For the past several years, I have grown accustomed to that fact that, as a substitute teacher, I would have to deal with sudden emergencies. These ranged from teachers having emergencies and having to run out of the classroom to students having complete meltdowns and me, as the teacher, having to respond appropriately to the emergency. There were also the frequent not-so-urgent emergencies of students needing band-aids, the class running out of tissues, and other such oddities.
This morning I went to work excited to jump into the curriculum this week. Our Title I specialists were going to be teaming up with our special education teachers to begin the DIBELS assessment (a literacy diagnostic tool) while I was administering a grade four inventory test for math, which is used to see what kind of math knowledge retention the students have maintained over the summer. This is incredibly useful in helping me know where my students are at and where I need to begin.
In the middle of the morning, I got an “urgent phone call” in the office, and had to leave my room in the hands of one of our many capable support staff members. The urgency of the call was sufficient that I found myself needing to leave for the remainder of the day to attend to the issue. My principal, who, in case I haven’t mentioned it before, is an amazingly wonderful individual, helped me arrange for a sub and even arrange for a ride home, since my wife had the car.
I had to quickly put together plans for the rest of the day (no detailed plans because I am still playing things by ear with my class as we figure out exactly what we need to be doing). I hope that the plans made sense. I let my students know that I had to leave, but that I would be back in the morning and was looking forward to a great report from the substitute.
I haven’t been back to the room yet, but I am going to be going there in a little bit and am hoping and praying that everything is still there. I fully expect the report on my students to be primarily positive and encouraging, but I also know the realities of being a substitute teacher called in to a class in the middle of the day. I’ll be sure to update after I’ve read the note!