Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Police Academy

Today marked my 4th day of subbing. I'm taking the next 2 days off of subbing (meaning I don't have any subs; if I get an offer, I'll turn it down) and will sub again on Friday. Today I was at a middle school subbing for the choir teacher. I got to meet with her this morning and she quickly walked me through the schedule, gave some names of students who'd help and who'd hinder, and she sent me on my way to the gym for bus duty.

Bus duty consisted of staring down the students and telling them to Hush Up. I felt like I was a detention officer. I understand the desire for order, but I felt bad for the students. You could see it how the school effects each kid. Those kids who work hard and obey look dejected, and those kids who break all the rules look forward to the days challenges. This got me thinking, which came first -- Do the staff treat the students like inmates so the students act like inmates? OR Do the students act like inmates so the staff has to treat them like that?

My job throughout the day was to walk the students to the bathroom, wait for everyone to be done & return to the classroom; take roll & grade each students' behavior; and push play on the VCR. That sounds easy; however, when you have to through in Behavior Cop, my day quickly was filled with yelling at the students. Several other teachers kept coming and checking on me and saying that the choir teacher had the roughest bunch and that I was doing a good job.

I had a couple of breaks between the different grade levels, and I reflected on the classes. I realized that all my college training meant nothing. I had been trained to become a teacher for rural schools, and here I am substituting for inner city schools. I even went through sub training for the schools, but it was the wrong training -- it should have been police training. After all, my job all day is to really threaten and punish students according to their behavior. Oh well, I just have to keep reminding myself I'm getting paid to chorale students. . .

I think that this was probably my best day, so far. I am guessing it has a lot to do with building the experience working with this kids even though i'm in different school and classes each day. I'm learning that I'm not there to be "the cool sub" or even to be nice. Every teacher keeps telling me I need to be more mean, I look too nice. I also had issues with the age thing again -- some staff questioned my age and thought I was a student teacher. So now I'm learning that I look young and am too nice. I should take those as complements, but as a substitute they are a hindrance.

1 comment: