Monday, June 1, 2009

Being Rejuvenated

Last week was very refreshing for me. I subbed all of last week as 5th grade teacher at Hope (our church school.) I had such a wonderful time! That's the longest stint I've done in one classroom, and I loved getting to know the kids and enjoy building relationships that I knew would last longer than a day. It was wonderful!

For a week, I got to pretend that I actually was an elementary teacher. I had the key to the classroom, the homework to assign, tests to grade, and new concepts to teach. I quickly got to know the kids, who needed extra help with what, and which ones should never sit together.

I really needed that week. Sometimes, subbing in a class for just one day is very discouraging to me, because I don't get to build those relationships or learn the thing you need to know about a class to be able to teach them.

They kept me laughing, challenged me to be a problem-solver, and reminded me that I am an effective teacher, even if previous substituting experiences have made me doubt that. It also reminded me that while I've always felt that I prefer teaching kids as young as I can get them, I love the older grades too! At least in difficult times like these where teaching positions are s c a r c e, I know that I can handle any K-6 classroom instead of insisting that I'll only teach 1st grade or something. Subbing has definitely helped my flexibility!

The 5th grade teacher had left me exactly what he wanted me to teach each day (which was wonderful! no guessing games), but we went through each day's assignments pretty quickly. I had to find other things to keep us busy, so I decided to read through The Witch of Blackbird Pond with them. They all enjoyed the story, but the vocabulary was oft-times above their level, so I had to do a lot of on-the-side explaining.

Boy, did they jump on the line "Kit was gay as she skipped along the lane under the prairie-blue sky."
"She's GAY?!?" They all shouted. It took a lot for me to rein them back in and explain that "gay" in this sense meant happy or merry.
The next day, however, when one of the 5th graders said that his friend had called him "gay," I shot a warning look to the suspect. He grinned and shrugged: "But Mrs. Brubaker, I only meant it in the happy sense!"

They'll keep you on your toes, they will!

1 comment:

  1. Haha! That was too funny!
    It sounds like like you had a fun and rewarding week! I'm so glad! :)
    I think it's pretty awesome that you had spare time after lessons and were able to read a book to them... what a fun teacher you sound like! I'll keep your teaching situation in my prayers!

    ♥ Paris


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