Trial By Fire: Round 2

This morning started out like any regular morning. I came in, got supplies ready, and started working on the morning message. My classroom teacher stepped out so I answered the phone when it rang. It was the teacher from across the hall. She had gotten sick and had called in only minutes before. She had no plans written out for a sub. I assured her I would get something ready for her. At this point, my students were already all in the room and my teacher had gone over to the other room to get things ready. The office called and told me I would be subbing. I sent one of my students down to tell my classroom teacher that we needed to switch. She walked out and said she already knew because she was the one who called and told them I could sub. I am so ecstatic that she would do that for me. Apparently, she actually thinks I can do this. If she wasn’t afraid to stick her neck out for me, she must think I am doing a pretty good job. 

Anyway, I went over and had no plans, don’t know all of the students’ names, and have no idea what most of the things on her overview schedule mean. My classroom teacher came over and gave me supplies for what I did yesterday  with my class. I managed to get through the day with no planning problems which is really nice considering I like to plan way far in advance. Now that plans were made, I had to actually get the students to listen and do what I asked. Things were a little rough with one student in particular at first. I had delt with him during tutoring but that was only an hour. I now had to do it all day. The first hour was rough but I stayed on his case. The rest of the day was great. Barely any interruptions from him. I told him I was leaving a good note for the teacher and let him read it and stick it on the the other note I had written about a not so great student… Oh, that not so great student…

It wasn’t until the afternoon that this one lost control. He was playing at the drinking fountain and I told him it was time to leave and that he had plenty of time to get a drink so he could not have one now. We made it two feet from the classroom door before he sat down and sobbed. I told him if he got some work done he could have a drink but not until he did some work. He sat and sobbed. I stood in the doorway in full panic! What do you do with a student who refuses to move? I knew I couldn’t leave him in the hall bedside if I turned my back he would run off or the principal would walk by and see him crying in the hall. Standing across the hall was another teacher and I knew I had to move him while she was there to witness. I put my hands flat on his back and scooted him into the classroom. The other teacher grabbed the door and shut it behind me. He sat on the floor and cried but at least he was in the room. I left him crying so that I could get the other students going on their work. This was not the end of the drama with this one. 

He managed to sit and I helped him get started on his work. He got three done and I said, “thank you for doing some work. Would you like to get a drink now?” Rookie mistake… He went out in the hall and a moment later I felt like something wasn’t right.  I walked out in the hall… He was no where to be seen. There is a drinking fountain right next to the door and he wasn’t there. I sent the classroom aide from my classroom, who was helping me in the room I was subbing in( and thank God for her. I do not know what I would do without her!) to find him. He had gone to the bathroom without asking. And like every bad infomercial selling anything, that’s not all! Later, he was running in the room and crashed into another student. He sobbed again. At this point I couldn’t handle it and I looked at his face there were no marks or bumps and I just let him sob on the floor until he got up and banged it on something else. The aide took him to the nurse. 

I really enjoyed this opportunity because I got to see how the other teacher does things in a very firsthand way. There were many things I loved about how she did things in her room. I also got to know another group of kids. I had been in the room for recess before but spending all day in the room was interesting. They are different from my class but no less complex. 

I missed my class a whole lot today. I didn’t have much time to think about what they might be doing but when they saw me in the hall and called out for hugs my heart melted. Then on the way out to recess, quite a few of them stopped in the room to say hello. It was really nice to think that they missed me and cared enough to come see me. I had recess duty so I saw quite a few more while I was out there. 

The very best part of the day was when my classroom teacher popped in while I was cleaning up at the end of the day and said, “Well, you’re still alive!” She had a really big smile on her face. I almost cried because how can you not want to cry when one of the most fantastic teachers you have ever met looks proud of you? It was also nice to have her there to talk with at the end of the day. It was my first day of paid teaching where if I failed no one was there to step in and fix it. I think I can do this and if I can’t, well I know I have someone I call and ask for help! 

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