Friday, October 14, 2016

Kid magnet (and what I like and dislike about subbing)

My theory has usually been that middle and high schoolers are like cats, and elementary students are like dogs.

Similar to cats, a middle- or high-schooler will come around on his/her own terms--if they want and/or need you.  But if you make a move toward them, they instantly flip their tails, turn on their heels and throw shade at you.

Elementary students are yippy, energetic and bound around your feet, whipping past your legs, knocking over dogs.

Elementary school kids invade my personal space to a degree that gives me a bit of the willies.  A very sweet 4th grade girl gave me approximately 4,000 hugs in the 3 hours I was with her class the other day (teachers were having meetings).  Told me she loved me more than my own children have.

It makes me think I am a bonafide kid magnet.

I like it.....and then I get another squirt of hand sanitizer.

This year, subbing has been much easier than April and May of last year.  I expected to have zero jobs in August but easily got my 5 days in at both my kids' schools.  I am learning more each time I sub and paying attention to what I see teachers do that I like and is effective.  Like a new hallway prep song I learned:  My hands are by my side / I'm standing straight and tall / My eyes are looking straight ahead / I'm ready for the hall.  Singing or saying---it doesn't matter---1st graders ate it up.

Germs aside, there isn't much I don't like about subbing.  I like working with kids, and I like walking out the door and being done.  I like the flexibility.

If there is anything I don't like, it is not knowing which kids have what needs.  I was in a 5th grade class the other day, and a kid was being challenging.  I felt like he was bucking me a bit---not attitude, but squirrelly silliness.  Class clown-type thing.  As it turns out, I later found out the child's medication was wearing off.  I don't know if having this info would have changed how I managed the child's behavior necessarily, but it would have internally changed my understanding of the child's behavior.

I don't blame teachers for this.....they have enough to worry about in leaving good lesson plans, and it likely doesn't register which kids have special needs and situations---they are used to it and it likely just doesn't cross their mind  But it is helpful to know.

I feel like I'm getting better at subbing at the elementary level, which is not my natural forte.  I feel more comfortable among people who understand sarcasm and with whom I can use the phrase "jacked up."  First graders are not those people.  But little people are very sweet (and germy) but mostly sweet.

It's that whole animal thing, I think.  I like dogs and can spend a little time with them, but I love and can live with cats.

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