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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Final Tally: 2004-2005

I didn’t sub at all the last week of school, so I guess I’m on summer vacation also.
Substitute teaching seems to be the only job where no training is given, feedback is rarely provided and the kids, themselves, are the wild card variable to whether or not they make a memorable blog entry.

I thought I should take this opportunity to summarize how this first year of subbing in the Kinder through 6th grades has been. I’ll answer some questions that some people have been curious about and list some likes and dislikes of the subbing experience.
Q: Which grade levels did I like best?
A: Without any in depth analysis on my part, I think I first prefer 2nd,3rd,4th grades, then 1st and 5th with Kinder and 6th last. I’m sure some psychoanalyst could read something into that but I’m not gonna ask.
Q: Am I going to do it again next year?
A: Probably if I don’t find a better paying job before then.
Q: Do you think you’d like to become a full time teacher?
A: No, and I don’t have to think about that too much.
Q: from When Pigs Sing “What advice would you give to teachers to procure the good subs?”
A: I’m not sure I have enough experience (8 months total) to give any advice to teachers on how to keep “good subs” other than it would be useful to phone or email the “good subs” they’ve had and let them know that they ARE doing a good job for them.
No one’s contacted me, post-sub assignment, for any feedback at this point so I’m not sure how well I’m doing this job. Hmmm…Maybe teachers already DO contact the good subs and that means…..well….hummmm.
Anyway, I DID get a letter from all three districts I worked for this year that I do have a “reasonable assurance of returning to work” next year so I guess that’s something.
Q: from When Pigs Sing “What advice would you give to teachers do to make your job easier?”
A: The two best sub jobs I’ve had were for classes where a lot of the kids had some kind of classroom job.
The routine daily chores of taking attendance, homework check, library book check in/out, etc was treated, by the kids, as an honor. The classes where this was the normal setup tended to be better behaved and ran like clockwork.
Likes and Dislikes
Dislike: Waking up at oh-six-damn-its-early-oclock to get to the school on time.
Getting off work at oh-three-isthatdaylight?-somethin-oclock every day.
Dislike: That queasy feeling right before the 1st kid comes in the classroom door. (Does this ever go away?)
Like: That the feeling does go away just after that 1st kid comes in the door (How does that work?)
Dislike: No lesson plan!
Like: Detailed, word processed lesson plans with all the material clearly available.
Dislike: The handful of the kids I encountered destined to a future state and/or federal residence facility.
Like: The other 99% basically normal, reasonable, pleasant, kid-people to be around.
Like: All of the teacher and administrators of the schools I encountered. They were ALL supportive, friendly and approachable.
What next?
That’s all I can think of right now. If any blog readers wish to submit questions in comment section, I will append and/or update it to this first year summary posting.
Just don’t ask me to sing. It ain’t goin ta happen…


Pigs said...

What advice would you give to teachers to procure the good subs? What should they do to make your job easier? (Other than lesson plans, that should be obvious, even though I know it isn't always)

Anonymous said...

Just dropped by b/c I saw your link in my webstats and wanted to say hi. I have the exact same preference for grade levels as you, kind of. There is no sixth grade at the elemantry schools here so I like fifth and K the least. I've subbed in a k-6 district before and at that time liked the sixth grade the least. The top dogs can always be such bastards and the little guys need so much help with everything that I get impatient. I actually did used to teach HS, so I don't sub all that much in elementary.

I've enjoyed reading your last few entries!

Carrie (queenoframbles)

leesepea said...

As a second (going on third) year sub, I can tell you the queasy feeling gets less noticable when you become a "regular" in a class - i.e., you get called for a two or three day assignment, or you get called back to a classroom you've been in before. It's a sort of familiarity with things that lessons the queasy feeling.

I agree whole heartedly with your likes and dislikes. I think what I hate more than the six-o-crap-it's-early-clock wake up is the six-o-crap-i-don't-have-a-job-today-clock wake up.

Somehow, it's even scarier to face a day of nothing than to face a day of 30 pairs of eyes watching your every move to see how much or how little they can take advantage of you. It's harder for me to open a paycheck with only three sub days than it is to open one with fifteen or twenty. That's what makes me queasy.

Good luck next year. If you decide that you do want to become a permanent teacher, there is no better way of networking than to make friends with as many teachers as possible. Oh, and getting on a principal's good side doesn't hurt!

And thanks for the link to my site.