Okay...so I knew my sub on Friday was less-than-stellar. It was pretty obvious when I walked in. But today some of my colleagues really clued me in. Oh my Lanta.
Apparently during our picture time, they were crawling under chairs and acting like general monkeys. And she stood there. Let me say that again, just for affect.
They were crawling under chairs like monkeys and she JUST.STOOD.THERE.
Definitely makes my decision to put her on my "never call this person again" list an easier one. I always feel bad when I do that but truthfully, I am not a teacher who leaves "busy work" when I am going to be gone. I don't leave any new material (unless I really have to) but I leave meaningful work that I want my class to do so that we don't lose a whole day. We can't afford to lose a whole day. I have always been appalled with colleagues who just leave busy work. To me that tells the kids that the sub isn't important and doesn't know how to do a good job. I never want to leave that impression (although sometimes it is true). Oy.
I never had that kind of trouble as a sub. I have always said that if you go in with a take-charge attitude but show warmth, the kids will get it together. They took 90 minutes to do math that should have taken, at most 40. At most. I mean, honestly. I am not mad at the kids. If they were 5th graders, yes I would be because they are older and get it. But barely 2nd graders?? Nope, I blame the adult.
As such, we got so much done this morning (completing the work they should have done Friday for math AND today's work), got through our word work review and finished up our writing in time for me to show them our new Raz-Kids subscription AND for me to do an extra read aloud. After lunch they were a little more squirrelly (which usually happens because they wake up over lunch *wink*) but we still got through our reading review, made up stations from Friday, got through our social studies AND I got 4 running records done and we still had time left! I know my kiddos. I know they are chatty, social little beings but they are kids. They will follow your lead. I praised them for how much we got done today and gave them time after last recess to finish their "All About Me" posters (which they were supposed to do on Friday and -- you guessed it -- they didn't do).
I guess it just makes me realize that, even on our worst days together, we have something going. We get a lot of learning done in a short amount of time and the kids are making gains. Today, with the few children I could get to running records with, all but 1 already went up a level. That makes me feel good since we're only in our 6th week of school. I know my small group time and the extra push of literacy I am giving them is helping, even when sometimes it feels like it isn't. I feel proud of them and proud of myself. No, they weren't on their best behavior on Friday but they were today. Even my special little friend had an amazing day today. His whole chart was filled with stickers and I gave him an extra special sticker on his shirt to show his dad what a great day he had (Mondays are usually the worst for him). When one of the girls saw that I gave this child the special sticker, she said "GREAT JOB [name]!"
He smiled so big and proud. It was wonderful to see him make that progress, even if we'll take a few more steps back before we can keep going forward. I am surely hoping that tomorrow will be another great day for him. If it is, I am going to treat him to something nice on Wednesday. The little guy has SO much going on in his little life that I feel like if we can make it through a day without any tears (on either his or my part!) then we're getting somewhere. This is why I teach. So I can be a rockstar and show my little friends how great it feels to be rockstars too.