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.
When I go to a new 6th grade class I like to fit in 10 minutes for a story about my daughter and her 6th Grade Valentine’s Day Dance.
The Lesson – A True Story of Peer Pressure
I tell a story about my daughter who is in 6th Grade. She was invited to her Valentine’s Day Dance this year by 8 boys. This gets quite a response from both the girls and the boys.
I then ask if anyone can guess how many boys she said “No” to. They usually say 7. Some girls say “All”. The boys never make the assumption she would say “No” to everyone. After they are finished guessing I tell them “None“.
I then follow this up if they can guess how many boys she said “Yes” to. They come up with all kinds of answers. When they are done guessing the answer I tell them “None“.
This usually gets lots of raised eyebrows from the girls and mass confusion by the boys.
I then go on to explain to them that until they are well into their teens, no boy (or girl) has the right to ask a girl/boy to a dance or social function in school. And therefore girls should ignore and not respond. The boys will normally say this is not nice or polite. I remind them that it is far worse for the girls to have to respond to such questions that should NEVER be asked in the first place.
Reasons I tell the kids…
Most kids their age are happiest going to social functions and being with their friends, both boys and girls.
When a girl says “yes” to an invitation it can create a reputation for her she will never live down for the rest of her school days. This is not fair and completely unnecessary, and unacceptable. The same rule can apply for a boy but in our society boys don’t usually tease each other if they ask a girl on a date.
When a girl and boy do go to a dance or social function they are typically teased by other kids and come under great peer pressure to do things beyond their ages that they will personally regret afterward. I don’t explain what these things are.
So, the lesson is, until you are at the age that most kids are dating in class, don’t put each other in this unnecessary predicament. Be happy that you are friends and don’t try to change it.
If the kids ask me to quality “when” it is acceptable, I just say “Talk to your parents.” There are occasions when kids say they don’t live with their parents. For them I suggest when they are well into high school.
There are times when kids will blurt out that they have had many boy, or girl, friends already. I smile when I hear this and just remind the rest, just because they do what they do does not mean it is right and you don’t have to feel pressured because they are the minority, not the majority. Enjoy your age. You will wish you were still young when you grow up.
I spent the day at one of my favorite schools, Shepherdstown Middle School. OK, I admit I love all the schools I teach in, but SMS is closer to my heart since my oldest son went their part time and many of the current 6th graders grew up with my daughter.
I was subbing for a Special Education teacher who teaches various subjects to a small group of kids with 7th Grade English/Language Arts (LD) and another for 6th Grade Math (LD). The rest of the day she co-teaches in mainstream 8th Grade Science, 8th Grade Math and 8th Grade English/Language Arts.
Today, being the last day before Spring Break, they decided to modify the schedule as if it was a 2-hour delay so most classes were only 30 minutes long. At the end of the day, there was a basketball game between the students and teachers to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
The teachers won by 1 point on a last second 3-pointer by the basketball coach.
DAILY SPECIAL – In my 6th Grade LD Math class one of the students finished his assignment way ahead of the rest. They were working on 2 digit subtraction requiring borrowing. Most of the kids just could not get it. This one boy approached me and asked if he could help his fellow students. I gave him access to the Smart Board and he conducted a 20 minute interactive lesson with his fellow students and I swear at least 2 of them understood how to do the problems after his help. The most amazing thing is that this particular young man is one of those kids who is constantly getting in trouble. Before I left the school for the day I filled out a card for him to be considered for what is called the Hoop Award for going out of his way for the school community.
PROOF POSITIVE that you need to give kids a chance to prove themselves, even the trouble makers.
With the intention to get as many sub jobs as I could, on the questionnaire where subs note all the different classes and grades they are “willing” to teach, one of the options was FACS. Just to clarify, FACS is where kids learn about doing laundry and taking care of their clothes, childcare and cooking. I am sure there is a lot more to it but this encompasses today. FACS stands for Family and Consumer Sciences.
I sat in for 1 hour in a FACS class at Jefferson High School where they were putting the final touches on making spaghetti and meat sauce and garlic bread sticks. I figured if it was anything like that it should be fun in Middle School.
Not scared to do something new, I accepted a sub job today teaching FACS at the Shepherdstown Middle School in WV. Admittedly I was scared a bit but once I got here i became very gutsy and assured myself I could handle everything that came my way. Today started easily reading about laundry care. It then moved on to making Ham Fried Rice in the kitchen. Some classes already made it and only had to reheat and eat it. Others had to make it. This was the fun part of course.
Shepherdstown Middle School, Shepherdstown WV
My 4th period had 4 kitchens going at the same time so they had leftovers. Rather than freezing them for next week, the kids allowed me to pack it and offer it to teachers for a lunch fundraiser for Cancer, Relay for Life. Nice touch I thought.
The teachers appreciated the addition.
Now I think I will add Chorus to my list of classes. How fun that would be!