Friday, January 24, 2014


Thursday and Friday was my very first experience substitute teaching.  I substituted for the classes I have been student teaching in- one Language Arts class and three math classes- all sixth grade.  I had not quite prepared myself for a day full of teaching.  May I just start out saying that teaching is the #1 underpaid and underestimated career?  I knew this before, but I think it would be impossible for anyone to truly understand the statement unless they, themselves realized the amount of work that goes into this career.  I love this quote because, maybe I'm biased, but it's completely true!

I think the reason why people underestimate elementary education teachers is because when people hear "elementary" they think we teach the difference between triangles, circles, and squares all day.  The truth is, almost EVERYTHING I teach, I need to research beforehand.  If you didn't major in the field of science, could you explain to someone what an isotope is?  Even then, try explaining it to students who need it put in simpler terms.  Sometimes it seems there isn't such a way!

But please, don't think for a second that teaching is the first part of being an educator.  Mediating behavioral issues is something that seems will take me years to master.  Don't worry, I won't complain about a single thing... Josh already got the butt of it all... (:

Instead, may I explain the following phrases I heard multiple times throughout each period of the day (and my responses to each, said ever so kindly in my mind):
    • "Can I have a pencil?" (Literally, every 10 minutes)
      • ...Does it look like I'm made of pencils!?
    • **Whiny voice: "teacherrrrrr, he won't stop ________!!!"  
      • ...I'm a teacher, not a babysitter.
    • "Can I go to the bathroom?"
      •  ...No, because you just went 10 minutes ago and you're just going to skip class.
    • "Can I get a sip of water?"
      • ....There's a water fountain in our room.
      • ....No you don't.  Your life is not over, preteen.  
    •  **After being told to stop: "I'm not doing anything!!!/What was I doing???"
      • ....You're right, I just told you to stop because I like the word.

    Now, one may think by my answers that I am a horrible person.  Sorry, I'm only human- I am also sarcastic- not to the students, but for my own entertainment.  Don't get me wrong- I love teaching.

    And despite the craziness of Thursday and Friday, there is a happily ever after.  On Friday, the last comment a tender little quiet student told me today was:

    You're a great math teacher!


    1. Hey Lacey, I totally, 100% understand what you are going through. I'm student teaching 5th graders right now and my mentor teacher has been gone three days; I've been taking over the class and it really is a TON of work, more so than teachers get credit for. Good to you for sticking with it!!

      1. Hi Heather! It's so difficult- isn't it? There literally isn't enough time in the day to get everything done. Let alone have a life. haha!