I learned something while subbing today. For a teenager, the right to listen to your mp3 player, or more likely, your phone, is like giving a little kid a lollipop for being good. That’s right, teenagers respond to bribery just like anyone else, and that bribery is music. You might desperately want to tell them to sit down and shut up, but you can’t, so you say the next best thing, which is please sit down and be quiet but that really doesn’t get you anywhere. However, threaten to take away their music, and they will quiet down.
I also got some supportive chats from the nearby teachers. One of them said the most important button on your phone is this one, and he pointed to the office. He said, it’s like John Wayne toilet paper. It’s rough, it’s tough, and it doesn’t take crap. He told me to use that button whenever they give me trouble and send them down to talk to the principal. Right now I feel fired up enough to send the whole class down there, but everyone assures me that it doesn’t take the whole class, just a few students. Man, I have to get up the courage to do that.
I have another day of subbing tomorrow. Wish me luck!
I’ve done five substitute teaching assignments so far, and I have mixed feelings about it. Some of it is good, some of it is bad, some of it is…well, babysitting.
My first assignment was with the alternative school. I thought I could make a difference but instead I got run over by the students. I should have sent some of them to the principal’s office. I don’t think I want to teach that again. I’ve pretty much been run over by the students in most of the classes I’ve taught. One of them even snuck out of class on me and she was called down to the principal’s office. This was the last time I taught. I managed to keep a hold of the remainder of the classes (just barely) and I was feeling so stressed when I got home that I took a Klonopin.
In my last therapy session, I talked about substitute teaching. My therapist said I glow when I talk about teaching. So why am I sucking down benzos in order to deal with it? Why do I feel so stressed out? I thought I liked teaching? I do like teaching college. That’s what I want – a college teaching position. But tonight, even the thought of teaching college stresses me out.
Hopefully this will pass. I have to get back on the horse again, but I don’t think attempting the alternative school is the right horse to ride. Can’t I have a nice English or Social Studies class? Well, I could have but I didn’t click the assignments quick enough – someone else got to them before me. (It’s a computerized system. If I don’t accept the job online, then I’ll get a call in the morning if there are openings.) All I can do is keep checking the website for openings, and turn my phone on in the morning.