Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gym Class

I'm the newest substitute teacher here in Cheyenne.  I got my first job on Friday.  PE for 5th graders, 2nd graders, and Kindergarteners.  The teacher had warned me in her substitute notes that the Kindergarteners were "especially challenging" but little did she know how much they all would challenge me:)

When I was partway through practicing basketball dribbles with the first 2nd grade group, I realized I had a choice.  I could either be stressed or I could just laugh.  So I laughed!  Because it was hilarious!

The 5th graders played the age-old substitute trick- confuse the substitute during attendance by having multiple people claim to be Jimmy.  I was totally ready for this one.  Every time I just said "I guess I'll go ahead and mark Jimmy as absent because I know there are not 5 Jimmy's in this class."  The kids would get really upset and point to the real Jimmy.  Mwa haha.

I think that was my only success story from the day.  I was totally planning on being a nice, cool substitute that all the kids loved.   Right.

By the last Kindergarten class, I had completely lost my voice.  Both the teacher's aides were gone because they had taken kids out for bad behavior.  I had sent about 4 kids to the principal's office (the teacher I was subbing for asked me to use a 2 warnings, then you're out system), and I sent 3 kids to their teacher's room per teacher's request if any misbehaved.  One boy defaced school property by writing on the gym wall during our jumping lesson.  I had the last class line up for their teacher at 3:20 as directed and I totally turned into Mean Scary Substitute.  5 kids would not line up and I had to chase them around the gym, I grabbed their arms rather harshly, looked at them meanly and said, "You stay here in line, that is enough."  I could see the fear in their eyes and they stayed.  (Well except for sweet Down Syndrome girl who was hiding behind the curtain on the stage- but I couldn't leave everyone to go find her...)  

Did I tell you that I have a lot of respect for teachers?


  1. This brings back so many great subbing memories!! Kids are always way worse for subs than for their own teacher. But like I said, stick with elementary for awhile! And your vocal chords will get stronger. :)

  2. It sounds horrific! My worst teaching experience was coming in to a classroom in the middle of the year and taking over for the rest of the year. It was SO hard. Matt and I were dating at the time, and he saved me on multiple occasions by driving over to the school and leaving a note on my car or something cute like that. He really kept me grounded. Those 5 months were definitely the hardest of my far.

  3. We need to swap stories! I just started subbing this month, but I'm in high schools. Sounds like you already have some good strategies. Getting names is key! It's pretty exhausting most of the time, because kids can't wait to go after a substitute.