Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Teacher Treated Me, the Sub, Well

So often, if I have a partial day subbing job and the teacher is there when I arrive, I will get an extensive treatise on how to use the teacher manual for Everyday Math or the teacher will read the directions on a worksheet to me, as if I have never seen a worksheet before.  It is interesting to me that the teacher feels the need to explain the teaching part of the assignment, when what I really need is the management part of the assignment:  where are the class lists, what is the restroom procedure, do I need to accompany the students to their lunch recess, which door do I go to to pick them up from lunch, which kids leave for special services and when, etc.  If they stop to catch a breath or ask me if I understand what to do, I will often ask this kind of question and I get a surprised look, as if I am concerned about trivia and I should be much more concerned about content.  I guess I am concerned about trivia and less concerned about content.  The content comes easy to me, but the management issues differ greatly from room to room and school to school. And management issues are one of the things that kids find most unsettling, a la, "We don't do things that way." 

I am seldom treated as a real person with interests and abilities.  Oh, sure, most of the teachers are completely polite and grateful that I am there to take over for them, but I could just as easily be anyone - just as long as I take the class and make it through the rest of the day with their students.

So, it was really refreshing the other day when the teacher I was subbing for actually was friendly to ME.  She talked to me as if I had interesting things to contribute to her class and she even built in a couple of times in the schedule where I could add my own background to what her students had been studying.  Sure, she asked the usual questions about whether I understood the plans for the rest of the day, but it was obvious that she respected ME not just as a place holder, but as a person.  It was very refreshing.

And, given her positive attitude, which the kids also heard her express, they also had a positive attitude toward me.  It ended up being a very good day. 

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