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I'm pretty!

Last week, I had a particularly trying day while subbing. I don't think I have ever gotten through a day without some small challenge, which is typically the loudness of a large class (and for the record, I think having over 30 kids in one class is too many). But usually, all is well that ends well.

The day started off fine. By late morning, I bribed one of my toughest (i.e., largest) classes by saying if I did not have to tell them to be quiet more than two times, I would let them out two minutes early. The school has no time between classes, which means that other than the first period, no class really starts "on time." But since this class is right before lunch, and I was hungry and knew we could get through what we needed to, I figured this was an acceptable trade-off.

The class was probably about as quiet as it ever was; I did have to say something three times, so, much like I parent, I did not hold completely to my threat, but I called it a success. And as the students were leaving, one of the boys said to me, "Um, uh. You're pretty."

I said thank you and went on my merry way. It seems silly, but it made my day (which went downhill from there). This kid (or maybe it was his twin brother) told his mom during a fish fry a few weeks ago that I was the best sub. A number of kids have said something like that, which, to me, means I am too nice. I let them get away with too much. Yep, just like I parent. And, of course, there is the other end of it. Some kids just do not like me. Because sometimes I do raise my voice. And I try to teach them as often as I can, much to the displeasure of some.

Later that day, I had a rough class. Another one with over 30 kids. A few of them would just not stop talking, both when I was trying to teach and when students were trying to answer questions. Near the end of class, someone said their teacher writes the names of the "bad" (I am not sure she used that word) kids on the board. I told them I was writing those names down on a piece of paper. That really helped to quiet down that class. Most of them anyway. But someone asked if I knew everyone's name and, alas, I did not. Fortunately, I did know the names of the two worst offenders, but, unfortunately, a couple of others got away with being disrespectful. Before you ask, yes, some kids would actually not tell me their correct name (though I am sure others would happily provide that information).

As I said, I tend to teach (well, manage the kids) as I parent. And in both cases, I am genuinely surprised that the kids are not respectful; they think nothing of talking when others are and ignoring me when I tell them to be quiet. When I was in elementary school, we never treated teachers this way. Sadly, times have changed. But that should not matter; I need to get tougher.

At least I'm pretty.


Lynnette said…
Yes, you ARE pretty! So remember that! But I'm just saddened that the kids in the Catholic school could be this disrespectful. I realize all schools are different, but I'm hoping that by sending my daughter to a Catholic school, she will learn respect for everyone around her, and will learn to follow the rules, moreso than I would expect her to learn those things in a public school. Do you think parents know that their kids behave like this in school? I would be appalled if I were to ever find out that my kid acted like that. Maybe they know and just don't care, and that, too, is terribly sad. We all deserve respect, and it has to start at home.
chris h. said…
I can't imagine in grade school (or high school or college for that matter) not giving the teacher my name when asked! It's a different world now -- kids are so brazen. So much for "being better parents than our parents were."
Facie said…
Most of the kids are good. Really. There just happen to be a couple of bad apples in that bunch. Plus kids try to push it, and my giving in does not help.

I am considering talking to the parents of the "bad" ones. The mom of one of them was there last night. I wonder if she knows who I am. But she seems like the type of person who would be pretty upset if she knew what was going on.

I have not subbed in public schools since 1994, but I am assuming that more kids are worse, at least in my school district, anyway.
Mel said…
facie, it's nice that you're pretty--but honestly? for survival's sake? screw pretty. be b****y. it goes farther. I know of what I speak--been there.

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