Friday, March 18, 2011

The Highs and Lows of Teaching

This week I have been blessed to have a lot of subbing gigs given to me by the teachers at a local school.  It's nice because the kids know and like me, and I get to teach without doing all the lesson plans and grading.  It's usually a really easy job, even when kids ask a lot of questions and I have to spend the majority of time explaining things or keeping kids on task.  However, every once in awhile I have a really tough day, or a really tough group.  Thursday, was one of those days... with one of those groups.

I normally have subbed for the middle school grades, most specifically, the sixth grade.  However, Thursday I took a gig in a lower grade.  I was confident I would be fine, as I've worked in the grade before as an aide, subbed all the grades surrounding it, and spent the last year of my life working with younger kids.  Boy, was I in for a treat... In all my years of aiding, teaching, subbing, and volunteering with kids, in education, I have never seen a crazier group of kids.  These kids were SO misbehaved, disrespectful (to me and to each other), loud (calling out and CONSTANTLY talking), argumentative, and overall, just bratty!  There were a handful of good ones, but the majority of the kids were out of control... THE MAJORITY!  That's ridiculous.

I've been told that this specific class is the best of the grade, but if that is the case, I fear for the future teachers.  These kids were tough.  My favorite past of the day? --> When I told them at the end of the class that they were the worst behaved class I had ever subbed for and they did NOT earn an end of the day game (I usually let kids play a game for the last few minutes of the day IF they are well-behaved, finish all their work, clean the classroom up first, and there's time - it makes for a good motivational tool...). I know that might sound harsh, but I think it was good for them to hear... To give you some context, I broke up four (FOUR!) yelling matches between kids, two kids told me flat out "NO" when I asked them to stop doing something and to sit down, two kids had severe acting-out issues where one kid hit another kid, the class never got quiet on the first time being asked (after my countdown system), and they literally TRASHED the room.  I made them clean it...

I know that others have it tougher than I do, but really for a school like mine, and the kids I normally have, these kids were off-the-wall with misbehavior.  They are a unique shade of crazy... I wish you could have been a fly on the wall to see what I mean, cause trust me... it was bad.  Especially in that, and please don't take this the wrong way, there were bad little girls!  I feel like I have dealt with tough little boys, but there were downright MEAN little girls, not trying to hide it in the least.

On a positive note, the sixth graders for which I subbed for the rest of the week were quite fabulous overall.  They're some of my favorites!  A few of them drive me a little nuts, but I really love them.  I had an INCREDIBLE teaching moment that I MUST share... just read a little bit longer.

I am NOT a math person.  I've always been pretty decent with numbers, but it takes me time to grasp concepts.  I'm NOT a science person... and I'm NOT decent in that area.  Back to math.  On Tuesday, I was in charge of teaching the basic concepts of graphing and y = mx + b.  To those who think this is easy, you're right.  However, after years of NEVER USING IT, I had to regroup and figure out what I was doing once again... and then think about how to TEACH the concepts.  It's not a simple task with sixth graders, especially with the lower kids.  However, somehow I figured out how to apply their way of thinking and started the see "the lights go on" with SO many of the kids.  I MADE kids answer questions and to cease fear of being wrong.  Kids who were LOST at the beginning were flying through the problem and explaining the concepts back to me.  I was SO proud of myself!  Haha... It was one of the "teacher highs," and I've missed having those...

The life of the unemployed is unpredictable and sometimes hard, but this week, it was pretty fantastic.

Song of the Day:  First I have to ask that if you have NOT watched my video from two entries back, help a girl out and click on it... I still need to up the count.  Here's a new melodic love of mine. Here is Skyler Grey called "It's Raining Again."  Enjoy!

1 comment:

C&C said...

ugh. some people's children! Good for you for being able to explain that math term because i'm pretty sure I can't remember at all what that is. I was an aide for a 5th grade resource class and I had to relearn how to do long division without the calculator...i'm pathetic!