Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I Didn't Do So Well

OK, first of all, it was a very snowy day and the school I had accepted a job for a couple of weeks ago was a long drive.  A commute that should have taken around 40 minutes took over an hour and I saw several accidents along the way.  So I was strained and on edge when I got to the school.  I had actually subbed for this teacher before and I like her and her co-teacher.  She was there when I arrived and walked me through a computer-based lesson that I was to give.  The technology was messing up a little though, so we spent a bit of time talking to the tech person and going over what to do if the technology didn't work. 

Then, I discovered I was missing attendance sheets, so I had to go back to the office to get them (they were in a folder I had accidentally left on the sign-in counter.  The lesson plans weren't long, but I had hall duty, so I glanced at them and stood in the hall until the bell rang. 

So, I wasn't really prepared for teaching the lessons.  The first lesson was a character lesson on cheating.  There were three videos to show.  They were supposedly tabbed on the browser for me to just click on, but, of course, it wasn't that easy.  The lesson plan pdf was supposed to be clickable, too, but that didn't work for me either.  I finally got each of the videos to work and the lesson went pretty well.  Then it was time for math.  I feel really confident about math and this was a curriculum I have taught many times, so that went fine, too. 

Then came recess.  I was supposed to keep some kids from recess, because they had missing math assignments they were to do.  The problem is that half of the students were in one class and half were in the other class.  And, I didn't know how to get copies of the assignment sheets, if the students had lost them.  AND there was indoor recess.  Instead of a calm study hall, it was a mass of confusion, with students wandering back and forth between classrooms, eating their snacks, me trying to check off students and completed work, and some students trying to get missing assignments finished.

After recess, I had to repeat the two lessons I had already taught for the other group of students.  So far, so good.

But it was at lunch I discovered that 1) I had had a packet with missing assignments for each class that they were supposed to do during the character lesson (only some of the students) and 2) I hadn't done the second page of the character lesson, because I thought it was a separate lesson and the first page had taken up the correct amount of time.  I also noticed that the teacher had wanted the character lesson completed even if the math lesson had to be shortened.  Sigh. 

It isn't that it was a bad day - although the level of constant talking was above that with which I am comfortable.  It is just that my own mistakes and failure to do what was expected were a disappointment to me. 

And then, there was a harrowing commute home again.  Two major accidents along the route.  I was thankful to get home safely and I was very tired. 

Early bedtime and I took today off.  Being able to take days off when I need them is one of the few advantages of being a substitute teacher. 

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