Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Subbing, Children's Books, and Exercise

Some days subbing is irritating and other days it goes really smoothly. Feel like I've been subbing a lot again lately. I don't mind it so much when they give me a little heads up about it. When a teacher is gone here, that means the other teachers in that department lose their prep periods and are assigned to watch over the classes. Monday, I had no idea I would be subbing. Finished my normally last class of the day and was getting ready to do a few things for the next day, when a class just showed up during my prep period. "Alrighty then, have a seat and write your name on the attendance sheet." Not the first time this has happened. Other days my department head will tell me first thing in the morning, some times at lunch, and some days not at all. Life is full of surprises.

I completely understand how prep period is a privilege (and a bit of a luxury),  and no such thing exists for elementary teachers. I have no problem giving up that work time for students, but it would be helpful for the subbing system to be a bit more structured here in my opinion.

Often times subbing as a teacher here means "babysitting" for the class period. Most of the other teachers would tell you the same thing. That's what they expect you to do. Give the students some busy work or let them chat or whatever with the 50 minutes of their day. That's probably what irritates, more so saddens, me about it. When I think back to where I subbed for one class two weeks straight, we didn't particularly do Life Science study. I gave them some lessons I prepared for other classes or simply gave them work time some days. A lot of students are losing structured instruction time that they truly need. I also know that some subs just let the class out and don't even keep them in the classroom. You can tell that the students are used to these things based on how they handle themselves. Like I said, it saddens me to witness.

I try to do my best when I am thrown with a class I substitute for during my prep period. Tuesday, I asked them all to do a little assignment for me similar to what I was assigning my own classes but gave them the topic of Life Science. Only a handful of them actually worked on it, as I'm sure they figured that I wasn't actually their teacher and it wouldn't be affecting their grade. On the one hand, I understand their point of view. On the other hand, I would probably do it anyway for something to do rather than just sitting there. Although, I guess I wasn't the most social person in high school. haha Wow how times have changed. I'm still a bit introverted, but I am much more of a people person these days. Weird to think about.

On Tuesday I actually the group of students I spent two weeks with back when their teacher was having her baby. They're a good group of kids, so I really don't mind subbing for them. More well behaved than some of my own classes. haha There's also that one other class I subbed for about a week and a half or so straight. Oye.

I decided on Tuesday that I wanted to try a little different approach to note-taking with my Junior classes. I found a nice little educational book made for kids called "Our Water, Our Life." It presented some facts about water in the world, pollution, and how we can keep our water clean. This was the topic I had decided on for the week, and I thought it might be helpful for my students to see the information simplified in this form and fun. They struggle a bit with knowing how to shorten up things I say or display in a powerpoint to simplified yet informational notes for themselves. I explained at the beginning that they would have a homework assignment to make their own little book, so I would expect to see some of the facts in there. As we read through the book, we discussed of the layout, pictures, comedy, way of presenting the information, and the facts themselves. I will be curious to see how some turn out for Wednesday. I have a feeling probably half of them will not do it, but that's the way it goes. I also have a feeling some will truly take this little assignment to heart and do a good job. I noticed a handful of them enjoying it as we went through the story together.

It's also funny to watch how every day is different as a teacher. One day 6th period makes me want to just throw some notes on the board and say teach yourself, and other days they are quiet, follow along, and enjoy the topic. Some days 2nd period is as attentive as possible, asking great questions, and then the next half of them are falling asleep. All part of the job, I guess. Keeps things interesting. Subbing was not so fun Monday, but then Tuesday it was rather smooth like I said.

No matter what, I feel like most of my days as a teacher have been going by quickly. I can't really think of a day that felt like the longest day ever. Even the ones where my kids were obnoxious, wouldn't listen to a single thing I said, or made me feel highly unappreciated. Each and every work day is over before I know it; then, I'm at home exercising, reading, researching on the Internet, and relaxing for the night. That's a good sign that I do enjoy my job some, eh? Since the days go by quickly. You've all heard me say this before, "Every day is a good day." I do mean it. Hard to believe in less than a week that I will have officially lived here for 7 whole months.

One of my senior students really enjoyed the Yoga lesson I gave one day, and she told me how she went home and did it. She's also mentioned she wanted to exercise more, so I asked if she was interested in joining me for Zumba. She came along with me Tuesday. It wore her out, but we were having fun. I told her it would get easier. I've been doing it since September. I went home and got my Insanity workout in for the day, and I will admit my body is a bit tired today. All is well, though. These max workouts sure do include a lot of push-ups, which have never been my forte. Oh well, feeling good. Two days into Month two of Insanity while I keep up with my Zumba 3 days a week, and looks like I have myself a Zumba buddy for a while anyways.

Did my laundry after Insanity, a shower, and a little dinner. Then it was already 8pm. As I went to cross of my workout for the day on my calendar, I realized I hadn't walked up and down the hill yet. I told myself I would do it every day this week after that nice hike with Jess on the East side. I have plans to do a little bigger hike up Mt. Alava on what they call the "Adventure Trail" with some fellow volunteers on President's Day. Trying to make sure my calves are slightly prepared for it. I'm definitely in good shape with all the exercise I do, but I know it takes different muscles and conditioning to hike up a mountain than it does to Zumba or do Insanity. So, before I crossed my workout for the day off, I went up the hill and back down. That's my exercise spiel for the day. haha

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