Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Thrills and the Chills of Subbing

Whew. I made it through my first day of subbing. It was quite the experience for someone who grew up in a small church school most of her life and only subbed in the same school. (Note that I do not dislike my upbringing or any previous experience; public school is VASTLY different.)

First off, by request of friends, Matt and Kate, I wore my teacher-y outfit, complete with a sweater. Granted, once I got there I realized I could have worn jeans. Oh well. I looked professional. :) Notice the picture that's right here. Typical first day of school picture, minus the backpack. (This was taken at the end of the day. I was very tired!)

Let's see...the kids were very sweet except when they got on each other's nerves. Then, kindness flew out the window, even towards me. It looked like I was choosing sides many times, when of course, I wasn't. I think I held my own though, and quite well. I had about 25 students, I think. That is a lot for me to take on at once!

As far as turning out like previous substitutes I had, I don't think that happened today. Two boys from another class that I was teaching tried to convince me they could sit beside each other (Kindergarten nap time déjà vu!), which I did not fall for. They kept lobbing these ideas of what their teacher lets them do, and I kept hitting them right out of the park. :) It took a lot of effort, but I succeeded. As far as the storytelling goes, I did not really have a chance to say much besides what we were working on. I did tell them my name was Anastasia, to which they all said it was a beautiful name and they really liked it.

Matt suggested I teach them the "Math is a Wonderful Thing" song. As much as I wanted to, there wasn't a way, as it was test day in math. I did, however, get to talk about Schoolhouse Rock, which I think is awesome. They even knew what I was talking about. (It was a little disappointing to find out they only see them through youtube. ABC's One Saturday Morning, anyone? :D) Still, that was something that my teacher used to teach me, and I've always wanted to do the same.

One thing that kind of bothered me was a social studies book we read. It was made for the classroom, but it had a cuss word right in it. I had to read the book aloud to the students, and I almost said it right there. Personally, I don't like to cuss, but I'm not going to go ballistic on others that do it. To have it in a classroom teaching tool though? Is that normal? I really have no idea.

Overall, today was good. The next time will be great, and the third, tenth, and fiftieth time will be even better. Practice makes perfect, right?

Miss Corder (NOT Miss CorNer...half the class thought I said that!)

Monday, January 25, 2010

the Sub...

I got my first call tonight to substitute teach tomorrow. This is my first time at a public school, and it's the first time I do not know the kids. (Previous subbing has been done at my church's school.) I am excited but nervous. It's the fifth grade classroom. How do fifth graders act these days? Rowdy? Mean? A little mature or not at all? I have NO idea.
When I think about the kind of sub I want to be, I always look back on my own experience with subs. I went to the public elementary school in a small town in Missouri for three years (K-2nd). I only remember two substitutes from that time. In Kindergarten, we told our substitute teacher that we had long center times in the morning and at nap time we could lay wherever we wanted. I put my mat next to my cousin's, even though we were not allowed to be by each other (due to playing around and talking). She believed us, and the next day, our teacher (who was just plain mean) yelled at us. It bothers me that in Kindergarten we knew to lie to the sub. Seriously? I was five years old!
In first grade, we had a substitute teacher, and I still remember his name: Mr. Hoffman. He rushed us through our seatwork, giving us the answers when we were done, and then told Hercules stories the rest of the day. No joke. He loved Hercules. I believe I had him for two days. He was never asked back. Our teacher was amazed that the entire class of 30 students received 100 percents, and we told her that he gave us the answers. She was furious. I think he was probably better off being a professor of mythology or something.

So you see, with only these experiences in mind, how do I know how to be a good sub? One that doesn't let the kids walk all over her and lie, but still has fun and can share the knowledge that has been gleaned over the years? I hope the kids want me back, and even more that the school staff does.

More to come on the subbing topic!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Coping with the sick bug

I hate having colds. Right now I am suffering from the worse kind...stuffy nose, nasty cough, headache, and I put "d's" on the end of my words like Monica did (See Friends Season 6 Episode 13). Usually, I love being sick, as it gives me an excuse to sleep and not do anything. (Twisted thinking, I know.) However, with this semester being so tough, it is actually freaking me out. I've not been able to do any homework that is due this week since I can't do anything for more than a few minutes before I feel wiped out. This has led to more than enough sleeping and entertainment watching.

Whenever I get sick, I pull out my "sick movies." These are the movies that I always watch when the sick bug bites. Some have been on the list for a long time, while others are recently added. I may not get through all of them, but I have them beside me just in case.

1. You've Got Mail - I have been watching this whenever I get sick for the past four years, solely for the scene when Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) is sick and Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) comes and takes care of her. That, and I think their story is one of the last great love stories of Hollywood that is not tainted. ;)

2. Gidget, Gidget Goes Hawaiian, Gidget Goes to Rome - I love the Gidget series; so much, in fact, that I own the TV series as well. Its lightheartedness and nostalgic feeling makes me forget how sick I am. I just want to be on the beach with my own Moondoggie (preferrably with a different name).

3. Some Kind of Wonderful - This is a newer one for me, but I love it. It brings me to tears everytime, sick or not, when Keith (Eric Stoltz) gives Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson) the earrings. It then makes me want to watch He's Just Not that Into You for the Gigi/Alex storyline.

 4. Anne of Green Gables and the Sequel - Need I really say much about these two? The greatest love story of all time, and if the movies had just ended with the sequel, then all would be well. Still, the first two are well done, despite the end of the second when Gilbert is ill not following the book. Nevertheless, it makes my sickness look minscule compared to Gilbert's near death experience.

5. Penelope - I almost forgot this one! This is my favorite James McAvoy character by far (well, he did do a good job as Mr. Tumnus), and really, I have no words for this. It is definitely a must-see.

6. If I am up for a longer movie, I opt for Meet Me in St. Louis, Singin' In the Rain or any other classic on my shelf (In the Good Old Summertime - an earlier version of You've Got Mail, Summer Stock, Bringing Up Baby, Roman Holiday, etc.).

This is the main list, and movies are always floating in and out. However, these are ones that I never tire of. :)

I am off to watch Gidget Goes Hawaiian...What do you like to watch? ;)