Monday, January 23, 2012

Substitute Teacher

All year long (since August) I have been trying my best NOT to have to call in a substitute teacher. Why? Well, first of all, despite their insanities and quirks, I do, in fact, love my students. Secondly, while I do love my students I also don't want to have to explain why they behave the way they do...despite what seems to be a million attempts at making sure they stop acting like first graders and start acting like second graders so that I can send them on to third grade in good conscience.

That being said, today, January 23, 2012, I am taking one of five personal days to attend parent teacher conferences for my own kid and leaving my students in the hands of a substitute teacher - and let me tell you, the road to here and now as I sit and type was LONG!

First there's asking permission. This wasn't so bad. The principal had just said that with enough advance notice I would never have to miss anything important with regards to my son. Sure enough, I got a green light.

Then there was the responsibility of finding a sub. The principal of the schools (almost like the superintendent of the district) has a daughter who is a substitute teacher. I asked her if she could sub for me today and she said yes. Great

Now I had to plan out today. The thing is, even though I've only had my own class since the end of August, my plans take no longer than ten minutes to write down. We pretty much do the same thing each week and it is almost like a science. However, the sub doesn't know that and doesn't know our routines so I had to write out notes based on times and scheduling, anticipating what may not get done if my kids behave the way they normally do.

Four pages, and much research on the Chinese New Year, later, I had a cohesive set of lesson plans complete with attendance sheet, worksheets they need to do, a picture book called My First Chinese New Year by Karen Katz and a Bill Nye the Science Guy DVD about Dinosaurs (our next chapter in science), and fun things they can do to fill time if they get done early like reading about their Chinese Zodiac - don't worry, I made it age appropriate!

And then I thought, do I really do all of THIS?!?!? I mean it. Every day. Do I do this every day? Because I'm telling you now, I spent a great portion of my weekend making sure these lesson plans were simple enough for a new teacher to do but filling enough where my kids won't be sitting around going, "what should we do next?"

I typed out the spelling lists for the week. I e-mailed parents with the changes of the week. I edited the homework binder sheets for my first and second graders. I
I sent the lesson plans to the administrative assistant. I dropped off the bag of books, the DVD, and the plans at my friend, the famous Greek teacher's house. I headed off to church with Daniel.

While at church I was talking to my co-singers in the choir about how I was feeling very anxious about tomorrow (today). They said to relax and leave it to God's hands. Okay, I thought, I could try that...have you MET ME!?!? I was panicked. And then after mass I saw an e-mail saying my sub had to cancel!!!!! AUGH!!!!

I've been e-mailing with the administrative assistant all morning. She said the sub is in my room. That she made the copies, and to have a great day.

I'm taking Daniel downtown to the Adler to explore. I don't remember every going and if I did it was ages ago. We're having "Mommy School" today after parent teacher conferences.

I can feel my heart beating but I'm just going to have to let it go. From what I hear, and hope, my kids will love me more when I return...Let's see if THAT comes true!

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