I never knew it but in order to be allowed to conduct statewide testing with students you have to be certified. I learned that certification can be made after a 1 hour training regiment but still it is needed regardless, if you take a job like I did today. Admittedly I accepted this job at 5:09AM this morning from a robocall and did not exactly understand that it was much more than Honors English.
When I arrived I was told that because I was not certified I was not allowed in the testing centers during testing times. I was allowed to help set up the room but have been given floater assignments all day to keep me busy.
I have to be thankful to the School Administration for allowing me to stick around and do other things.
The highlights of the day have been to teach Shakespeare with 8th graders reading Much Ado About Nothing in 2nd Period. Their regular teacher was covering my 2nd period in the testing center. I also had a reunion of sorts as a lunch monitor for 6th and 7th grade lunch. I have spent many a day substituting for 6th graders at this school and saw lots of kids I knew as their past substitute teacher.
You can never go wrong when a kid comes up to you and says,
“You’re my favorite substitute teacher”.
Last week took me to 3 schools.
April 11th Monday – Washington High School
April 12th – 14th Tuesday thru Thursday – Shepherdstown Middle School
April 15th Friday – T.A. Lowery Elementary School
Monday’s job came by robocall at 5:45 in the morning. I spent the morning at WHS subbing for a Special Education teacher. Nothing special took place other than having the opportunity to work with Steven Lee one of WHS’s best Special Needs Aids.
The next 3 days were at what is becoming my most frequented school, Shepherdstown Middle. I subbed for Mr. Holmes’ Business Education, aka Computer Lab. I had students from 6th thru 8th grade, many of which I had subbed for in earlier visits to SMS. Great time. Would be great to do this one again, should I be fortunate to get the invite. Mr. Holmes is the SMS Football Coach.
On Friday I was given an opportunity to return to T.A. Lowery Elementary. This visit was with a wonderful 1st Grade Class. It was also really great seeing the kids I had subbed for earlier in the hall ways, all of which remembered me as I did them. Like a small reunion.
One of the things I like to do when meeting a group of kids for the first time is to tell stories of my experiences teaching. This always works as a great ice breaker and assures that the kids will remember my visit in positive ways. I do this because I like telling stories and because it ALWAYS WORKS.
I also like to get the kids involved as much as I can in the lessons so that the lessons become INTERACTIVE and ALIVE. I remember from my own time as a student how boring classes were when all the teacher did was TEACH.
One day, as I was teaching a 3rd grade class, one of the kids told me that the teacher normally used 15 minutes to talk with the students about things THEY wanted to talk about. So I opened the floor. I always tell the kids that I will be honest with them about any topic they want to talk about (within means of course).
One boy raised his hand and asked me, “Why do girls kick me in the head?” To make a long story short what had happened was that his sister kicked him in the head, once.
I decided to tell this story in an 8th grade class. Believe it or not, it actually made sense as part of a conversation on bullying. One of the girls in the class asked if the boys name was “xxxx”. It turns out that the was the “sister”. She explained that the occurrence took place inside the back seat of the car. She “playfully” kicked him in the mouth and a lose tooth fell out. The next day she came to school and said she talked to her brother and told her mother. Fortunately her mother found it amusing and her brother ‘s face turned 3 shades of red..