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Thursday, April 24, 2008

How’s It Goin’?...

The last day of this six day assignment has finally arrived! I’ve had enough. My goal today is just to “be standing” at the final bell.

Mid afternoon, the teacher I’m subbing for called me during class.

This is the first time in four years a teacher has ever called me during class. She wanted me to remind them about a project that’s due tomorrow. The project and its due date have been prominently posted on the white board every day since she’s been gone.

I turn from the phone and announce to the class that Ms. (teacher) is calling to say “Hi!...and a reminder about about the project due tomorrow!". I held the receiver out so the whole class could shout back their responses of greetings and happiness.

After class toned down, I returned to our private conversation to wish her congratulations on her wedding and indicated that the kids would be glad to see her back in class.

She then caught me off guard by asking: “How’s it going”? That’s a question like “How are you?”, “Having a nice day?” etc. It’s a normal question. The normal expected response is: “Fine”.

Me: “Uh….It’s going…”
Her: (Long pause) “It’s going?”
Me: “Yea….It’s going...”
Her: “Ok, then. Hope to see you the next time you’re in and we can talk. Bye!”

It was the most natural answer I could give her at this point with 32 kids within listening distance. I just couldn’t say: “Fine…”

I had already written five daily status reports detailing the planned lessons we did or didn’t accomplish, along with the various behavior problems of the last five days. The final report I left for her wasn’t any different. Under “behavior problems”, I just wrote: “--same --”.

I didn’t need to elaborate.


Carson said...

Hey, be happy she cares. Too many teachers just let the subs fend for themselves. Lesson plans? Eh, just wing it. Seating charts? Eh, the kids are honest and will sit in the right seats. Yeah, right.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

Teachers who leave lesson plans do make life easier that is for sure...

Fred said...

I'm pretty anal about lesson plans, including time spent on each activity.

NYC Educator said...

You're a better man than I, I gotta say. My entire philosophy on class control revolves around continual contact. When I sub, I just throw kids out if they bother me, as I don't expect to see them again. When I teach my own classes, I plot vengeance and how to make misbehavior in my class as inconvenient as possible. I used to be very nice before I started teaching but now I'm thoroughly evil. Despite this I'm polite to everyone and very nice to kids who don't give me a hard time.