Friday, February 09, 2007

On the Short End of the Temper Stick

I've been subbing all week, gradually working myself up through the grades. Today I was in fifth grade. I got lulled (or maybe shamboozled) by them. They started off the day great. They started the day with art with the art teacher, giving me 45 minutes of nothing just after school starts. Then they have a social studies test. That takes them at least an hour. Follow that by a video, then half of them leave for a math class. So far, I'm cruising. I should know better.

Just before lunch they have a spelling test. So to be nice to them (since they have yet another test after lunch) I think it'll be good for them to go outside (even though it's cold) to run off their energy. Then things start going downhill.

I've started taking a whistle with me to school to help me get the kids' attention out on the playground. So, I blow it a couple of times to get their attention. One child comes. So I yell for the class. No response, though a couple look at me. I give them a minute, then blow the whistle again. This time I get maybe 4 kids (out of 20). After another few minutes, I've got the majority. We have to go in and start their grammar test, so off I go without at least one student.

They putter around so much that half the class misses the chance to go to the restroom after we get in. We recover our lost student just in time to start our grammar test. We get that out of the way and have to start a quadrilateral sheet for math when two girls start picking on one boy. Not quite insults going back and forth, but it grated on my nerves very quickly. After warning them to stop (and only have the boy respond), I finally have to put the other two girls in another classroom.

The kids are supposed to watch a video about the ocean so I have to bring the two girls back. The yipping starts again, though it's aimed elsewhere this time. They won't quite stop whispering. I'm gradually losing control. ack!

End of school, they're supposed to silent read. At this point, mayhem has broken out. My only note to the teacher about their bus call (silent reading) was.. "silent? HA!" We'll see what she makes of it.

So, on my way home my kids start their picking at each other. I tell them about the 5th graders I had and let them know that they didn't want to go there. Amazingly enough, my kids took the hint. They've left me alone to settle and have done what they're supposed to do.

I enjoy elementary school. I don't mind 5th graders. I do, however, prefer 2nd and 3rd grade. I got really spoiled, though, by the 4th grade class I had yesterday. I hope they maintain that next year. Oi.

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