Unfortunately, I think the biggest factor for why I haven't blogged in awhile is (*cringe*) my iPhone. In all the excitement of entering into the 21st century, I got lazy and started using Instagram and Facebook as my primary modes for keeping family and friends up-to-date on our lives. Snapping a picture, choosing a filter, and composing a couple of hashtags is obviously a much faster way of letting people know what you're up to, but I miss words. Go figure -- the English teacher is a "words" person.
The biggest news of this month is that I have started substitute teaching! Hooray! I had my first gig last Wednesday and it was amazing. Most people that I meet don't get why I love it so much, but it has serious perks...
2. I only deal with difficult students for 55 minutes, and then they are out the door and out of my mind. I am a professional and I treat students like young adults, but if a problem arises, I don't make parent phone calls. I don't hound kids to turn in late work. I write a quick note to the teacher letting them know what happened and then it's done.
3. I don't have time to stress about how a lesson is going to go, because I find out I'm teaching at 6 o'clock in the morning. There is no time to worry.
4. I have years of teaching experience that have not only built my confidence, but have also given me ample opportunities to handle classrooms of students that weren't necessarily my own. It's one thing to have classroom management skills in a learning environment that you've built, but it's something entirely different when you're a 'stranger' trying to take control. I'm so grateful for my year of popping into French classrooms in Bourg-St.-Andeol, for subbing in for teachers during ISA summer camps, and for starting my teaching career with a group of kids that would have much preferred their male teacher who had Samurai swords and let them debate about marijuana for a week.
5. I have the energy to make an impact. Because my focus is only on the lesson plan for that day, and not on the upcoming essay or even the essay from two weeks ago that I keep hoping to catch up on during my prep hour, I can get into the nitty gritty details and maybe even find away to impart some non-academic wisdom. I heard a great piece of advice on the radio the other week, and last Wednesday was the perfect opportunity to spread it.
The senior group had a multiple-choice exercise where they had to fill in ten blanks to a poem based on the context of the surrounding lines. After they came to a consensus on their answers with their small group, I read the poem aloud, pausing at the blanks for the class to respond with their answers in a kind of chorale reading. Before I started though, I told them that if they were going to fail, to please do it loudly, and not whisper their answers. They should have confidence in their answers and just go for it. Do your best and, if necessary, fail loudly.
6. I can reuse my lame jokes. ;)