February 13, 2013

tales of a substitute teacher....

While working this week, I found a poem pinned on the bulletin board above the microwave in the teacher's lounge. 
The Substitute 
by John Scharlock 

On the day when you fail to arrive 
I will take up the wheel and drive. 
Your lesson plans I will fulfill. 
So do not fret if you are ill. 
While you are gone, 
your class will not burn.
Take your time to heal before you return.
Soon your class will be given back. 
Don't worry the Substitute will know what to do!

I want to share a story about Paul.

Meet Paul:

With curly blond hair and clear blue eyes, Paul could be the poster child for the casual surfer lifestyle. He is in third grade, and enjoys being outdoors and reading books about cars. A sensitive boy, Paul does have a quick temper and is often teased. Unfortunately, I was unaware of this on the day that I subbed for his class.  On this particular day, the students were scheduled to participate in Jump Rope for Heart. After morning bell-work, I took my class down to the basketball court. The entire 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classes had been scheduled for the same block period on the court. The teacher in charge of Jump Rope for Heart directed my class where to sit. My class sat crisscrossed-apple-sauce on the cub. Everything was normal, and everyone was happily getting along excited to be outside. Once the teacher in charge gave the signal, my class stood up and rushed out to pick up a rope. I noticed Paul standing near a group of boys. The boys, including Paul, were all smiling and laughing. A teacher turned on the music, and the kids started to jump rope. During the activity, one of Paul's classmates started teasing him about being unable to do the "crisscross" jump. Within seconds, one classmates turned into three classmates. The boy's cruel words hit their mark. I quickly noticed the scene going from bad to worse. Paul's face turned bright red. He threw down his jump rope, and ran off the court towards me. Hot angry tears poured down his cheeks and his fist tightened up into little balls. I could see the whites of his knuckles. It took several minute before Paul was calm enough to explain what had happened. As Paul spoke, I kept encouraging him to take deep breaths. It took around ten minute before he was calm enough to rejoin the class. That afternoon I spoke with another third grade teacher. She informed me that Paul often would loose his temper and when it happened his teacher usually sent him to the office for a cool down period. That would have been good to know earlier. Thankfully, the rest of the day went well. I spoke with the three boys, apologies were made and consequences were paid. Within the hour the boys were back to being best of friends. Boys.