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Ohana's Message:

I do feel you on kinders, however, a lot of first grade classes seem to have a lot of kids that are really 'young' kinder level still, lol.

I always figured teaching would be harder than subbing but I think by the time I start long term subbing, it will be easier since I know the kids and the routines basically stay the same.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
AisforApps 01-07-2014 07:56 PM

So let me start with saying that I love teaching Kindergarten. I have taught it for 7 years and prior when I was subbing since I enjoyed it, they put me in a K classroom all the time. Reading your comments made me think of a story from my classroom:
I love my P and he is a great guy, but all his teaching experience comes in the older grades. One time when I was being observed I came down the food poisoning. I was able to teach the lesson to be observed in the AM but went home for a half a day. Since my P saw the lesson when I taught it, he taught the lesson to my PM class. Let's say it didn't go as smoothly. Lesson being-if a teacher makes it look easy it isn't. It is through hard work and time!

One tip I can give from when I subbed in K is the first time I heard the " but Miss..... does it this way!" (which usually occurred in the first few minutes). I would say "Do I look like Miss...? Do I sound like Miss..? Guess what, I probably don't teach like Miss ... Then I would tell them but if I need their help I will ask. This usually worked for me.

Oncidium 12-30-2013 12:04 PM

It is my first year subbing and so far I would take kindergarten and younger grades over High School or the older ages any day. The minute they give these kids their first phone, their minds turn to mush. I have just finished doing my first high school jobs and I will never, ever do high school again. My favorite grade so far was fourth grade.

vttraveler 12-20-2013 12:05 PM

The years that I subbed, I was mainly at a K-2 school. I loved subbing for those ages, as they were so much nicer to a sub than the older kids. I had some fun days in Kindergarten, but I did make sure to go in well-rested!

Mercury 12-20-2013 11:49 AM

A lot must really happen during kindergarten and I have so much respect and admiration for kinder teachers.
I do too! In my district we have kids come to kindergarten who know absolutely nothing, no alphabet, no numbers, no colors...some of them don't even know their actual name (because the family has been calling them pookie or snicker all their lives)!!! Some are barely potty trained, some don't know how to eat without getting food all over themselves, some are incapable of sitting for more than a few minutes without sticking their fingers in their nose, mouth, or even bum. By the end of the year though, our kindergarten teachers have most of them reading many basic sight words and able to write short sentences, able to eat in public without looking like an animal, and able to at least sit through an assembly without getting spit or snot in their neighbor's hair. I am deeply impressed by kindergarten teachers.
Mercury 12-20-2013 11:40 AM

I can do kindergarten if it is part of a Specials job like Art, Music, Reading or Math Intervention, etc., and I only have to suffer for a 40 minute period. All day? NEVER AGAIN.

My preferred age range is grade 6-grade 12, but I can tolerate grades 4-5 ok.

The little ones though, just work my nerves. I don't do well with K-3. ESPECIALLY K. They are so sensitive! Someone always cries! Someone is always snotty! Someone is always slimy! They cannot keep their slimy, snotty, grubby hands to themselves, they are always touching you and grabbing on you and needing hugs every five minutes! Someone always has to go to the bathroom RIGHT NOW! Someone always throws a fit! Someone always chews a crayon, rips a book, pulls down anything hanging anywhere remotely near their hand level! Someone always climbs on top of the tables! Someone is always running around! Someone is always screaming! And so on!

I have a teacher voice that can make older kids FREEZE and stop in their tracks. You know what it does to kinders? It makes them burst into tears. My goodness. So I can't use that. My only other voice is my mama voice, but that only makes them think I am their mother and they want to hug me, sit on my lap, hold my hand, etc. *sigh*

I am sooooooo not the kindergarten kid whisperer

Singfree 12-20-2013 10:00 AM

The sore feet, the constant redirecting, hearing your name repeated over and over again, and all the individual help required is EXHAUSTING! I love the kids at that age; they say the funniest things, but I also struggle with kindergarten. I found I have a hard time being really stern with kinders, and they probably take advantage of me. When I discipline them, and they look at me with those "seemingly" unknowing eyes, I usually give too many warnings. I have to mentally prepare and make sure I say in very concrete terms what I expect and what the rules are, then not let the unknowing look on their faces get to me! In my experience, when kinders have a new teacher and different routine, it throws most of them into chaos. It usually becomes apparent during calendar time, when I hear repeatedly "Mrs. XYZ doesn't do it like that."

I seldom get called for kindergarten, but I usually go when they do (although I've turned it down when I'm not up to it). I think they realize I'm not cut out for that grade, so they probably call me as a last resort. My favorite grades to sub for are 2nd-5th (with 3rd being my all-around favorite with both age and curriculum).

Lakeside 12-19-2013 05:46 AM

Full day K wears me out, but I don't mind half-day. If I get that quiet break in between the two sessions, I usually do OK.

I'm technically signed up for any grade, but we use Aesop, so I do have a lot of choice to take or not take things. I generally stay 5th and below, and would say I find 1st the hardest out of those. It's a tough mix of being almost as little as kindergarteners, but expected to work to quite a bit higher expectations. And the tattling does seem big in that year.

I think 3rd is my favorite, both the age and the curriculum. I also do special ed preschool quite a bit. I like that it's easier to get to know the kids in a smaller class.

I love doing art, and will do gym with the little ones. I find music harder as far as classroom management (plus I have almost no talent in the subject) so I do that only rarely.

