This is my second year working as an elementary sub, but since I lived abroad for most of last year, I haven't really had that many assignments.
For the most part, it hasn't been nearly as traumatic as people would imagine. It's not easy, but I enjoy the challenge of winning the kids over.
Last week I had a very sweet bunch of second graders, but they would not SHUT UP. I nearly lost my voice by the end of the day, constantly shouting to be heard over the din of their constant chatter.
School ends around 3, and by 1:30 I had had it.
"That's IT" I screamed. Take out your notebooks and write 20 times: " 'I will respect the substitute teacher.' "
"Oh GAWD..." I thought to myself..."who is this person teaching this class?" It was really unlike me, but I was at a loss.
Well, it shut 'em up anyway.
I put on some classical music to calm myself down...relieve MY guilt. Of course it was MY fault they were noisy. Everything is my fault, didn't you know that? Actually I was feeling guilty for punishing them.
A few kids shouted, "Oh oh we have a Halloween cd...can we listen to that?"
"NO!" I replied.
"Once you FINISH this assignment, THEN you can listen to the Halloween cd while you make Halloween cards."
I wanted to make sure they followed through...and everyone did!
I felt a little strange asking them to do it, but I was at my wits end! How hokey, I thought.
Some of the sweet kids looked SO sad, I felt badly for them, but it was hard to single out the trouble makers. I rewarded the sweet kids with extra "treasure tickets" though! (They get them for good behavior and save them for prizes).
I slipped the coveted tickets to them when the other kids weren't looking.
All the kids finished, but one little girl, bless her sweet heart wrote me this letter:
"Dear Miss Sue,
I will RESPECT (underlined) our teacher because not everyone was noisy, some of them. We can be a better class. Please don't tell Ms. Laws. Can you forgive us? Now?
Kathy (circled with a happy faced heart next to her name)
SO I DID play the Halloween cd...which of course elicited monstrous behavior.
"Miss Sue, can we make paper airplanes?"
Miss Sue: "NO"
2 mintutes later...a paper airplane flew into my head.