So, everyday when I get home from substitute teaching, I always have a few stories to tell Eric.
1. Like yesterday, I actually witnessed a first grader eating glue!!! No lie, when I spotted this kid, he had his head cocked back, mouth wide open, he was squeezing Elmer's glue with both hands, and a heavy flow of glue was streaming into his mouth. When I told him to stop, I think I startled him, but I was just so shocked! I didn't know that kids really did that. I have also heard of kids eating boogers. I believe that now too. When I was a kid, I was always a roller and flicker.
2. Also, what do you do if you have a really bad second grader in your class that whispers in the other kids ears, different names of the male genitalia? I didn't even know those words when I was his age!!! Oh ya, and he also went up to the student teacher and told her to say a word, and then spell another word, and then when she did, she ended up saying the word, "penis". I don't remember what he asked her to say, I just remember the end result and I felt really sad for this kid and his potty mouth... He's only in second grade!
3. I only had one other student that was hard to deal with. The teacher let me know of her constant behavioral problems ahead of time, so at least I knew what I was getting into. The principal would come in and check on her frequently, so she must be the hardest student in the whole school. That would make me nervous, especially when he would come in and I was trying to get her to get out from this small space in between a cabinet and a bookshelf. She was having a tantrum... but I was able to get her to get out, and take a seat, while the principal was watching me. She is the kind of student, that if you ask her to do whatever the rest of the class was doing, she would have a tantrum. So I had her sit by me and be my helper any chance I could because she loved that. But the only problem was that I didn't need a helper every second of the day, so when she would realize she wasn't getting to help me, the behavior problems would start all over. After a while of catering to her, I thought she would listen this time if I asked her to do what the rest of the class was doing (This time it was learning how to tell the time).... Nope, she had another tantrum. So finally, I gave up and let her work on coloring and writing a story, while the rest of the class learned math. As long as she wasn't distracting other students, I let her do that. A resource teacher came to help and that teacher tried to get her on task but was unsuccessful. She tried to help her one on one in another room and I gave her two options (unlike the rest of the kids) you can do your spelling test (only 5 words) or you can do this worksheet about reading a clock. They were gone for 40 min. When she came back, the teacher was able to get her to write 1 of the 5 words, and they "talked about the worksheet". I felt so bad because it's hard when you want to help, but the girl just refused to be teachable. Anyway, I only had to follow her a couple times through the school because she would leave right in the middle of class. One time I followed her when she left music class and she went all the way back to the classroom and hid in a cubby of the coat closet. I was so scared when I couldn't find her at first because the coat closet leads to the outside of the school. I had to sweet talk her all the way back to music class. She also stole the teachers smiley stamp and stamped another girls face. I was able to get most of it off. Sometimes I just felt so bad for the other students because this girl could be a bully. The last thing I had to deal with was when she cried... but more like had a fit, the last 15 min of school. She wanted to call her mom to come get her and she kept trying to push the call button in the classroom. I just kept telling her, "Your mom is already on her way. You only have x minutes left."
4. I like to leave the room really clean when I leave other teachers rooms because a messy room makes me think of a bad substitute who couldn't control her students. The floors are always the messiest. You can always ask for a couple volunteers to be "human vacuums" and you can also say, "Everyone has to pick up 5 things off the floor" but sometimes this just doesn't cut it. So this is what I do. I tell the students that I picked a magical thing on the floor, and if they get that magical thing that I picked, I will give them a treat. Kids will do anything for a treat, so they all get really into it. I stand by the trash and they show me what is in their hands before they throw it away. When the room looks as good as I want it to, I tell the kids to stop and then reveal what the magical thing was and I give that person a life savor.
5. When I was telling Eric about my day at school yesterday, he asked me a silly question, "Do they call you Mrs. Ringer?" Of course they do. What else would they call me? That was a weird thought for him and guess he never realized that until now. I have been called that throughout student teaching last year, so it's funny he just realized that now. Sometimes when I tell the students my name, I draw a ring on the board + er... So the 6th graders at the school always say, "Hi Mrs. Ring plus er!"
6. Some of you may be thinking, why does she teach elementary school when she is a secondary education teacher? The answer is, I just go where I get the calls. I sub junior high a little bit but schools already have permanent subs and others already have established preferred lists, instead of going through a subfinder system that I was in. I didn't get any calls at first because of this. I was only subbing for teachers I knew and taught for during student teaching and that wasn't often at all. So once I got my first call to this elementary school, they just kept calling me ever since and they keep me busy, so that makes me happy. It's been a fun experience though because I wasn't trained to teach these youngsters, but it was pretty easy to pick up little tricks here and there. When I say "tricks", I mean classroom management tools because that's the most important thing to be able to do this job. The rest is easy. Because I have always taught junior high, high school, and college students, these are the new things I learned.
-first grade is the hardest... by far. you hear it's like babysitting all day... but that's not true. it's harder. you can't liken it to babysitting because babysitting is easy. it's 95% management and 5% content.
-although the students are only one year older, second grade is WAY easier and a lot more fun.
-subbing on April fools day is tiring
-some kids can't say there R's so they call me "Mrs. Winger" minus the r at the end
-the youngest of the first graders call me "teacher"
-kids tattle tail all the time. I tell students I don't listen to tattle tailing and I only want to hear nice things about other students.
7. The other thing I learned is that 1st and 2nd graders are huggers. I don't mind it too much at the end of the day... but when I'm trying to teach or monitor other students during work, that's a different story. I was trying real hard to pry this first grader's arms from me the other day. She was squeezing so hard and it was hurting my tummy. I pried her off and she hung on again even tighter. I finally said, "You're squishing my baby!" haha That did the trick.
8. It's spring break for the schools in Utah this next week, so looks like I am out of a job for a little bit. Then I only have one week left here in Provo. That is crazy to me. I can't believe that I have to pack up this whole apartment.