So, I promised a series of fully-fleshed out posts of what I did in the eight weeks I neglected my corner of the interwebz. I figure I might as well go straight down the bullet list I created for you in my previous post. So first up to bat: long term substitute position!
As I mentioned way back in the beginning of this blog, I had to quit my full-time position as an Admissions Counselor in order to do my student teaching. My student teaching internship ended in December and I knew I didn't want to sit around all day and twiddle my thumbs. So, I became a substitute teacher for our local school district. I thought it was a great way to stay in the classroom, sharpen my classroom management skills, and get to know other teachers/principals in the area so I could hopefully make good connections to be gainfully employed by the fall.
I loved seeing the different schools and for the most part, really enjoyed substitute teaching. I also did remediation tutoring every Friday for a school that was literally two miles away from my house. I must have made a great impression on them, because their long-term substitute that they'd set up for a 2nd grade class fell through and the principal asked me if I was interested. OF COURSE!
I had 19 little darlings in my classroom. They really were sweet little ones, although they tried to test every limit they possibly could. I had two boys in there that I thought were going to put me in the looney bin. They routinely played tag....in the classroom. WHO DOES THAT?! They would especially start this game when I was working one-on-one with another student. One day, one of the boys fell and bruised his shoulder. He begged the nurse not to tell his mom why he fell, but guess what - Mom got a phone call anyway.
I had another little boy that was pretty much me in 2nd grade... he was constantly reading. Which isn't a bad thing.... I get excited when I see kids who love to read. However, when I'm trying to explain the differences between the European explorers to the class for the umpteenth time because as a class you can't tell the difference between Christopher Columbus and Christopher Newport because they have the same name, maybe reading about the origami Yoda isn't the best decision. For the record - second graders should NOT be forced to memorize the explorers, they just.don't.get.it. Most of them can't find Virginia on a map yet. How in the world should they be expected to identify France, England, or Spain?
Overall, no matter how many times I wanted to pull my hair out during the day, I ended every day feeling incredibly happy and fulfilled. It made me very confident about my decision to switch careers at 28. That being said - I have no desire to teach second grade permanently. Oh my goodness. Give me my 5th graders any day of the week. I love those kids. However, I'm grateful for the knowledge that I am a 4th or 5th grade teacher. Some people are meant for Kindergarden, some people are meant for the older kids. I just happen to be best for the older kids.
It does make me a little sad that I decided to take this coming year off. I'm eager to get into my own classroom and make my mark. However, being a first year teacher taking maternity leave in October just stressed me out, so I'm staying home with my little Squido for the first year, and then will jump back on the teaching horse in 2013! Yay!