Monday, February 15, 2010

Subbing -- The First 100 Days

This week is the 100th day of school. I have worked 75 days, and considering I didn't get added to the sub list until the 15th day of school, I think that is pretty successful.

I have subbed in 3 districts, numerous schools, kindergarten through 12th grade. Music, PE, special ed, regular classrooms, behaviorally challenged, adult special ed transition center and more. I have gone into classrooms with elaborately laid out plans, uber-organized teachers, classrooms with no plans at all, unorganized teachers -- it has run the gamut.

And I have really loved it all. I really have loved the kids in every classroom. Sure they aren't always perfect, but I'm not either.

I was really petrified to sub. I thought of all the scary stories I have heard. I was so crushed not to have my own class. I was worried about getting jobs. I worried about kids treating me terribly, misbehaving, not knowing what I was teaching.

I am so glad that I have been able to sub this year. It has taught me so much . My classroom management skills are improving every day. I am still trying to determine if I go into a class and the kids are good for me, is it because of the regular teacher and the systems they have in place? Or is it me? Alternatively, if the class is crazy and I really need to come down hard on them is it the regular teachers lack of something or is it me? What can I do when I am a classroom teacher to have those well behaved classrooms? Or are the kids the variable? Maybe that teacher just has a tough group this year? Or maybe the kids are having a bad day, or maybe I am. I have yet to figure that out.

My motto this year has been taking risks. Stretching, growing, trying new things - taking all sorts of classroom jobs I wouldn't normally try.

When I was student teaching I would get so nervous, sweating, sure I was going to do something to ruin their lives forever. I have gained a great deal of confidence in being in front of the kids too. The biggest thing for me is learning to admit when I don't know something or if I have made a mistake. Being in so many classrooms, where I don't now the routines, the habits, the rules -- I make lots of mistakes. The kids are always very helpful and understanding. Why wouldn't they be? If I see someone makes a mistake, I try to helpful and understanding. I don't expect everyone to be perfect. Why shouldn't the kids see that I am human. It has been a relief.

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