Saturday, February 03, 2007

I don't love seventh graders

I started substituting on Tuesday, with a small class of 3rd graders who have ADHD and stuff. It was actually quite fun. There was an aide in there (thank goodness) who took care of all the actual lesson stuff, and I did the stuff she normally does (grade papers, work one on one with a student who didn't want to do anything, etc). The kids were really smart, they just had a hard time staying focused on their assignments.

Wednesday, I substituted choir. It wasn't too bad, although one of the classes (the first one, of course) screwed with me and lied to me about a bunch of stuff about how class was supposed to work and managed to get a hold of the teacher's grade book and look at it for quite a while during class (I didn't discover it until one girl brought it to me during the next class period asking if she could please put it away, which I of course let her do after which I locked up the place that it had come from and changed all the lesson plans so that nobody would go through that particular room again during the day). Other than that, the day went pretty well. The students weren't horrible, though they weren't particularly great either.

Thursday and Friday I substituted a seventh grade reading class. A couple of the class periods were pretty good. Two of them were particularly horrendous. I'm substituting math at the same school on Monday, but there will be tutors from ASU there helping the kids out, so it shouldn't be too bad. Seriously though, after Friday was over I had a humongous headache, and got to the verge of crying a couple of times. I do not know how to handle seventh graders who do not want to do what I tell them to, are swearing at me in Spanish, and glare at me for the entire class period as if I am the scum of the earth. I am going to be much, much more picky about which junior high classes I agree to substitute for from now on, and if they continue to go that badly, I'm not going to do them any more.

Veng has gotten to substitute 2nd grade, preschool, and kindergarten so far, and he already has lined up to substitute junior high biology, culinary class, ESL, and more kindergarten. I have been getting jealous of him, as I would very much like to do more elementary school substituting. The culinary class sounds like it could either be a lot of fun, or completely horrible. I think it would be more fun if it was at the high school level.

I don't know how teachers do it, honestly. Being on their feet for so much of the day, keeping the kids in line, grading all that homework every night after an already long day. It's pretty amazing. After my first day substituting, I thought to myself, hey, it might be pretty fun to be a teacher, but then I thought about the homework, and the day-after-day stress, and decided that I'm glad I chose to not go into teaching. Substituting is okay because once the day is done I get to go home and do whatever I want and don't have to worry about it anymore.

I got a chocolate swirled cheesecake pastry thing last night when we went out to eat with Veng's parents, and it was delectable, and helped make up for my bad day very well. After dinner, Veng and I went out and watched Pan's Labyrinth, which was a really good movie, though not one I think I'll watch again. Lots of creepy parts. A fair amount of heartless violence (it is rated R for that, and some swearing). It wasn't any worse for creeping me out though than, say, the torture on 24 is. At any rate, it's a very good, rather creepy, very sad movie. The visual effects are very well done and believable. Listening to the Spanish was pretty fun...I tried not reading the subtitles except for confirmation as to what I was hearing at first, but then one particular character came on and I couldn't keep up with listening to it anymore (and they started using a lot of words I don't know in Spanish) so I reverted to just reading the subtitles, and smiling to myself when I recognized words here and there. Veng enjoyed the Spanish a lot, as a couple of characters speak with a very distinctly recognizable Spanish accent (as in, the accent that Spaniards have when they speak Spanish, with the theta).

Now it is time for breakfast and housework. Sometimes I wish I didn't ever have to do any housework. Other times it's kind of fun being the little housewife and taking care of everything for Veng. I think it's one of those things that hopefully I'll just eventually develop habits for all of it and it'll just get done, because I'll just do it without really thinking about it. At least, I hope that's what will eventually happen. Now, breakfast.

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