Daily Archives: February 18, 2013

Substitute Teaching

Mostly, kids dislike the “sub”.  But not at this school.  The kids like me.  And I like them.  It feels comfortable to be in a classroom.  It does not make me nervous.  It does not make me anxious.  I feel at home there, and I enjoy every minute of each day.

I don’t know how many days I’ve subbed this year, but it is a nice handful so far, and it is my goal to always be able to say “yes” when they call.  Today’s class was a group of 3rd & 4th grade boys, a total of 6, nice kids who cooperate and seem to put in decent effort, even when it’s just the sub.

We had a full day, beginning with math, and the boys in different levels within the grades.  I had to explain decimals and place value, and review a bit on multiple digit addition.  I like 3rd & 4th grade.  Add 5th to the mix, and it’s my perfect classroom!  The middle grades get to do all the fun stuff still, yet they can read on their own, stay on task for the most part, and work independently.  Group dynamics are also a great tool at this age group, and we did a little bit of everything today.

For reading, we read about George Washington Carver, a negro who had the privilege of getting a good education.  We read about Adam & Eve, and the first sin for Bible, and talked about the horror of sin, after living in the perfection of heaven.  For Social Studies, we talked about the different regions of the USA, and they had to choose a region and then tell what they would do to work or play there, based on the resources available in that region.  I had the boys draw a quick picture of their region and then share their ideas, and we took it a step further and did a mini oral report in front of the class.  I thought they all did a great job and they all willingly got up in front and gave their impromptu speeches.

After lunch we jogged all the way up to the Academy gym and then played some full court basketball.  We had a visitor today, an older sister of one of the boys, and she was really good at basketball.  We played boys against girls, and the girls actually held their ground this time with the new girl on the team.  I couldn’t help but join in and play with them.  Sometimes I think I must be a little weird, playing ball with the kids, and then other times I think it’s pretty cool that a 40 something year old is willing to get out there and move around on the basketball court.  Thankfully, I think I still look decent while playing.  If I don’t, somebody please tell me!

We jogged back to the classroom, and did some quick spelling on the computer and then it was time for music.  The younger kids got right to work setting up tables for their handbell practice.  I was excited to be able to “conduct” a handbell choir, and we worked on several particular spots in the music.  During my student teaching, I directed a tiny little hand chime choir of 6 kids.  It was a lot of fun then, and even more fun today with actual bells.

Before I knew it, the day was over, and it was time for chores and lesson plan books.  The kids finished up with all the details of the end of the day, and scurried out the door to catch their rides home.  I was hoping I might have to go back again tomorrow, but the regular teacher will be back, so I’ll have to just wait till the next time.

Sometimes I feel that all my years homeschooling ate up my opportunity to ever teach in a classroom.  But I’ve decided those years legitimately count toward my experience as a teacher.  I did home school 3 children for a total of about 10 years, and it required a lot of patience, creativity, and perseverance to make that happen.  My children have all transitioned into regular school smoothly, and they’re all doing quite well academically.

If I ever do get a job teaching full-time, I’ll have to think of myself as “experienced”, even though it would be my first time “officially” in charge of a classroom.  In the meantime, I’m very happy to sub!!

By KMc
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