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May 15, 2016 / sharoncopy

A whole week of subbing

Now that I have finished my semester at Henry Ford College (with my Graphic Design major completed!) I plan to sub full time for the next month, if possible. So far I haven’t had a problem finding work – in fact, I have quite a few days scheduled already.

This week I had a couple of 5th or 6th grade classes, and a very squirrelly Kindergarten group on Friday afternoon. I know their teacher is very strict with them. It’s always a bit odd when there is a parapro in there – who is actually in charge? In the past Ms. M’s parapro has taken the lead. I rather hate when they have to do “word sort”. This involves cutting up a page into little pieces and then sorting them by whether the words start with s, t, or st (for instance). The hard part is that the kids drop/lose pieces, they pull the glue sticks apart, they get very distracted with comparing notes with the other kids as to how much they have finished. Also, the pictures are awful – very basic pen and ink drawings that sometimes leave staff, as well as students, wondering what the items are!

The parapro was out of the room – the kids kept wandering around the room “I need a glue stick” “I need a pencil” “I need to sharpen my pencil” “I can’t find my t” “I forgot my crayons” “I need a drink”. I know they were pushing the boundaries because a “sub” was there, and since I have a cold, my patience may have been a little thinner than usual.

They did “reading buddies” at the end of the day – outdoors. This is when the 2nd graders come and read books to the kids – breaking up into 2’s and 3’s. Well, the other teachers decided to do it outside, which was fine, but they didn’t seem to be intervening to make the kids stay organized at all. Kids were running around, throwing books, cutting up. worrying about a dead bird they found (I finally removed it from the area). I asked the others twice if they really wanted to let it go on like this – this is not the norm! The other teacher said, “They’re fine” so I didn’t intervene very much. But I kept thinking that we should have just let them go to the playground for all of the “reading” that was being done.

Talking with the teacher, I was surprised to learn that she has FAR more work to do teaching Kindergarten than she did when she taught high school math and science. It’s because there is so much individual attention necessary and because in her five years of teaching, the scope and sequence (requirements for what each child is supposed to learn) has increased substantially. What was required for first grade when my children were young is now on the low end of what is required for Kindergartners to achieve by the end of the semester. Also, I asked if kids ever have to repeat. She said that she can recommend that a child repeat Kindergarten, but it is up to the parents whether it will happen or not. She has one boy who really should repeat, but his mother said that her older son was greatly hurt by having to repeat Kindergarten, so she will not allow it.


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