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What Jack's doing...

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Joined: 21 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:52 am    Post subject: What Jack's doing... Reply with quote

This is funny (but long)... Jack just starting being a substitute teacher, and he wrote about his experiences:

So I had my first sub job on Monday, for the hippie charter school I did my practicum at a while back.
A few people asked how it went. There are a lot of ins and outs, but I just wrote a bunch of it down and to the teacher I was subbing for, so I figured I'd copy and paste it here. (the dramatic highlight was getting in a tug of war with a kid and a laptop)

How'd subbing go?
Well, it had it's ups and downs.
read on for all the dirty details.

At one point the kids were super into me and were hoping I would come back, but that was also probably because I didn't yell at them much and they walked all over me. (also maybe because they liked that I was from NY and tried to teach them how to juggle and was generally nice) I brought in a bunch of tennis balls for possible juggling lessons, which had it' pros and cons.
One problem kid who I was warned about, was fine in the morning, but then in the afternoon was being a little difficult, but not disruptive and I should have let it go except that I was trying to help him and getting frustrated. They were supposed to write "how to do ..." something pieces. HIs was "how to juggle" ... one of the reasons I had brought the balls because I knew this in advance. He was on a laptop when he wasn't supposed to be. And refused to get off. He had one word written large on his computer. I told him to close the computer and I would help him write his piece. he refused saying it wouldn't save. I told him he had one word written and that it wouldn't go away if he closed it. I said "I bet you it won't disappear." he said "how much money you want to bet?" Oy.
So he closed his computer. After I got him going on the writing I went to help other students and he reopened the computer. A student next to him yelled to me "JACK, (they use first names here), you won the bet!" I walked over and he had erased the word. The other student told me "you won the bet, he just erased it." Ug.

After repeated warnings to get off the computer and work on his writing I told him he had to go to another classroom. He refused. So in a moment of frustration I snatched the laptop from him. Not a good thing to do. Later he came and gabbed it. I held on, but did not want to cause a scene with other students. I just stood firm and told him he couldn't use a laptop until he finished writing his first draft of his writing He kept saying "you can't take my computer. You just snatched that from me. That's my computer. Finally he let go of the computer and got another one. So I had a student get another adult to take him out. This happened to be the principal (this is a small charter school, so the Principal is more of a therapist, helper guy).
He took this kid out and later we had a conference the three of us to discuss what happened. I worried that this kid would rat me out that I had snatched his computer away, but luckily it didn't come up. The Principle talked about the problem and possible solutions the kid pretended that he was confused by the directions and the principal asked if it would have been helpful if the directions were written down. Then I sat with the kid to work on his writing a little more. Then we went outside and I tried to teach him how to juggle.


You can also read all about my day in this day in review I wrote to the teacher -typical sub stuff, you write a little report to the teacher. My reports tend to get long.
And her response below that.

Hi Patricia,
Thanks for having me in your class. This was my first official day subbing, since getting my teaching license. Exciting and nerve wracking. I was a student teacher at Trillium a year ago in a K-1 class. I remembered AI (I had his sister Tesla), Levi, Mira and a few others. It was my first time with 4th and 5th graders since I did my other student teaching in a third grade class. I really enjoyed this age group. The day went fine with a few usual ups and downs. I tend to get a little wordy with my daily recaps, sorry about that.

Morning Work:
I couldn't find the seating chart, which wasn't an issue for seating, but later on I had some issues not knowing some students’ names. I also couldn't find the think slips.

As students came in they worked on the morning prompt question about creating their own inventions. I apologize - I used the wrong marker on the white board and couldn't fully erase it (Morning Work). I introduced myself and answered a few questions (I’m from NYC, my parents from Brooklyn, I’m 34, No, I’m not Michael Jackson etc.) We chose classroom reps (Bridget and Zoe) for community meeting. I told them I would spell out PLAY GAMES one letter at a time on the board when they were meeting expectations and being helpful and respectful. During the day I only got to P and L.

Community Meeting: I walked around to keep students focused. I had to separate Sera and Bridget.

After community meeting I had some students share a little bit about the inventions they wrote about that morning.

Tritan came in late about now.

Read Aloud: I read some more from the “Graveyard Book,” which was fun (I’m a fan of Neil Gaiman’s comic book Sandman). Some students made inferences about what they thought might happen and what was going on with the flowers and the music. They were happy to tell me there was a character in the book named Jack who was a murderer.
Before Math I brought out my juggling balls and told students I would begin to teach them how to juggle if we had time at the end of the day. I showed them how to start with one ball first. (I knew you had mentioned Jasiah was writing about How to juggle for writing, so I hoped this would give him some ideas)

Math: I couldn't find their MPR sketches so I asked them to do them again. Most students were able to do this and then work on the extra math worksheets. I was a little confused how they were supposed to use math and the pirate maps. Bridget and Sera had trouble focusing/working together and were playing around on the risers. I told them that they would have to move to a table or separate if they weren't able to focus. They were able to get some work done on their drawing.

