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

About the Blog

I went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in May 2008. After spending the following the summer applying for full-time teaching positions in the East Central Illinois area, and interviewing for about 2 dozen jobs, I found myself without any means of gainful employment beyond my part-time job with a custodial service. And so it was that in September 2008 I acquired an application to work as a substitute teacher in the Champaign Unit 4 school district. I began substituting in October, and did so until the end of July 2011. On August 2, 2011, I was hired to teach fourth grade at Wiley Elementary School in Urbana, Illinois.

Over the past couple of years, I have had some great experiences teaching, and I have had some down-right awful experiences. I could give examples here, but that would rather defeat the purpose of this blog! Suffice it to say that I have had students see me in the store three years after I taught them and still remember me, and I have had students throw wet balls of paper towels at me while throwing chairs across the room.

I toyed with the idea of blogging about my experiences for quite a while, and decided it was finally time to do so near the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year; after all, I love my job, and I wanted to be able to capture the moments before they fade.

After sharing my experiences during the final year of my substitute teaching career, I decided to continue to blog about my adventures as a fourth grade teacher. Not wanting to lose all of my old posts, I imported them to this site. However, I will keep Adventures in Substituting up for as long as WordPress will allow.

Feel free to leave questions or comments below!

5 responses

  1. Michael Honel

    I am a substitute teacher who enjoys fourth graders after being a high school science teacher (chemistry) for 25 years. I am interested in your substitute blog entries but am unable to locate them. Please help!

    MIcheel Honel from Houston, Texas

    December 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    • Dennis Rouhas

      Mike, this is Dennis R. your old neighbor in Elmhurst. How are you doing?

      May 3, 2014 at 1:50 pm

  2. Micheel! Thanks for coming by and best of luck substituting! I need to add a category for “substituting” to the posts on this site to make them easier to find, but in the meantime, the easiest way to locate them is to visit this site’s predecessor Adventures in Substituting. You can also view every blog entry previous to August of this year.

    Hope that helps!

    December 19, 2011 at 6:04 pm

  3. Mike Yoshino

    Alex, youre the man! I honestly have no intention on being an educator, but I really enjoy reading your blog! Some of the stuff is fascinating, and it’s cool comparing this viewpoint to what I can remember from being a 4th grader myself.
    Btw, hope to see you at ITI 2012, I’m trying my best to make it back again. Hopefully this site’s cafeteria knows how to cook breakfast sausage unlike the WIU chefs…

    January 4, 2012 at 11:42 pm

  4. Elizabeth

    Hi Alex

    Just to say that I really appreciate your blog. I’m starting teaching Grade 4 in January when our schools start here in South Africa, and have been hunting around for relevant blogs to give me some grasp of what it’s about (have been teaching Gr 5-7 and older).

    I find your posts a good read, interesting and useful, and appreciate the reflection that comes into them. A breath of fresh air among a whole lot of fourth grade blogs that are a bit heavy on decor and low on reflection … phew!

    Thanks again and please keep writing

    November 29, 2012 at 10:59 pm

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