This morning, Mrs. Resource asked me if I was interested in taking a half day with her and Mrs. Cooperating Teacher so that we could do some planning regarding our MAP tests and the new program we got to help us use the data. My initial reaction was a big fat NO. I'm not ready to have a sub yet this year. No, no, no!
Mrs. Resource sensed my hesitation, big time, because she back-tracked and said 'well you don't have to join us, we could just fill you in if you're really not comfortable'. I didn't want to appear to be a complete basketcase but I have to admit, I am having massive anxiety about having a sub. Even just for a half day. Why? Because having a sub last year meant hell on Earth. My students last year came to me with a reputation for being absolutely ruthless with subs (we'd had subs walk out before lunch before because that group was so nutty with subs). Usually if I was out for anything -- which was a lot last year with meetings and crap -- it took me at least two days to get them back in order and on track. It was awful.
So yeah. I have a little anxiety about that. Especially because we tend to get less-than-stellar subs in our district. Firstly because the naughty children are the ones the subs remember and they tell their friends who tell their friends and so on to avoid XYZ school at all costs. I know that in the few months that I was a daily sub, it was the same for me. If I had a super tough class, I would avoid that class or teacher if at all possible (sometimes even the school depending on the support I did or didn't receive from the staff when there were issues). I think a big problem is, our district is the only one who doesn't require that you be certified to sub. So we get people who think teaching is just "so easy" and have no idea what they are doing coming into the classrooms.
I know many of my former colleagues have always just left busy work when they are out. Personally, I am of the idea that I can't afford to lose a full day of learning because I have to be out. I just can't. We have so much pressure on us as it is that I can't afford to pull out some BS busy work just to keep the kids occupied while I'm gone. Won't happen! That's another thing...if you get a crappy sub, that hard work of putting together a day of quality learning in your absence was just wasted.
I'm not happy about this but at the same time, I realize that I need to be at that meeting, otherwise decisions are going to be made without my input and that isn't going to make me happy at all. AT ALL. I feel almost like my placement there is a big of a rocking the boat thing because I do challenge their thinking a little and I don't think that is bad. Mrs. CT constantly says to me that she doesn't know how I get through everything in the time I have....firstly I'm used to huge blocks of instructional time because I have had that for 4 years! Secondly, I realize what these kiddos need and we get to it. I'm not saying she doesn't know what she's doing...but I do think that she sometimes is so stuck on what she's always done that she isn't willing to push the envelope a bit.
At any rate, as I type my first sub note for 2010-2011, my heart is beating a little fast which is kind of crazy! It will work out and be okay. I do have a good group this year. It is just the unknowns and the scariness of it that is bothering me. I want my class to be good and successful this year and there are just some things I can't trust someone else to do with them...because I know they won't do it like I would.