Ok, many have asked. Sorry that it’s taken me all week.
Of course, I had trouble sleeping the night before and I ended up getting up early, getting ready, and getting to the school even before the secretary. Somebody in the office told me how to get to the room so I went on down there just to try to get my bearings.
When I got to the room, low and behold, the teacher, Mrs. D, was there making sure that all her plans were ready for me. So, she went over everything with me. She was very nice and very encouraging and really helped put me at ease.
I won’t give a play by play of the day, but I’ll just say it went OK. I was disappointed with the behavior of the students for the most part. They were 5th graders and just intent on trying to get away with stuff all day. For example: The first thing a student said to me all day was: “Oh yea, we have a sub today. The teacher told us that you were supposed to give us an extra recess today…” Yea, right.
So, between my lack of experience, their age, the fact that it was a beautiful friday, made it difficult to keep their attention and keep them on task.
One of the biggest frustrations was the fact that there were reading blocks and math blocks which meant that there were different groups of kids in the room. This happened after we’d only been in there for like 30 minutes. Of course getting kids’ named learned in that amount of time was impossible, but after 30 minutes, I couldn’t even tell which kids were “homeroom” kids and which were block kids. Between these blocks, some kids going to different “resource” work and testing, I never knew if all the kids who were supposed to be in the class were there or not.
I did manage to make one girl cry for not letting her go to the bathroom just 30 minutes after they were all supposed to have a bathroom break. Which brings up of the the two big things I learned: 1) find out the teacher’s bathroom policy 2) find out what should be done with all the papers/work they work on that day. I just had them hand almost everything in.
All in all, it wasn’t so bad that I’m not ready to do it again. In fact, now that I’ve done it once, I’m not nearly as terrified and am wanting to try it some more. However, it was not good enough that I’m rushing to go back to that or any other 5th grade classroom very soon.