Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I knew I was subbing first grade today, but I didn't know for whom. All the first grade teachers at this particular school were out for a morning meeting. I wasn't really worried about it. Surely the odds were in my favor, but not so. A great dread swept over me as the secretary informed me what class I would be filling in for, but I braved ahead.

There were no valentines or sugar this time. No snow or three-day weekend to distract any ones concentration. I soon learned that none of those things had anything to do with my last encounter with mayhem. It was just a very high maintenance class, and again, I was given very little information by the teacher to guide me. I knew I needed to be quick on the draw. I jumped right in with my own version of a morning routine before anyone had a chance to derail me.
I had only been assigned a half-day so my interaction wasn't long. I even had a brief opportunity to visit with the teacher before I left to carry on in kindergarten for the rest of the day. I verbalized my concerns about her scanty instructions. I won't elaborate on all that we talked about, but I understood where she was coming from on why her directions were less instead of more. I was thankful for her candor and was very much relieved as she kindly assured me that as long as no one was maimed while I was there, I did good.

Happily when the teacher walked in it was the quietest the class had been under my realm. Maybe I was finally getting a handle on this rambunctious bunch. We had just gotten in from recess. The children were quietly sitting at their tables with heads down waiting for my direction to get a drink.

More likely than not, children are happy to see me. They even make a point to tell me that they wish I was their regular teacher. Of course, I know my place, I'm just a substitute to the real learning experience - a flash in the pan and I'm on my way. I can be a good show for one day and children fondly remember me. They make a point to say hello and talk with me, relaying their hope that I will comeback to their classroom someday.

So. . . . . I have to admit, I winced a bit when I heard sighs of obvious relief as their teacher walked through the door. I knew it was more than an expression of love. They knew I was leaving and they were glad to see me go. This class in no way had me on a pedestal. I was definitely a disruption to their classroom way of life. Dare I say, I'd be glad to have this class again. I would! I did better the second go-round and I do believe, third time's a charm.

"Whenever you are asked if you can do a job,
tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!'
Then get busy and find out how to do it."

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