Monday, March 30, 2009

Cupcake Magic

So, I FINALLY got my letter of clearance for substitute teaching late last week and decided to up my chances of getting called in by placing a few bribes. I spent most of Thursday evening baking 4 dozen cupcakes and then drove around in the rain all day Friday delivering them to local schools where I introduced myself and gave them the cupcake bribe.

Well, it worked, because at 7:14 this morning my phone rang and it was a school calling for me to be in at 7:45. I guess they expect people to be out of bed and dressed or whatever by 7:15, but I was dead asleep. I jumped out of bed and into the shower, threw on some clothes (I'd already planned an outfit in my head) and drove to the school. I was assigned a 4th grade class.

The students were fine. A little chatty, but nothing horrible. We did quiet reading until the bell rang, then I called roll, then I taught Social Studies where I had the honor of teaching the children that Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, which happens to be one of the three things that I retained from my own 4th grade Social Studies. Then, we did Math, but I didn't have to teach them anything. They just did two worksheets. Then, they were "dispersed" to "Humanities" and I had a 45 minute break. When they got back, we took off for computer lab, where we had multiple technical (or possibly user) errors with no tech support. Some of the kids could never even log in. After that fiasco, we headed off the the "media center" where the librarian media specialist talked to them for half an hour about an atlas and then we went to lunch, which is when I realized that I was woefully unprepared. I hadn't brought anything to eat or any cash and in case you didn't know, the lunch lady doesn't take plastic. This reminded me of the time that I went to the laundr-o-mat with a credit card. So, I just sat there on my little attached-to-the-table stool and watched them eat- pizza, ice cream, chocolate milk- it actually looked good. After, lunch, I had another break because I wasn't on "recess duty, " but it was only 30 minutes, so I didn't have time to go get anything to eat off campus. When recess was over, they had "Reading and Writing" where I had them write a FULL PAGE WITHOUT SKIPPING LINES about what they were going to go over Spring Break. Then, much to my surprise, some other teacher lady showed up and taught them some grammar. She was the "linguistic specialist." Fine by me, but while she was jabbering about similes and metaphors, the fire alarm went off and I had to jump into action. Some kid thrust an "emergency bag" into my hands and sadly, I neglected to check a map, but we just followed the class next to us and ended up in the right place. I took role and every one was accounted for and the assistant principal came by and asked me if I was red or green and I told her that I didn't know what that meant. Ha. Apparently, green means that all your kids are there. So, after she told me that, I told her that I was green. Soon, the bell rang again and we went back to class. Then, we read a chapter in the Science book about ecosystems and answered some questions in the book and then, the day was over.

My mom was a teacher. She hated it and was constantly going on and on about how hard it was. My dad later became a teacher and he used to also torment her by saying that teaching was like "finding money." Based on this one experience, I'm going to have to side with my dad so far. It was a very easy day at work. Low stress. Not much thinking. Just a lot a patience and repeating yourself.

No REALLY ridiculous names as I had hoped. Nothing unpronounceable or with an unnecessary apostrophe.

ETA: I didn't mean to imply that being a teacher was easy. I can't imagine the stress and responsibility that comes with being an actual teacher. I realize being a substitute is basically just babysitting and not al all like being a real teacher.