Friday, February 27, 2009

I had an enlightening day yesterday.

I subbed the afternoon for a 5th grade class and the one real lesson I did with them was an introduction to comparing and contrasting. They split into partners and the first exercise had them answering 7 questions about themselves and about their partner. Hair color, hobbies, favorites, etc. One boy didn't have a partner, so I teamed up with him. We got to the last question, which was about favorite food. He hemmed and hawed for a while and then said "Salsa from the Taco House".


Now, if you know my family or me, you would know this is a big deal. I freaked out a little. I said "REALLY? I love that place!" And since I was at a Gresham school, I said "You know they closed the one out here, right?" and he responded "I KNOW! I went there one day with my family and it was closed!" and I said "ME TOO!!" And pretty soon the kids around us were laughing at us.

It was funny.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Compliments can make a person's day. As I stood reading a bulletin board at a school on Thursday, some students were passing by as they headed to lunch. I heard "Cool hair". I assumed, of course, that it was not directed at me. These kids don't know me, and they could only see the side of my head. She repeated it, "Cool hair", and I turned around to find a 3rd or 4th grader looking directly at me as she approached, to pass behind me. "Oh, thanks!" I said. "I like yours, too!"

There are times at a job when I completely space out and forget where I am. Whether I'm at a random nanny job, or at a subbing job. I go through a lot of normal motions. At a nanny job I greet the parents, become a friend to the kid, make dinner, play games or color, and put the kid to bed. After I've been sitting for a while, I realize that I'm at a stranger's house, and I have to physically place where I am. I look around the house, picture my drive to the house, and finally realize where I am. I guess this is what happens when you're in different places all the time, because I do the same thing at sub jobs. When the kids are gone (to specials or lunch) I sit in a chair and think "Now, where am I again?" When it takes a while to process, to figure it out, it gets kind of eerie.

I started a Read-The-Bible-In-A-Year program. It's about time, eh?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Serenity NOW!

I had a great week subbing. The week before had been crazy, with kids I felt like I couldn't control. This last week was a complete turnaround. I was in three classes I had been in before. I am realizing more and more how much easier the job is for the substitute when the teacher regularly has the class in line. When students already know their expectations, it is easier to be the replacement.

Thursday was great - I had been in the class before and knew they were good, but they were exceptionally good. They quieted down when I simply opened my mouth. They followed directions. They were eager to please. At the end of the day they lined up in their pod's common area to go to the music room and while I was tying up loose ends in the classroom (prodding along slowpokes), they were SILENT. It was amazing and it even garnered a compliment, a glowing one, from another teacher. Needless to say, I was proud, and left feeling good. The teachers of the class (it's a job share), came in at the end of the day and said they had heard great things about how I handled the class. How AWESOME does that make me feel? Pretty awesome.

I had one "oh, that was weird" moment when I had a familiar class on Wednesday. The fourth graders all trade around for reading classes, so I gained new kids from other classes. This girl walked in and I stopped her and said... "you look really familiar, what's your name"? She told me, and it was the answer I suspected. Finally, I had to go over to her and say "you look SO familiar, just like a girl I used to take care of at a daycare". She said "pixie?" and I said "YES!". Strangely enough, this girl was in the toddler class at the daycare center I worked at in high school. WHAT? I think she wasn't even two at the time, and here she was, in fourth grade, being all old and stuff. That makes ME feel old and stuff. Wow.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


God has a sense of humor. He really does, and I felt it this last week. Last weekend I was bemoaning my financial situation and He heard my cries. He responded with glee, I believe, and he gave me one crazy week of subbing and nannying. Sub all day, nanny at night. Sub all day, nanny at night. Sub all day, go to Spanish class, and meet out of town friends for dinner. Sub all day, nanny at night. Friday I didn't have a sub job, though I certainly wouldn't have turned one down, and my weekend is normal, having two nanny jobs at night.

It was good. It was really good. It was a chance to say "this is crazy, but I'm making money and God is providing", and that was the humor. The humor in the fact that I absolutely hated subbing this week, I questioned my ability to teach and my love of teaching. I questioned why I even liked kids. Luckily, I think I am able to chalk it up to experience and move forward.

But I'll admit it. I cried once this week. After a long day with fifth graders, wherein the next door teacher came in to tell them they were being too loud (how embarrassing for me), I spend the evening nannying a cute boy and girl. They were absolutely fine until bedtime. In fact, I thought we had had a great evening. But when I announced bedtime the 5 year old boy turned on me, became defiant and rude. He told me I was annoying that he didn't want me coming back. That didn't rattle me, as at that point HE was becoming annoying and I certainly understand if I might annoy a little kid. I told them that was fine, I would tell his mom, and I probably wouldn't come back. But then we had an argument over a pen, and he called me a jerk. And that did it. I cried. Because a 5 year old called me a jerk. OHHHHHHH. Frustration.

But it's over. And on Monday I get to go to a class where I have been before and I at least understand the dynamics, how the classroom is run, etc.

In the meantime, I have to laugh off the last week and try to reassure myself that when the time comes when I (hopefully) have my own classroom, I will have made my own classroom procedures and will have full reign over it all. I won't have to question my own authority or the rules, what's normal behavior and what's abnormal behavior. I am looking forward to that day.