OH BOY! So much catching up do to! As promised, here is my elementary substituting story. I’ve been subbing in a different district, to try to perhaps get, oh, I don’t know, a salaried teaching job, health insurance, a stable work situation, you know, the usual. ANYWAY, this district does not have “permanent substitutes”, they only work with per diems, which means that they can put you ANYWHERE THEY WANT.
And yes, that does include the foreign land of elementary school.
When I got the job request, I figured hey, how bad could it be? They’re just kids, right? I mean, what’s that old saying? “Big kids, big problems, little kids, little problems?” I mean, I teach “juvenile delinquents” and I love it! How hard could second grade be? Piece of cake, right?
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.
I entered the classroom, and IMMEDIATELY heard the students talking about “how tall” I was, and, naturally, I felt like the giant that landed among the people of Whoville.
I had the students for an hour before they were ushered off to gym. We read, many books, on the “carpet”. While on the “carpet”, every single child had a problem:
“He’s touching me!”
“Her foot is on my square!”
“His foot is next to my butt!”
…and so on, and so on.
HOLY F*CKING SH*T HOW DO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS DEAL WITH THIS ON A DAILY BASIS!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?
My students went to gym, and, I had a brief moment of reprieve. That moment was interrupted when the PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER rushed into my classroom.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER: Are you subbing for Ms. M?
ME: Yes…yes, I am.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER: Well, this has not happened to me in thirty years.
ME: WHAT hasn’t happened to you in thirty years?
PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER: Louis, well, he fell, and his tooth was completely extracted, there’s blood everywhere…
ME: You’re kidding, right?
PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER: NO, I wish I was…
ME: I’ll tell you why this happened today, ti’s because I’M THE SUB.
Louis is OK, the dentist says that his tooth with grow in just fine. Lets fast forward two hours. The kids were working on an art project that involved scissors. Yes, I said scissors. I was talking to one student when I heard a girl yelp, “Ms. Sub! Ken cut his hair!!!!!”
WHAT THE F*CK.
I whipped around, and faced Ken.
Me: DID YOU CUT YOUR HAIR?!?!?!?!??!!?!?!?!
Me: ARE YOU LYING TO ME?!?!?!??!!
Ken: I’m sorry!
Me: WHY WOULD YOU CUT YOUR HAIR?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Ken: It was only a little!
How do you argue with that?
Fast forward to the end of the day:
Jenna and Marissa ask me to go to the bathroom, as they are buddies for the day. I figure, sure, why not?
Jenna and Marissa come back from the bathroom, and it is nothing short of a hurricane,
Jenna: MS SUB!!!!!
Me: Yes, Jenna?
Jenna: Marissa, she like, LOOKED AT ME when I was going to the bathroom!
Me: Jenna, Marissa is barely three feet tall, I’m sure she couldn’t have been able to see you going to the bathroom.
Jenna: NU-UH!!!! She STOOD on the STALL and LOOKED AT ME GOING TO THE BATHROOM!!!!
Me: Marissa, you cannot LOOK at someone going to the bathroom. Do you understand?
Marissa: Yes ma’am.
Me: Now say you’re sorry to Jenna.
Marissa: I’m sorry, Jenna.
I MEAN, I’m just not cut out for this. I feel like the female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Kindergarten Cop.
I’ve always had the utmost respect for teachers in general, after all, my parents are teachers. I’ve seen the passion that they’ve devoted to their careers, and I’m proud to be the child of two teachers. That being said, my parents are high school teachers. Elementary school teachers are angels on earth. I AM a teacher, and I LOVE CHILDREN, and yet, I couldn’t do it.
I take my hat off to you all.