It bears repeating: after two years in my own classroom, subbing is a piece of cake. In the worst case scenarios, I shake the dust off of my proverbial sandals, but the worst cases have not been anywhere near as bad as some classes that I had to teach every day.
I have become a popular sub at SouthWest Jr. High (SWJH) since they found out that I will teach a math class, or any class for that matter. I subbed for an English teacher on Monday. I had been in her classroom as an inter-related resource teacher (support for kids who struggle with school in general). Her class was high-speed, to say the least. She had a very jovial mood, and jumped from one activity to the next. Her lesson plans totally filled the class period, even with me deliberately pushing the pace. We started with a daily grammar exercise, proofreading a couple of sentences with three or four errors each. The advanced 9th grade English class had a student assigned to mark corrections on the overhead while the class helped, and the 8th grade English classes had me leading. It was good to ask questions and have them answered, and I felt good about knowing the answers myself. The teacher had actually left a quotation problem unfixed, so I had to fix it on the fly. Fortunately, I'm a fair shake at English stuff as well as math.
In fact, I just found out that I passed my English Literature and Composition Praxis test with an Excellent rating. Once I submit the paperwork, I will officially be qualified to teach English in certified Kansas schools, grades 6-12. And I do feel qualified to do the day to day stuff, but I would need some assistance in the broader planning for a whole year.
Last week I subbed for a couple of days in a classroom which went back and forth from Jr. High Geometry to a couple of classes doing website design and one class doing AV projects, including documentaries and stop motion films. It was all fun.
Because you know what? I like teaching. Even substitute teaching is fun, when it's not dull. If I could make a living doing it, I would seriously consider it as an option. I am learning a lot about how different classrooms are run, how different subjects are taught, and how different buildings are organized (or not, as the occasional case may be). I had originally thought that I would try to blog about it at least once a week, but too many subbing jobs take too much of my attention.
And then there are jobs like today: Lawrence High School (still hard for me to hear LHS without thinking of my alma mater and good 'ol Pioneer Pete) has late starts on Wednesday, and the teacher I am subbing for was here for most of the first class, so I didn't have to show up until 10:30. Very nice, gave me time to iron a couple of shirts this morning, fix breakfast for Maxine, and entertain Quinten for a while. On top of the late start, the classes themselves are Drafting and Research and Design with Autocad. Project-based classes, with students who are more highly motivated than many. These are kids who act remarkably adult. They work on their projects, stop from time to time to shoot the breeze, then get back to work. They help each other, and when the teacher came back she brought DQ treats for all of us, even me! They are even consulting with a professional as they learn to use a new program (Inventor).
Days like this make the job totally worthwhile.