Thursday, December 2, 2010

Did She REALLY say THAT?!?! *Gasp*

My first day of substitute teaching (this year. I did a bit last year) is behind me. It was what I imagine getting hit by a semi might feel like. It left me exhausted and feeling smashed and smeared on the highway. Oh, don't get me wrong. I love kids. These were 6th graders, and that is one of my favorite age groups. However, I am just not used to the chaos. I guess that will come with time.

So, the first two periods went wonderfully. These kids were angels! It was great. Then I took them to choir and went and helped out in a math class. Those kids were also great. So, I was feeling a little comfy cozy by the time 4th period rolled around. Suddenly, it was as though I had stepped out of the Disney film I was enjoying and inadvertently walked into a horror movie.

It started (before they even took their seats) when one kid shouted out "SPIDER!!!!" A little boy in the front row started screaming and running. The child sounded like a little girl. I honestly was looking around the boy with the flailing arms and searching the rowdy crowd for a little girl who must be having some sort of breakdown!!!

The "SPIDER!!!!" turned out to be the plastic kind with bright yellow bellies. That was just a taste of what that class did during that period. At one point (completely flustered and trying my best to answer a question from one of the students) there were several kids yelling out across the room and asking questions out loud, and I looked up and said, "Shut Up!"

Well, the entire room gasped in unison and got eerily silent. You would have thought I had dropped the F-Bomb in the middle school. I looked around and finally said, "What?"

They promptly told me that I had said a naughty word. What!?!? Since when is telling a kid to shut up synonymous with saying a curse word? Really?!?! That's so ridiculous. Now, you can argue with intelligence that I was rude or impolite, but to compare that with cussing just blows my mind!! Seriously, I think the world has gone completely nutso.

Now, before you start thinking (too late, isn't it?) that I just suck as a Sub...that I better find another line of work (I wish)...or that I have no idea how to handle kids...please keep in mind, that it was my first day back to work, and the rest of the day went relatively smoothly...Relatively.

The fact is that it is a hard job, and I don't think most people really appreciate that. However, it is very rewarding to feel that even on a small level you might pour into those young lives. I hope they liked me, but I am pretty darn sure some of them hated my guts. I think the more they see me and get to know me that they will come to like me. They will also come to know that where my limits are and just how far is too far to push.

Tomorrow I have to go to a high school and sub for science. Now that's scary. I guarantee you every teen in that room is going to know more about science and math than I do. NOT my strong suit. I think I will get off here and start praying NOW!

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