The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Like a Gummi Bear

Today I was a floating substitute teacher at Mahomet-Seymour Junior High School. In Champaign, the floating substitute usually goes to three or four classes over the the course of the day. In Mahomet, though, the floating sub is usually assigned one classroom for the duration of the day, depending upon the need. What will happen is the school knows that several teachers will be out on a particular day, but they may not know which teachers will be gone, so they schedule me as a floater and give me the assignment when I arrive.

Today was definitely different, though! For one thing, the assignment was for just the afternoon. I don’t normally accept half-day assignments, but the principal had actually called me and asked me if I’d be available, and I didn’t think it’d be wise to say no (he called me in the classroom while I was subbing for the 6th grade Language Arts teacher for the week before Spring Break). Also, I tend to not turn down any half-day assignment for which I am requested (although I have been known to tell my mother-in-law that I’d prefer to keep my schedule open–perk of being related).

So I arrived at 11:41 am (an odd time, I know, but stranger things have happened), and learned that the times had actually been goofed up and they needed me in the room of the 7th grade history teacher ASAP. No problem! I went in and caught the tail-end of a class period and met the student teacher who had been teaching the class for what seemed to be a couple of class periods. But then the teacher had lunch, followed by two plan periods. I was like, “Hm, this is going to be an easy afternoon – only two class periods!”

But then the principal came to me and, after determining that I wasn’t actually going to be doing anything, asked me to come with him to a different room that was lacking a teacher because the sub had not arrived. No problem! So I jumped from 7th grade history to 8th grade geography. I’m flexible, though, and I was scheduled to be a floater. All part of the job. There was an aide in the room who was taking the lead in everything (class had started before they realised there was no sub), so I had a few minutes to get settled.

Just as I was figuring out what was going on, the tardy sub arrived and I was bounced out and sent to my third assignment of the day: 6th grade Language Arts! Well, this certainly felt familiar! As a matter of fact, I was finally in the same room I had just recently spent an entire week in. The students were already working on their project (creating a “Greaser” inspired by the characters from S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders). They were a bit noisy, since it was a big group project, but it was fun, too. While they didn’t finish, I did take a couple of photos of the what they were doing:

After supervising the work of the six groups for two class periods, I had just one class left for the day: study hall. In the past, the 8th hour study hall has been a bit rambunctious, to say the least. Despite the expectations that they work quietly throughout the class period, there are always a few who disregard the expectations. There is a long-standing promise with them that if they work quietly for 40 minutes, I will give them the remaining 10 minutes of class to talk freely amongst themselves. Today was the first time that this actually happened. I pointed this out to the class, and they all said how difficult it was. But having seen them do it, I told them that I fully expect it to happen again!

And that was my day, like a Gummi Bear, I was bouncing here and there and everywhere, but it was a great day!


One response

  1. Pingback: When the Going Gets Tough… «

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