Friday, November 18, 2011

School Days

This week  I began my new part-time career as a substitute teacher.  I say career because being a teacher, even part time, is more than a job.  Way more than a job. You are responsible for educating and caring for a room full of children that are complete strangers to you, and you to them.

On Monday, I taught "Reading", a class to help 6th graders who struggled with the reading on the FCAT to 3 classes totalling 64 six graders.  I never had to take the FCAT so I had no idea what to expect as far as curriculum  I received the assignment the night before so I didn't have much time to reflect on the students either, except for the obvious preteen angst I would be up against combine with the substitute teacher get out of jail free card they would be waving in my face.

School started at 8:45 and ended at 4 pm.  My first class came to me before lunch, as in 4 minutes before the lunch bell.  I had to march them to the cafeteria.  They lined up and we set forth down the hall, when suddenly one of the boys sprinted back to the room.  I raced after him while the class continued on without me.  He left his brownie in his backpack.  My heart was racing.  The kids were not supposed to be alone in the halls.  Hurry up kid.  I kept saying in my brain.  Finally he gave up searching his backpack.  We caught up with the class and marched to lunch. It was a rough start.

After lunch, they came in like a tornado and raged for the entire 1 1/2 hour time block.  Stuff flying all over the room, note the chinese star above. 

I was mocked. Openly defied constantly.  Completely disrespected.  Lied to.

"What is that?  Food?"  

"We are allowed to eat in here."
"Well, last class I busted someone for eating.  He was keeping it on the down low, which if he was allowed to eat he would have done it openly.  Put it away."


"Put it away, or I throw it away."

"Fine. Ugh. Someone said you were nice?"

I stood my ground.  I was firm.  I yelled.  I even sent someone to the office.  But it was insane.  Such a rush. What went down in that class room left me in shock.  I was giddy after class, like I had just been skydiving or something.   God help us if this is the state of the next generation coming down the American public education pipeline.   They are buck wild.

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