Thursday, September 2, 2010



After I came home and took an ice cold shower, I collapsed onto my bed and eventually slept for several hours.

I never thought that 24 third graders could tire me out SO MUCH. Wow. It was a crazy day, and I feel like I made a lot mistakes….but on the bright side, at least I will know what to do next time.

A few things to keep in mind for next time:

1) Find out who the teacher’s helpers are, and use them. The teacher I subbed for today assigns these helpers weekly, and I could have asked them to help me hand out and collect papers. But I didn’t.

2) Make sure students do not get out of their desks to ask me a question. I did not realize how important this was until today. I had kids coming up from left and right and behind, asking all sorts of questions.

3) Put my foot down, and don’t let one student do something that I can’t let every student do. When several students finished a worksheet, I let them put together a puzzle at their desk. Then, another student wanted to play with a puzzle when she was finished, but by that time there was not enough time for that and I needed the children to have their desks clear for the next activity.

4) No drinks at the desks. One girl spilled her water on her Math sheet and wanted a new math sheet, but there weren’t any extras. Thankfully, I was able to get her to finish it around the wet spots.

5) Make use of the teacher’s reward systems. I definitely should have done this right at the beginning, and also, I should have let them know what my own rules were as a sub.

6) I really had trouble getting the whole group to stay quiet all at once. I need to figure that one out…

Savannah, student of the week, was given the responsibility to help me and answer any questions I had. She was my go-to student of the day. The thing is, I didn’t know this until a couple hours into class time when the kids were starting to get chaotic. Anyway, she was a big help, but I could tell she was starting to look sad/annoyed when the kids weren’t listening to me and when I wasn’t able to get their attention.

In the afternoon, I employed the clapping trick I learned at the training program I went to yesterday. I started clapping in different patterns, and to my surprise, several students joined in. Then the whole class joined, clapping along with me. This worked to get everyone paying attention to me as well as bring them back to their desks. Savannah had the biggest grin on her face. Ha, I felt like I was finally doing something right. And this was right before a teacher stopped in, so they were all relatively quiet. I have to say, seeing that smile on Savannah’s face was the highlight of my day, and it made me realize how important it is for the teacher to be in control. If the teacher can have that control over their students, whether they like it or not, it makes the majority of the students feel safe.

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