Monday, January 26, 2009

Remembering Why I Became A Teacher

After having a few bad days of substituting in a row, it's hard to remember sometimes why I chose this profession. Today was a great day!! There's nothing better than walking into the main office and hearing them say, "There's an aid waiting for you so you will be fine!" Ahhh, how I love aids. So I went to the first grade classroom and began to look at the plans. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they have two recesses! TWO! My student teaching students were lucky enough to get 5 minutes of recess a day! Two recesses=two breaks for me! Fun stuff.

It was 9:15 and I was just about to start the day off with "America the Beautiful" and Brain Yoga when I heard an announcement. 'All first grade students please report to the office for an assembly'. YES! That wasn't on the lesson plan! When we got back from the assembly we only had an hour until we had to get ready for lunch. So we did the morning calendar routine (which first graders are more than eager to run themselves) and did a dice math activity. P.S. Did you know that opposites of a dice always add up to 7? Ya learn something new everyday....

From 11-12 the students were at lunch at recess. Oh, and by the way, I didn't have to take them to recess because that's what the aid was for! Super. When the students returned, I only had an hour and a half before it was time for them to get ready for their next recess.

We did some SSR for a half hour which didn't really turn out to be silent. Oh well. They were having a great day so whats a little chatter? After that it was time for centers. They seriously could have ran them without me. It was so nice to see first graders knowing exactly where they were going and doing exactly what they were supposed to. We switched centers after 15 minutes and at 1 o'clock changed gears.

Next, I brought them to the carpet for an interactive reading. I read, "First Snow" and "Sadie and the Snowman". They all sat so nicely on the carpet! And what do you know? It's time for recess again! They got their jackets and hats and headed out for recess to "run off some steam". Whoever thought of that is a genious. After recess they went straight to gym class.

When they got back from recess they were really excited to tell me all about their game "secret agents" that they played. After they settled down we started 'Fundations'. This was something totally knew to me. But once again, they were more than happy to help. They took turns running the classroom and then they started creating words on their white boards. I would give them an ending (-unk or -ong for example) and they would have to make words using the endings. I was surprised at some of the good words they were coming up with! (I had to ignore the one that said 'thong', ahem)

We only had 10 more minutes left of the day so I introduced them to their new spelling words for the week. I showed them the words and then called their names by popsicle sticks to use the word in a sentence for me.

They were such a great class. I wish I could go back everyday! I wish I would have had time to teach them how to play heads up 7 up... but I guess two recesses, an assembly and a gym class was enough. :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Names That Make You Go HUH?!

Names I've come across while teaching:

Topaz (boy)
Damage (duh-MAHJ)
Joren (girl)
Schachanah (shuh-KHAN-uh)

To be continued....

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Taking it back to student teaching

Yesterday I subbed for a kindergarten class and it made me realize how much I miss my kindergartners from student teaching.

Reading so nicely together.

Holding up our stop signs. (Mikeay's 'pots' sign is my favorite)


Deiyo and Jaheim.

Khalil graphing his gummy bears.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

First Day of Substituting...

Thursday, January 15 2009 marked my first day as a substitute teacher. I got the call at 6:32 am and was feeling unamused that my phone was ringing at such a ridiculous time of the day. I'm not a morning person.... to say the least. The coordinator proceeded to inform me that I would be filling in for an art teacher that day. ?!?! Uh oh. I could probably be the least artistically inclined person in the world, other than my mother. We have some pretty crazy looking arts and crafts that we created during our mother-daughter Girl Scout years. However, the coordinator assured me that it would be a simple day and there was really no need to be proficient in art.

Why did I not think to ever take a Spanish class in high school or college?! Here I am, subbing in a district that consists of 40 percent Hispanics. While I was teaching art (er, putting on a video...) to the kindergarten class, a sweet little girl raised her hand. What did she want?! Beats me! The only Spanish I've ever needed was, "Uno mas cerveza!" I had the poor child repeat herself 3 more times, thinking maybe she was speaking English and my hearing had gone bad. She finally gave up hope and flagged down another Hispanic student who gave me a "you dummy" look and said, "She has to use the bathroom". All she had to do was the pee dance.... it's universal.

As it turns out, I only had to teach 3 classes that day. I actually had more time to prep for what I was going to teach than the amount of time that I spent teaching. Needless to say, I will definitely be subbing for any art teacher in the future.... regardless of my lacking art skills.