observations of a substitute teacher

  • technology has changed. junior high and high school have not.
  • ninth grade girls are sweet and not snooty yet.
  • tenth grade girls are starting to become snooty.
  • ninth grade boys are still weird.
  • the above did not surprise me.
  • if you walk around with a lost look on your face, an adult is sure to take pity on you and ask if you are a sub.
  • if you walk around with a lost look on your face, kids wonder if you belong there.
  • washington irving will always be more interesting to you than to tenth graders.
  • literature will always be more interesting to you than to tenth graders.
  • when teachers don’t leave enough work for the class to do, quickly resort to games like “mafia” and “heads up, seven up.” this means you will have extended periods of silence.
  • if you don’t give junior high boys the death glare, they will zip their lunch boxes up over their heads. just to see if they can.
  • there’s always the one kid who gets excited about grammar. i was that kid, and this week i got to teach that kid.
  • someone should tell the substitute where to eat lunch.
  • if the above doesn’t happen, she will eat standing alone by a microwave in the kitchen.
  • if you have a past connection with the headmaster of the school, other faculty will ask for dirt on that headmaster. prepare beforehand, unlike me.
  • let kids discuss in groups before discussing as a class. it takes up time and they get their chattiness out so that they can actually discuss in class.
  • if no one shows up to your fourth period class, don’t panic. their regular teacher probably switched the classrooms, so she knows, but the school secretary will panic with you and help you run around checking other rooms.
  • if a boy introduces himself, and other boys grin, he is probably giving you a fake name.
  • remembering names on day two is impressive. and a method of authority.
  • ninth grade boys think the iliad is cool if you tell them about the achaeans dragging hektor’s dead body around behind a chariot.
  • thank the lord for each student who is bold enough to tell his/her classmates to chill out and pay attention.
  • i would do it again.
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