December 17, 2013

Who's Afraid of Kindergarten?

I was subbing in an elementary media center one day when a teacher came in looking a bit frantic.  She asked if I would be able to sub for her a week from Friday.  After mentally going over my calendar and realizing that I was not already working that day, I told her yes - I could sub for her.

"Really? Are you sure? Next Friday, can you really?"  she responded.  I was surprised wondering what I was getting myself in to.  I assured her that I could sub for her and then I asked her what grade she taught.  The answer --- kindergarten.   Oh my.

I was a little afraid of kindergarten.  My experience has always been with older children and I don't know if I have the patience or the flexibility to be with  5 and 6 year-olds all day long.  They have short attention spans, snotty noses, tummy aches, untied shoes, and small bladders.  Don't misunderstand me.   I love little children.  I have a grandchild who will be in kindergarten next year.   But the day was set and I would be spending a full day with a room full of kindergarten students.

I went in that morning a bit anxious and apprehensive, but I left feeling pretty cool and confident.  I survived and I had fun!  The kids listened for the most part and they were good little learners.  Some were more mature than others just like any classroom.

At the end of the day there were:

  • 3 tummy aches ( no one sent to the nurse ) 
  • 25 or more bathroom trips throughout the day ( thank goodness for a bathroom in the room) 
  • 1 crying episode
  •  3 pairs of shoes tied 
  • 2 jackets zipped up 
  • 1 pants buttoned 
  • 1 ponytail redone  
  • glue, scissors, color crayons 
  • good books to read 
  •  stories ( kindergartners have lots of stories to tell) 
  • laughs

 It was a good day.  I am not afraid of kindergarten anymore.

December 16, 2013

Subbing: A New Adventure

I stepped out of the classroom awhile back for various reasons and now I have decided to step back into the education playing field--jumping in with substitute teaching.  To make the decision I considered the pros & cons:


  • Get to know many age levels, many buildings, many colleagues 
  • hours are basically school hours - no planning or grading outside of school 
  • Schedule is more your own - you can take a day if you'd like it off

  • Most days you don't know where or if you are working until that day or night before 
  • pay is mediocre and no benefits 
  • some children consider sub days a license to misbehave; they do not respect the authority of a sub
  • every building has a different climate and silent culture that must be learned 

The bottom line is teaching, education, school, is what I know and what I do.  Being out of the classroom made it all too clear that it is my calling and I miss it.   So, the adventure begins.