I occasionally take assignments with the older kids - because the hours are different and just better for me that day, or because something comes up in math, which matches my degree - but I think my heart's with the younger ones.

candiedapple 12-18-2013 06:06 PM

I stay clear of disrespectful classes, teachers or staff or extremely negative attitude schools. I teach all grades.

StellatheSub 12-18-2013 04:45 PM

Geeesh the crying....................... You know you are in Kindergarten by the crying at a drop of a hat. It could be something as simple as the computer stopped working and they couldn't keep playing their game or something else equally silly. Despite all that, I just love them. Sing a song with them, dance with them, be silly, and they love you!

Ohana 12-18-2013 02:21 PM

Faith, they do the same thing in first grade, lol. You MUST do it Mrs. XYZ's way.

...and don't get me started with names and pronunciation!

MaineSub 12-18-2013 06:28 AM

I've noticed the same thing! (Kinders remembering me.) In fact, after subbing twice in the same room the kids now announce that I have to be their teacher if Miss X isn't there.

mooba1 12-18-2013 05:36 AM

Ugh, kindergarten. I have subbed that once last year and once this year. Both times were hell on earth. It literally took me a day and a half to recover from this last round with kinder. Even the regular teachers looked exhausted, and they were all sweet young things. Now I know why I hold several certifications, but not a one of them is for kinder.

Googiebump23 12-18-2013 05:15 AM

I feel that we all have certain grade levels that we're comfortable with and some that we're not. For instance, I'll beg on a street corner before I go back to high school.

Just wanted to share something interesting I've figured out about kinder at my school. I've subbed there for 9 years now and I've seen that even if I only sub in a kid's kinder class for one day....they remember that all the way through 4th grade. I frequently have 4th graders come up and say "I remember when you subbed for Mrs. So and so when I was in kindergarten!" Never mind the fact that I probably subbed for their pre-k, 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade teachers too!

Maybe it stands out to them because in kinder you're still a "stranger". After a little while together they see that you're ok. In pre-k, they still have their aide so they don't feel so abandoned when there's a sub.

Sublime 12-17-2013 10:12 PM

you first grade teachers because 1st graders exhaust me! K is also tough but I find 1st graders even more talkative, unable to sit still, and the tattling is non-stop. Yikes! If I am requested for K or 1 I will take it, but I prefer 2nd on up through junior high. I think it will be great when Ks are required to be 5 years old when they start school. Some of those little ones are just not ready to be in school.

Faith1170 12-17-2013 04:37 PM

MzMar.... You are so right! I taught first grade for over 10 years and thought I knew how to roll with calendar time! Nope. Not only did I NOT know how to do calendar like Mrs. XYZ, I had no less than three teacher associates (for SPED kids) watching me fumble around with the calendar and get corrected by indignant Kinders when I did not do calendar the Mrs. XYZ way..... This continued throughout the day while I continued to not be Mrs. XYZ. Nothing like a group of Kinders to make a teacher with a Masters degree and years of experience feel like a total moron.
The kids really were sweet, but Kinder is not for me. First grade will always be my niche. I hope to find a first or second grade teaching job next year, although I would enjoy third or fourth too.

EDenae 12-17-2013 04:26 PM

can be very hard, but I wouldn't write them off on today. Try one more time when it's not a holiday weekend. Right now, they are all juiced up for Christmas. Honestly, I find it depends on which Kindergarten room you are working in.

I struggle with Kinders, mostly because of the tattling and the self-care things, but they are so sweet and cute.

I try to stay 1-4 if I can, but 2nd grade is my favorite.

MzMar 12-17-2013 04:03 PM

Most of my experience is with first grade, but I also find it hard to sub in kindergarten. If I don't do the calendar, letter of the day, etc. exactly like the teacher, they get upset. Even if I remind them that I will do it differently. They have such simple work and finish it in a moment. First grade is very different!

Ohana 12-17-2013 04:02 PM

I do feel you on kinders, however, a lot of first grade classes seem to have a lot of kids that are really 'young' kinder level still, lol.

I always figured teaching would be harder than subbing but I think by the time I start long term subbing, it will be easier since I know the kids and the routines basically stay the same.

wishfulideas 12-17-2013 03:32 PM

I have a tough time with kindergarten myself, not my first pick. Which is odd to me because I have a knack for first grade. A lot must really happen during kindergarten and I have so much respect and admiration for kinder teachers. But I absolutely refuse six and up. I'm just such a bad fit for those grades.

MaineSub 12-17-2013 03:22 PM

Kinders are among my favorites... Even if they have trouble remembering that it's MR. Not Mrs. They surely can be wearing... But they are honest, curious, and funny when they try to act grown up. Some of my best days have been with kinders and first graders. I originally thought I'd stick to second and third grades, but am glad I didn't. It probably helps that I know most of the kids. I haven't had the courage to go above sixth, though. I do find special ed a challenge and try to steer clear, but will do it if I'm truly needed.

Faith1170 12-17-2013 02:54 PM

Oh my......I taught first grade for many years and didn't FULLY realize what a difference there is between first grade and Kindergarten. Now that I have moved and am currently subbing, I am subbing K-5. Today was Kindergarten all day. I have taken half day Kindergarten jobs here, but today was my first day ever of full day, all day Kindergarten. All I can say is I am EXHAUSTED. I know that it is before Christmas, but still....I love the little kiddos, but subbing is a completely different animal than teaching in your own classroom. The kids are sweet, but man....they wore me out. I took Kindergarten off my list for willing to sub. The not being able to hear/tune in to/follow simple directions was more than I could handle. Give me first through fifth any day!!!

What do you all like to sub and/or stay clear of?

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