I just finished they 3rd week of my 6th grade long term sub gig. This one is a pretty sweet gig, I job share with another teacher, resulting in either 2 or 3 days of work per week, flip flopping every other week between the two. This allows me to constantly ask questions (stalk) my job share partner while trying to allow peace to the teacher I’m filling in for to be with her new little cute son! (During my long term sub gig last year, I likened myself to Squiggy due to the amount of times I’d throw open my 5th grade neighbor teacher’s door and say ‘hello’ followed by a question.)
One thing that came to mind as I was leaving Friday after a 3 day week for me, is that I think a teacher could live at school for the weekend, wake up on Monday for work, and still have a ton of things to do. It’s like never ending. Some of the things I think could be done over a weekend, and then still not be caught up:
- Grade. Homework, quizzes, projects. It’s crazy the amount of feedback and grading that you teachers provide. Just last week after math had ended a half hour prior, I had five students ask me if their quiz had been graded yet. What? I proceeded to explain that I am not Superman, or Superwoman if I need to be PC, and that I’m shooting for getting them back tomorrow, which is still pretty impressive! An 11:00 pm completion of grading that night allowed for me to pass them back the following day. 🙂
- Plan. Oh my gosh, this could last weekends and weekends. To have your lesson plans all worked out, laid out in front of you so you could just say ‘GO’ to yourself as you walked into the room. But even when you have the basics covered, you could then spend endless time dazzling things. Finding videos, pictures, books, props to support what you are going over to make sure that you’ve tried to reach each and every kid in some way. Never ending.
- Clean. For the love of God, what happens to these floors? Hole punch pieces. Broken pencil pieces (who is this person that can shred a pencil into mulch and I don’t see it?) Is that a smashed Smartie candy? Kleenex on the floor? Is it used? Oh hey look, there’s _____’s test on the floor that they are supposed to get signed tonight. Sigh. And the desks? What goes on that there seems to be a sludge that comes off when a Clorox wipe is applied? I sat down with a small group after school to work on math at a large table, but had to wipe it down before I’d work with them. I should take it to a lab to see what they could discover. There may be a cure for a disease on that wipe. And this is after wiping it down earlier in the week!!!
- Rearrange and/or decorate the room. No further explanation, the amount of time that could be spent on this is exponential I imagine.
- Care. The amount of care and attention that is given to students that I have witnessed by my children’s teachers is amazing. As a stay at home mom first, my job is my kids. I have said many times that during the school year, my kids are at school for longer periods of the day than they are at home with us. I have been so fortunate to have my children under the instruction and care of teachers that I have had full faith in.
As a sub, I have to reel myself back in sometimes, remind myself not to get too frustrated if things can get overwhelming, because it’s temporary. I really enjoy the position, and there are some small things that I have found can shoot a little extra sunshine into the day:
- Raiding the candy. I haven’t eaten a Jolly Rancher for years. MAN those are delicious!!! (Sidenote, do they still make the stick Jolly Ranchers? The one’s you’d mold to the top of your mouth and pretend that it’s a retainer?)
- Laughing at lunchtime with adults. Being a stay at home mom for over 14 years, it is a lovely time getting to eat lunch with adults and laugh!!!
- The look on a students face when they ‘get it’, such a great feeling.
- Playing music during study hall or quiet work time. I haven’t mastered the quiet work time thing yet. But when it is quiet enough to be able to hear music, I find myself brilliant that the class is being pumped with Pink Floyd…..Symphonic Pink Floyd. No student has any idea they are listening to Pink Floyd’s ‘Brain Damage’, only I can pick out the lyrics which are being played by a symphony. Brilliant and super enjoyable.
I am able to keep the ship afloat, and navigate through some rough waters every now and then, and I am so thankful for the support that I am given. It’s a fun glimpse into teaching, but I know that the real captains of the ship know all the controls, the routes, and maneuver through courses that only a captain can.
Thanks teachers, you rock!