Saturday, February 7, 2009
That's Mrs. Teach to you
I survived my first week of per diem subbing. Woo-hoo! It really isn't all that bad so far and I have actually been able to do a pretty significant amount of reading. My first day was for a 6th grade reading teacher and I wanted to be as helpful as possible to the students, so I polished off The Whipping Boy and half of Hoot during lunch and free period. The students were impressed with this fact and took me seriously (for the most part anyway - one girl tried to convince me that she was allowed to rifle through the teacher's drawers and eat her snacks, while another suggested we spend the entire period playing a game). Wednesday was ELA scoring day and I enjoyed the time off with Paul. It was the first time in four years I didn't have to be cooped up in a hotel conference room grading tests for eight hours. (Giant sigh of relief and kudos to all of my teacher friends who had to suffer through it.) Thursday I had a half day teaching kindergarten, and Friday I was back in the high school teaching freshman. The worst part of this experience is waiting for the phone call the night before. The sub system is automated and if you don't get to the phone on time, it automatically jumps to the next person. When you do answer, you have to decide quickly whether or not to take the job, and there is always risk involved. If it is a crappy sounding job, do you reject it in hopes of something better? Or take it for fear of having nothing? I cringe at such rapid fire decision making, and the idea of not knowing whether or not I will work each day is quite stressful. The students haven't been too bad as long as I appear to know what I am doing and refuse to be played the fool. They get a kick out of my last name and only once have I been called "Teach". My immediate thought was: Am I in one of those movies where the idealistic young teacher ends up in the ghetto classroom and manages to turn a classroom full of delinquents into bright shining students? No? Then, "It's Mrs. van, thank you."