This was the shortest sub job yet. I was called to the country club school at 11:30am and met with the GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) art teacher.
I was supposed to teach one class art for an hour while she went to the dentist. She assured me that I didn’t have to know how to draw. That’s good because I couldn’t draw a crooked line in an earthquake!
She gives me the quick nickel tour and all the handouts I need and then tells me: “Ok, you do the next 4th grade class for an hour and you’re done! Have fun!!” as she exits to make her dentist appointment.
The teacher then introduced me to the kids and went to her desk to do “stuff” for the next hour.
Things were progressing pretty well. The kids were drawing the “human form”, “a flag on a flag pole” and a “cartoon guy peeking out of a hole in the ground” all according to the instructional handouts. Every once in a while a kid would walk up to show me his work.
Obviously some students have more talent than others, but I made positive comments about all of them. So when one kid came up with a picture of what looked like a space cat from a Japanese comic book, I told him “it was very very good, but it wasn’t one of the drawings we were supposed to practice. Can I see one of those?”
The kid got this horrified look on his face, ran over to the trash can, crumpled up his drawing, tossed it in, went to the corner of the room and refused to speak to me.
I must have had a panicked look on my face because the teacher motioned to me that she’d take care of it and for me to continue.
The teacher later told me that the kid was autistic and did not react very well to ANY kind of negative or perceived criticism.
Thanks for the heads up warning……too late.