I ended up collecting their work instead of having them put it in their folders.

Star Morning Students: Jane, Mira, Grace, Clio, Liam, Ignacio, Kendall, Avery

Lunch time: Logan was crying, upset that Jasiah might go into his bookbag. Jasiah had tried to get back into the room during lunch. I had a talk with both of them and explained that we don’t touch other people’s stuff. Kieron also talked with Jasiah.

Post lunch:
I had students come up for names for my hairdo (cow lick mullet, multi finn lunchbox etc.)

I explained what they should be working on and modeled how they might create notecards for their oral presentations. As a group we wrote notes on how to set a clock. Writing and Science time got a little out of hand. Some students claimed to be done, but didn’t have their work. Some needed teacher edits, but there were too many to help. It was hard to keep them focused and on task. Jane said she was done and needed a computer. She had headphones and listening to music. It looked like she was on task. Jasiah then got on a weren’tcomputer (i don’t know where he got it from, the computer cart was locked). I explained that he wasn’t supposed to be on a computer unless he was done with his draft, peer edits and teacher edits. He refused to listen and stayed on the computer. I sat and talked with him about his subject “how to juggle” I worked with him to create his graphic organizer. When I felt he had a good start and could write the next step I walked away to help other students he went back on the computer. I told him he’d have to put the computer away. He refused. I gave him a few choices that did not involve the computer but he refused them so I told him he would have to work in another room. He refused. I took the computer and he tried to grab it back from me. I had to ask Amira to grab another adult to take Jasiah out. Kieron came. During recess the three of us had a meeting. We went over what had happened. Jasiah agreed to work more on his graphic organizer with me. So I worked him some more and then went out to recess where I started teaching him how to juggle.
A few other students started coming by and I taught them how to juggle two balls. Some got frustrated easily. I asked if they’d be taught about growth minded mindset and how learning new things is hard, but with patience and practice we get better. (AKA the power of “YET”)

Other Writing/Science time notes:
Liam and Levi lost computer privileges because they were not working on their writing.
Finn was writing in color
Under the “May Do (when done)” Someone had written on the board “free time.”
During science Mira wanted to interview a few students for her science project so she did that in the hallway with my permission.
Levi wrote about Monopoly, but wasn’t able to get him to write out the steps. AI refused to write anything and said it was all in his head and had no need to write it down. I explained that it was writing time, not thinking in your head time.

I think Sharon came in during this time and said someone had put food in the drinking fountain. Ignacio left to clean it up.

Recess: As mentioned above I was in Kieron’s office talking with him and Jasiah. Then helping Jasiah work on his “How to Juggle” piece. He made some good progress and put the paper in his drawer. Then I was outside teaching some students how to juggle two balls.

I modeled how to answer the questions on the inference sheet and reminded students to use
context clues and complete sentences. We had a good discussion about what was going on in the first passage. Jasiah had an interesting idea that Kyle threw out his report card because he got good grades, but they weren’t as high as he wanted.

Some students were able to focus and work the whole time. (Clio, Liam, Kendall, Grace)
Jane refused to do the work, and wrote in marker on her paper “I don’t know” for all the answers. I tried to sit with her to work on it, but that didn’t work. At the end of the day she was being pretty disrespectful to Kendall during thank yous-touching her head and waving a piece of paper in front of her face. And saying “I don’t think this is disrespectful”

Nice thank yous from Mira, Kendal and Ignacio.

Other notes:
Zoe got picked up in the afternoon to go to the dentist.
Bridget got picked up in the morning.
I had trouble getting work from AI and Jasiah. Though once I was working one on one with Jasiah he was receptive.
Bridget had her phone out which I told her to put away. She held it in her hand under the table. I told her she could put it away or I would hold it for the rest of the day. She plugged it into the wall.
Kendal was complaining the Levi was acting inappropriately and putting things in his nose.

Other then that, a very smooth Monday and I'm happy to come back and sub again any time.


Thank you Jack. You left very thorough notes and I appreciate your positivity and patience with my kids. I get so disappointed in them every time I have a sub because they just sound so disrespectful and lack the work ethic that I have seen in them.

I'm sure Trillium will have you back again soon!
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a really pleasant reading, so happy for Jack for his new life as a teacher, i can totaly picture him with all these kids. Teaching is a really great job, as long as you take pleasure doing it, so important. I wish i had better teachers, only three of them were really great, a math teacher, a art teacher and a literature teacher.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think he really has to make a zine about his experiences!!!
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Location: Cardiff, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are lucky children having him teach them, such a rewarding but difficult job can only be done by people that are special x
The only difference between our secrets is whether we allow them to evolve into tales of heroism or fear.
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