Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Substitute Teacher Adventures

When I began substitute teaching I felt guilty about turning down Middle School jobs, but I didn't feel comfortable teaching that age group even when my daughter was in Middle School. But later I learned many other subs hated Kindergarten and Special Ed assignments and those were my favorites.
One year I was assigned to a sixth grade Special Ed class that really gave me a rough time. The teacher was to be out all week, but if it hadn't been the last week of the school year when no other substitute jobs were likely I wouldn't have returned. But I did go back, and the second day the kids were even more difficult. However on the third day and for the rest of the week they were absolutely angelic. They had been testing me the first two days and I hadn't rejected them. How sad that they needed to do that.
One Middle School Special Ed class was extremely difficult. The kids were all severely emotionally disturbed and had actually driven one classroom aide to a nervous breakdown. Most subs would never return to that class after one day, but I taught them many times. Although it wasn't easy, the kids behaved better for me than for the other subs, so they usually requested me when the regular teacher was out. I didn't tell anyone the secret of my success at the time, but the reason the kids didn't give me a bad time was because my daughter was one of the popular kids in the school and they didn't want to make her mad at them.

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