As I’ve mentioned before, I occasionally substitute teach in our district. So far, I’ve only chosen to sub in middle schools, and it has worked out great. Mostly because middle schoolers are at their peak awkwardness. And yes, my header is a little dramatic…my experience subbing for these little devils has not been reminiscent of a creepy murder scene. However, they can be challenging at times to say the least. Here’s a little chronicle of some of my more interesting experiences thus far.
First of all, every school I substitute in has morning announcements during 1st period. They start with the pledges, and EVERY TIME, I say the Texas pledge wrong. Want to know why? They CHANGED IT since I was in school! It is now, “Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible.” Apparently it changed in 2007 with the addition of “one state under God.” Who knew? Well every middle school student I guess because I’m the only person that jacks it up every morning. Note: Learn the pledge.
I love when teachers leave me seating charts because I can call kids by name, and it totally freaks them out. Sometimes, albeit rarely, all it takes is a “Jimmy, stop talking!” and the rest of class I have a quiet, wide-eyed boy who’s mesmerized that I mysteriously know his name. A few weeks ago, I subbed for a teacher who added descriptives next to students on her seating chart…perhaps to help her remember who was who early in the year? It was very entertaining for me because the adjectives included: best, smart, sweet, tall, amazing, weird, fun, colorful, random, and another tall. I think weird, best, and tall were my favorites. Note: They were all very accurate.
I did love that teacher’s seating charts but not her grammar…she used the wrong ‘there’ on her instructions! Ugh. She wrote: “Turn in their papers when THEIR done.” Gross. If you’re teaching our future generation, you should at least be able to figure out there, their, and they’re! And your and you’re for that matter! Get it together teachers. (Also, now that I’ve complained about grammar on my blog, I’m sure I’ll make a huge error soon.) Note: Proofread posts multiple times.
One morning, as I was reviewing my assignment for the day, I saw a small carton on the teacher’s desk. I tipped it towards me and saw it was full of small black and white spheres with red lights. I set it back down on the desk, and suddenly all of the red lights lit up and the spheres started beeping. Y’all, my immediate thought was that they were bombs, and the teacher hated her job and students, so she planted bombs and called in a sub to do her dirty work. I was seconds from sprinting out of the classroom when they stopped beeping and lit up different numbers. I then realized they were dice. Crisis averted. Does anyone else jump to the worst possible scenario possible first? Note: Stop overreacting.
Whenever I take attendance each period, I always try my best to pronounce each student’s name correctly. Growing up, subs always pronounced Ali like Muhammad Ali. I understand that they’re spelled the same, but to this day I get mail addressed to Mr. Ali…awkward. Anyway, while taking attendance one day, I reached the last name on the sheet, and it was: Abcde. I said, “Is someone’s name in here actually A-B-C-D-E or is this a typo?” A girl replied, “Oh, that’s me! It’s Ab-suh-dee.” Obviously. Note: Sound it out? (But not, because then I would have said Ab-kuh-duh.)
In that same class, a 7TH GRADE boy came up to me and asked what we were doing for the day. That wasn’t so out of the ordinary. What was awkward was the fact that he looked me in the eyes and asked me while picking his nose. We’re talking finger halfway up the nostril, digging for gold, totally unashamed. I somewhat awkwardly responded that it was a free day, and he strolled over, dislodged his finger, and started typing on the class computer. Note: Always bring hand sanitizer when subbing.
Until next time…