Monday, February 16, 2015

Namaste, Ya Little Buggars.

I encountered my first class of scoundrels as a substitute teacher.  Fifth graders.  They came in the classroom and never paused their playing for a second.  They didn't even give me a chance to announce that their teacher was out and had asked me to come in and be their "guest teacher" for the day.  They never got quiet.  Never got settled down.  Never acknowledged the chime we use for such purposes in "Responsive Classroom."  Didn't put their heads down when I finally gave up and told them to take a five minute break.

I refuse to yell at kids.  It does no good anyway. So I just took a breath for a moment to figure out my next move.

This is how I fantasized the scene.  Me....breathing deeply and removing myself mentally from the bad big claws come in and pluck the ornery little buggars away.  There's a hook that comes in a takes one of the entertainers off the stage. I found this little fantasy quite calming.

As I walked over to the telephone and drew my finger down the phone directory list, the room grew increasingly quiet.  I dialed the phone and knew that I had their attention. As I began to speak to their teacher, you could hear a pin drop.

Unfortunately, she was in a meeting and could not come to give them a pep talk, but I didn't let on.  They thought she was on her way.

They sat with their heads down in silence as I gave the evil eye to anyone who dared look up.  Finally, I pretended to call the teacher again to tell her that they had done better and I would give them a second chance.

They were quiet enough for the rest of the class.  Not as quiet as I prefer, but quiet enough.

Thank goodness that as a sub, I can choose to work with them again or not.

Scherenschnitte 5"x7"       "Fat Fairy"


Phyl said...

Oh my! I don't sub much, but I definitely haven't had a sub day like that!

I love the image in your paper cut. Terrific visualization!! ;)

Jackie said...

Geez - I too have experienced this scenario. Can't even tell you how much I love your yoga "breather". You're right that yelling is ineffective, but sometimes I find myself doing that just to get their attention over the roar of their misbehavior. Now I only sub high school or the special classes, that way I know I only have any one group of kids for about 50 min!

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

Love the snipped scene depicting your thoughts with this onery group. I bet their teacher could use lots of encouragement this year!