Great. I just spotted a giant cricket near my station so now I will have to keep an eye on it for the next four hours as well. Did you know that the crickets in Texas are black and so large that you mistake them for cockroaches?
Also, I recognized a Soldier who just walked into the bank. He went to West Point with The Hubby, but I only truly recognize him through random Facebook stalking. I could tell he recognized me as well. How awkward is that? Has this happened to you before?
Luckily, I came prepared and brought a novel, thank you cards to write, and this trusty laptop already opened up to my Blogger so that I can write and write away. I am not connected to the internet so all I can do is write, write and write some more. I think you can expect a rather lengthy post.
Today is my first day off from being a substitute teacher this week. You already heard about my second grade class on Monday. I had a class of third graders on Tuesday and eighth graders yesterday. Middle schoolers are so easy to watch after. Third graders, however, are quite a handful.
When the secretary signs you in and visibly grimaces and moans once you say the teacher's name you are subbing for, you know that you are in for a bad day.
So ten minutes in and I was already pissed at these kids and was definitely not as pleasant to them as I was to my last class. I'll explain why in my next post.
The day began extremely easy and I stupidly believed that I was going to have a good day. The students had P.E. for the first fifty minutes I was in charge of them and all I had to do was drop them off in a separate building and pick them up later. Easy peasy. They had lunch right after that and I didn't have to monitor them for that either.
After lunch is when students truly become rambunctious. They are filled up with sweets and junk food and are on a high after recess in the playground. Kids also know that their school day is winding down and their impending freedom is on their minds.
I was supposed to teach these kids about maps, legends and distance scales. It was going fairly smoothly except this one boy, J, and a girl, L, started arguing very loudly. J through a tantrum and refused to listen to me. After giving him several warnings, I asked him to step outside with me so that we could have a little chat in private.
I let J know that he was being incredibly disrespectful and that I if he didn't start behaving I would have no choice but to send him to the office. This made him cry. I told him how I did not want to do that to him and I was going to give him another chance. I asked him if he understood what I was saying and he nodded. J appeared to have calmed down.
Then, I asked him to come back into the classroom and the punk refused!! He told me that he needed to sit away from L because he hates her and that he has "anger problems." J was literally shaking in frustration.
"Holy crap," I thought, "I'm going to end up on the news because some kid stabbed me with a pencil."
I let him know that he was a big third grader now and that he could handle it. I said that we were going to count to ten and at ten we would both go inside. Of course, that did not work. So I asked, "J, do you want me to send you to the teacher next door? Do you think she will be nicer to you because I don't think so."
J nodded, which made me upset because I was being so patient with him. So I led him to the teacher next door who was most definitely not nicer to him. I went back to my classroom and continued my lesson.
Once I got everyone on track, I went back to get J, who actually fell asleep next door. Some punishment! He came back into my class and his attitude was still exactly the same. He sat under his desk and refused to get up and of course this happened right when someone from the office came in with some handouts. What a disaster!
J proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon banging his feet on the legs of his desk, making faces at me when I wasn't looking, and refusing to work. Let's just say I wrote an essay to the teacher at the end of the day to document all that had happened.
The class finally ended and this boy, R, started bawling unexpectedly when I asked him to pack up. Typically, this is the highlight of a child's day. Instead, he curled up in a ball on his chair and cried. All I could interpret through his tears was "I'm going to get in trouble!" and "My mom is mad at me. She thinks I lied!"
Apparently he got into trouble last week and was scared to go home. Do I need to call child protective services or something? I asked him, "Er..what does your mom do? Does she...um...hurt you...or something?"
R didn't say anything to this so I'm hoping the answer is no? I led him to the daycare line and let the person in charge know what was going on. She responded, "Ah, I bet someone's in trouble." I guess this sort of thing happens often.
Things I learned about third graders:
1) They understand (or think they understand) what it means to "have swag."
2) They are much more quiet walking through hallways. Thank goodness!
3) Threats no longer work on them.
4) They think they know everything.
5) Cutting in line is still a big deal.
6) They talk back. Good luck to their parents.
7) They still think I'm pretty and like to give hugs.
8) If you compare their behavior to kindergarteners they will be offended.
By the way, if you are a snot nosed boy who complains about your hands being sticky I WILL NOT hold your hand or give you a hug. No way, no how.