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HORRIBLE day in the MS today...worried about tomorrow

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HORRIBLE day in the MS today...worried about tomorrow
Old 11-24-2009, 01:56 PM
 
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Ughhh....for starters, I forgot to set my alarm and woke up late.

I got to school before first period, and the teacher was there to go over what I would be teaching the kids (he was going to be making an appearance at the high school down the street). I've subbed for this teacher before, but this was the first time he wanted me to actually TEACH and explain concepts to the kids. He does Math, which is not my strong suit.

His explanation of the material confused me, and given that I didn't have time to eat breakfast or gulp down more than a little bit of coffee, my brain was turned off.

The lesson was on fractions, and the students were to cut out these "fraction strips" and set them against a bar graph to indicate different amounts in the math problem. I can't explain it, the kids witnessed my ineptitude in explaining it, and what was the result? Chaos.
I told the kids that I'm certified to teach in another subject areas; which is true.

Chaos reigned in both double period classes (yes, 2 double period classes in between a little break) and I became so irritated that I snapped at the latter of the 2 classes and told them that I didn't eat anything the whole day, and they were making it ten times worse for everyone. I know this class, and not only do I never snap, but they are never this BAD.

The teacher returned before the last period class, and the first thing I did was apologize for being such a space cadet; at least he agreed with me that "everyone is entitled to an off day." If I was more lucid, I firmly believe that student behavior would have been ten times better. I'm back there tomorrow, and I'm hoping that the teacher doesn't expect me to conduct a lesson.

Ughhhhhh....I don't know how much longer I can sub before I start stabbing out my eyes a la Oedipus (oh, a drama coverage would be great right about now!) If I don't have my own classroom next year, I'll just return to office work.


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oh man...
Old 11-24-2009, 02:33 PM
 
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I feel your pain.

See my post below about the "story to end all stories!"

Today at the end of the day I had to cover a health class where the teacher left a Thanksgiving word find worksheet for 6th graders. UGH. That was not fun.
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:54 PM
 
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hey, we're all human yes???!!!! We can't always be on our game...and the teachers that understand are the ones that I will work for again...the ones that don't....OH WELL..... there will be other assignments

tomorrow is another day...and remember...give yourself some slack...day before a major holiday I hope the teacher just lets you watch a movie with them or something easy to do...nobody needs to pull teeth to get the kids to do things esp. when they've checked out
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:07 PM
 
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Kids usually respond remarkably well when you treat them like human beings. Therefore, I'd be straight with them tomorrow: At the beginning of class, say something like, "We had a really rough day yesterday, and I know part of that was my fault; I was just having a really bad day and wasn't quite myself. I really want today to be a lot better, so here's the deal I'm offering you: I promise to try really hard not to yell (etc.), but in return I'd like you to work harder on following directions (etc.) than you did yesterday. Deal?"

Good luck!
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:45 PM
 
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Personally, I would never apologize. Even if you should, most of the kids I am around take it as a sign of weakness. They won't meet you halfway, but will use it as some sort of excuse. But that is just me and my ways aren't the only ways to do it.
I would try to demonstrate better behavior and would take it from there.


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I'm with Grav__def....
Old 11-24-2009, 11:57 PM
 
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Personally, I love my opportunities to apologize. I find the kids are much more cooperative and respectful after a sincere apology, and, are more likely to reciprocate an apology if warranted. Especially if the apology follows a little empathy as to how they were feeling. Of course, I'm talking elementary school. In Middle School, the dynamics change and I suspect Augustus may be right on.

I've had classes where I didn't know the content material very well and it's really disorienting. A good place to start in this situation, if you haven't had time for a quick book review or an emergency google, is to ask them what they already know. You'd be surprised how savvy some of them are and it gets everything launched as you explore it with them.
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:33 AM
 
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I didn't apologize to the students, I apologized to the teacher for being a space cadet. Most of the students already knew that I wasn't a Math teacher; when I had them for ELA I mentioned that I was an ELA teacher.

And these kids-for the exception of the last period class-were clueless. I asked them what they already knew, and like one of you mentioned earlier, they had already checked out for the 4 day break.

Might I add that the worst behaved class received all bad grades on their section sheet? It was an "off" day for them, too, and neither of us were able to meet halfway and make it a productive class. It's just really frustrating how a regular teacher expect a substitute to teach the class like it's business as usual right-before-a-break. He wanted me to cover the remaining material in the lesson! Why not just review and then finish it the following day/when the kids get back from vacation? Obviously, the kids will behave and respond better when they're receiving new material from their teacher.
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fraction strips
Old 11-25-2009, 08:32 AM
 
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I've seen those fraction strips in the elementary school. Any "hands-on" activity in a class with a sub right before a holiday is a recipe for mayhem. Sorry your brain checked out. I hope that the next day was better!

I know when I have had bad days they snowball and keep getting worse. If you set your mind to it and see where you went wrong, then you should be able to salvage the remainder of the assignment.

Quite often I've encountered teachers who seem to think that just because they know what they are talking about, so should you. Possibly the class would have been the same way for the teacher, if his explanation didn't make sense to you.

Good luck!
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