Oh, and if you have never read anything from the Bean...well, you may as well go here, but be warned, she is totally R rated! She is hilarious! She expresses her dismay at some (All?) Christmas music. Again, you should probably come back, just because I am awesome.
As most of you know, I am a substitute teacher. Last week, I was checking out for the day at a local school. A teacher, who looked a little frazzled, came in and asked a couple of us subs if we would mind taking a job next week. The other two did not speak up, so I said I was interested. She looked at me appraisingly and apparently made a decision. She said, it's next Thursday. "I have a group of boys who are very hard to manage!" I said that was fine, what grade do you teach? "First."
I tried hard not to roll my eyes.
I said, "Ok." She looked at me as though I might be missing a few marbles from my bag. I again nodded. She came to her decision and asked me for my name, explaining that she would assign it to me. I said ok and left. I did not expect her to assign it to me.
Lo and behold, though, she did.
I showed up this morning after driving at speeds that may have produced sonic booms, but I was travelling ahead of the wave, so I can't verify it. (sometimes I push the departure time)
I walked in the room expecting little people with spray paint cans and guns, but no kids showed any signs of automatic weapons nor tools for tagging. All I saw was first graders. Then the counselor showed up with a very cute little boy, whom she treated as though he were Rosemary's baby. She looked at me as though she may never see me again. I swallowed and asked what was wrong. She said, this little boy does not get to go to recess, instead he comes to be with me. And if you do any fun activities, he should come to me. I raised my eyebrows and she whispered conspiratorially to me that he was a very bad boy. I said ok and she left.
I eyed the kid, he looked like an angel. which, coincidentally, was his NAME! Then I decided to treat him like the rest until he showed his true colors. Having been forewarned of the possibilty of trouble, though, prepared me for the worst. I was a bit more forceful than I normally am. Overall, though, they were a very good class. There were between three and five boys that seemed to feed off each other, but they weren't horrible.
I adapted to them simply by repeating my instructions and separating them from the herd when they mis-behaved. Three of them spent a lot of time in time out. But strangely, it wasn't Rosemary's baby...he had his problems, but I did not see the worst of them today.
Sometime before lunch recess, the Principal came in. The same principal that thought I was the fire marshal. She came in. I was actually acting like a teacher (yeah, lucky, I know!) and paused. She said not to worry, she was just stopping by classes today. I went ahead with the assignment. When she came in there was a child in the corner at the door, and two more evenly spaced around the room, also in "the corner."
A few minutes later, after I ended my "lesson," she walked up and I looked at her questioningly. She said, "I need to talk to you at recess." I looked at her quizzically. She said, "you aren't in trouble." As though she had read my mind, but I am sure it had registered clearly on my face. I said yes and tried to hide my concern...was it all pictures I drew? Did I say something to a kid that was not appropriate? Did they find out about my interest in atomic bombs? The FBI and CIA will be there...but she said I wasn't in trouble. Of course she'd say that to get me into a place where they can arrest me and take me to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba...do they give citizens due process? I just think A-bombs are cool! I was JUST CURIOUS!
So, these are the things I was thinking the entire time. Finally, I send my kids out to recess. Everyone goes, despite the cold temperatures. But just for 15 minutes. Enough time for me to be arrested.
I go in search of the principal. I finally find her, not in her office, but in the lunch room. A quick scan reveals no FBI agents, unless the FBI has been hiring 10 year olds...I automatically scan for Agent Cody Banks...nope, safe.
She is talking to someone...I catch her eye and then go and interact with the fifth grade class I taught a couple weeks ago. Concentrate on looking like a good teacher! She comes up behind me. I tell the kids goodbye.
She simply says, " I have a question for you." I blink. "You sub a lot at elementarys, right?" "Uh, yeah," I answered intelligently, surely that isn't the only question. "In your opinion, is that first grade class worse than other first grade or kindergarten classes you have subbed for?" I blinked again. Wheels start creaking in my head. Pressure releases. Realization dawns...this is about the class...not me. She wasn't working with Homeland Security! PHWEW!
I manage to point out that the main problem seems to be the way the boys interact, and so far my solution of putting them in the corner, removing them from each other, has been working. I'm no genius, but so far I have not really had a bad day. Yeah, they are trouble, but they aren't horrible. She seemed satisfied and I went on my way, no longer watching for government agents.
Suffice it to say, I made it through another day!