Tuesday, May 22, 2018

#sol18 The End Again

Well, I'm almost done. Friday is the last day of school and the last day of my long-term sub. I'll walk out the door with the students for summer vacation.

Some things were fairly easy. Some were harder than expected. There are things that I wish I had done differently.

I would have changed the book in the Modern Lit class from Gatsby to something I was more familiar with. I regret kids didn't have a good experience with the book. For a while, it wasn't for sure I would finish the year, so sticking with the plan was the way to go. But this group wasn't really meant for Gatsby. I know that because I taught most of them before. Even with a whole class novel, you have to think about the composition of the class.

While most of my classes were high school classes I taught before, there were two classes of eighth graders that I finished the year with. I would have set my deadlines with the 8th graders. There was some taking advantage of the sub for a little bit and because my time, in the beginning, was open-ended, it was difficult to convince some of them to stay on task. Even when I told them I was finishing the year with them, I was a sub, not a "real teacher". Boy. Could I have used a few high school kids to fill them in!

It had been a while since I taught junior high/middle schoolers and there were a few things I forgot

  • There is no room big enough for 8th-grade boys.
  • They touch each other ALL THE TIME. 
  • Most are in constant motion.
  • They are loud, even when they try not to be.
  • They come in many different sizes.
  • No matter the size, most are really awkward.
  • Anything can be turned into sexual innuendo
  • They think old lady subs are clueless about sexual innuendo.
  • They want you to like them, even when they act like they don't.
Next year I'll be filling in for a friend when she takes maternity leave, and I think that will be a bit easier. For one, I'll be more prepared!

5 comments:

  1. So much for retirement??? I can relate to the 8th grade boy thing - when our church mentored, the first year was with 8th graders - oh my.

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  2. Hindsight is always better, but at least you have a head start on next year.

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  3. There's good and bad that comes with the long-term sub gigs. You lose the - "I walk out the door with nothing to do," but you gain the fun of building relationships with a group of students and knowing where you're headed every day. I'm glad your last day is on the horizon. I finished a year once with a group who had "ran off" five subs before me. They soon learned I was there for the long haul.

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  4. Deb, it was great hearing about your sub job and your experiences with 8th grade boys. It reminded of the "old days" when I was asked to teach a class of 13 8th grade boys who were reading years below level. It was a challenge and a privilege watching them into readers but then spring of 8th grade started the boys on their own path-finding you they were with a primary focus on girls. Mondays were tough but we settled down and I ended the year on a high note with them. Thanks for bringing me back down memory lane.

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  5. The boys are clueless about "old sub lady." You have magic that they have never seen, and you'll wrap them around your finger.

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