Friday, February 24, 2012

I'm Not the Only Visitor to the Classroom

I came home to a sweet message on our answering machine from Leona (John's mom) making sure we are all okay, because nothing's been updated on my blog and she was worried that I've been under the weather due to headaches.  Bless your heart, Leona....and thank you for asking....and sorry for being MIA.

I'm happy to report that my absence has not been due to headaches, it's been due to other teachers' absences.  I've been working - and unexpectedly, it turned into an entire week's set of assignments.

And, let me just tell you - THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY!!!!  I'm a little worn out. 

Let me back up a bit and tell you my first assignment of 2012 began last Thursday - at the same sweet school that I love, but this time with fourth graders.  They were a nice bunch...except for one.  I know, I should love them all...but, literally, this one boy wanted me dead (it was reported by more than one student that he said such things).  Nice, huh?  Yeah, throw that little morsel of goodness to a CODE RED SAFETY drill in which we are supposed to turn all lights out, hide out of view, close all curtains and remain silent for ten minutes - and there's the recipe for a certain day of substitute success.  Yee haa....  For the record, I was actually asked to return to the school Friday - I'm glad I'd made alternate plans!

This week, I was scheduled for my FAVORITE class on Tuesday.  We had a good day, but they were a bit wound up.  The picture above shows part of the reason why.  This little dude (we at first called him "Kermit", but decided that he might be a she based on how wide her girth is...and changed the name to "Miss Piggy") showed up outside the classroom door right after lunch.   Of course, being the animal lover that I am, there's was no way I was going to resist the opportunity to pick him, put him under the document camera, take a pic with my own phone, and walk him around the class for them all to touch.  Despite cries of protest, we did release him to a safe place on the outskirts of the school property once each of the fifth graders got to touch him.

It had been originally planned for this week for me to have this class on Tuesday and then the teacher next door's class today.  However, each of the teacher's extended their absence an additional day.

Wednesday:  LOVELY - because I got to improvise some of the lesson plans due to the teacher's unexpected continued absence (she was sick), I felt more ownership and we all had a lot of fun.

Thursday:  UGH  As expected, the male dominated class next door did not demonstrate nearly the level of class cohesiveness or kindness as my original favorites.  We got through, and by far, it was not even close to the worst subbing day ever, but their negativity did wear me down.

Today:  BETTER.  The class was more mellow to start, not seeking to push the envelope as much and the lesson plans were pretty easy-peasey.  But, still, I was counting down the minutes and seconds until I could excuse them and I could reach the end of my work week.

Whew - this whole working full time thing is HARD!  I found myself much more productive, organized, and prepared than normal, but going, going, going constantly.  Dishes loaded and unloaded, lunches packed the night before, clothes laid out, floors quickly picked up, laundry moved through - and then on to Wed. church or Th. Bible Study.   And yet, so much more sense of satisfaction for having "contributed" than I often have when my days are so loosely structured and empty of appointments or routine.

I'll analyze more of what can be done with that assessment on Monday.  In the meantime, it's the weekend, which starts out with "Friday Night Whites"...and promises lots of down/me time.   Thank you God!

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