Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Catching up


I've been busy. I might have waited forever for the school to call me to substitute, but when they finally did, I've hardly stopped. The experience has been interesting, to say the least, and overall, enjoyable. It has stretched me in ways I'd not thought I could bend.

So far, I've been in English 9 and 10 several times, Biology (9/10) and Earth Science (grade 9), and a special education food and nutrition class. Each class has had 20+ kids.

I've not known the day's lesson plan until 20 before school started and have surprised myself at being able to pick up the text and wing it. Teaching the same lesson four times back to back helps! The content has been the least problem though. The behavior is another whole set of problems.

The first three days each had a different challenge: a student fight in the classroom, a disruptive student who would not cooperate and received a referral to an administrator, and a student who defied direction, would not give me her name (no one else would tell me either) and walked out of class without permission. She got a referral too.

Occasionally I know ahead of time that I will be sub-ing, but usually I find out at 6:03 a.m. That gives me just enough time to fix a quick breakfast, pack my lunch, shower and dress, and leave in enough time to drive 20 miles and arrive at 7:45 a.m. The day usually goes by quickly. Often the planning period is a 90-minute block, so after writing all the notes I have for the teacher, I work on finishing the Winter Reading Challenge. Since September, I've been getting up on purpose at 4:30 a.m. to have a quiet reading time to myself. I love the dark earlier morning hours with the first-of-the-day cup of coffee.

I have reserved Thursdays off school so I can go to Toastmasters. This Thursday is my Icebreaker speech--the very first one. It is designed to introduce the speaker to the group. As I generally do, I typed up what I wanted to say and then have had to whittle it down to qualify for the time allowed, 5-7 minutes. My first practice time was 11:48 minutes. Then I got it down to 8:56, and finally last night got it down to 6:20. This has been a good exercise in learning what is essential information. The eventual goal with Toastmasters is to use no notes. When I speak, I usually use notes to keep my mind straight, so now I need to decide what few notes I will use. This is a great group of people and I do not feel intimidated now at all. One lovely lady in the group is also a homeschooler and substitute teacher.

Remember to gather your book list for Spring Reading Challenge! If you've never participated, I think if you try it with a short list, you will surprise yourself. I know that I will probably not always challenge myself with an intended goal, but I will always have a list. And for this stage of the game, I find that intentional reading list and that goal the challenge I need to focus. It's like a game with me. Me competing against me.

And, if you are finishing up with the Winter Reading Challenge, please try to post a quick link to the wrap-up post I will get up in the next few days. Tell which books you loved and which you wished you had not wasted time with.

Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.
(Mortimer J. Adler)

1 comment:

Patti said...

All I can think of is how different your life must be from what it was probably not too long ago. Very appropriate to the title of your blog. I'm close enough to those kind of changes that I'm starting to think that way. I've never been forlorn about what I've left behind (babies, diapers, potty-training, teaching to read, etc.) because I'm usually too busy enjoying what's right in front of me or what I know is yet to come. The glimpses of your life help me to look forward to it, too. (although I'm going to do something *different* than teaching school!)