaching science (if you haven't been able to tell by now, I'm more of an English and History person...yet I'm often called for math and science) for TWO WEEKS.  Oh, and, I was going to be subbing for my 9th grade science teacher.

Of course I accepted.  I immediately began planning ways to make it special.

Each day has presented challenges.  The first afternoon, I stayed after school for three and a half hours to plan and organize for the upcoming week.  Tuesday we had a snow day, which pushed plans back a day.  Thursday was delayed two hours.  And, Friday was a special schedule.  But, with each day that passed, I got to know my students better.  Laughter was common.

Above all, I try to convey that I care about them.  They are not a problem.  Yes, I expect obedience, but I enjoy them.

Whenever a student told me they were learning, it made me feel all warm and fuzzy.  It's hard to tell, sometimes, how much gets through to students.  Those moments make it all worth it.

I think I care so much because I've been in their seats, I know their siblings, I know them, and there is a connection.  I don't know if teaching full-time is in my future.  Before these two weeks, I would have said with 98% certainty, absolutely not.  The only POSSIBLE chance would be high school English.  But, now I I care because they are moldable beings?  Or, do I care because this is home and I have a connection?  I don't know if I will teach after I leave here, but I am more thankful for this opportunity than I have words to express.

I hate to think I may never see some of these kids again, or that they may forget me, but I am here for a time.  I want to be used to make a difference, no matter how tiny.  I want each student to know they matter, are intelligent, and can chase after and achieve dreams, even the ones that seem unattainable.  I don't mean, "you can do whatever you set your mind to."  If you want to move to England, do it.  If you want to become President one day, study hard, apply to the schools others might say you can't get into, choose the route you want to take, and pursue it.  Will you become President?  Maybe.  But, if you never try, it is certain you won't.

I love my kids.  I don't want to give them back next Friday.

Highlights of the week:
-Each time a student told me they were learning
-Test reviews...we laugh a lot!
-"You all can't count.  That's not right.  Oh, wait, it is..."
-9 guys move a table in front of the closets.  I wonder what they are doing, but hey, I can see all of them--and they aren't in trouble.  I go to talk to them and then a box on the closet starts to move.  First instinct, is there something in the box?  No, of course not.  They told me there had been rats one time.  I wonder, is someone on top behind the boxes?  No, I would have seen them climb up.  Then it dawned on me...T is not here.  Guys, move.  Yep, T was in the closet making the box move.
-Getting to know the students and reaching the point of being able to relax and laugh with them!

1 comment:

  1. You started college planning on teaching, right? I'm sure you were the best sub they've ever had!


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