Sunday, March 8, 2009

Student Teachers....and Substitutes....

First, let me describe the student teacher (ST) I had during the fall semester. She probably has her heart in the right place, but the rest of her is NOT THERE! She wants to teach math in grades 4-8. She says she ABSOLUTELY does NOT want to go lower or higher. Well, I don't think she should go higher than maybe 5th grade. It was a very bad experience for me. (Let's put it this way, if she were my first student teacher, I'd never have another one!!!)

Maybe I'm a "freak" when it comes to doing certain things in my classroom. But, I'm ultimately responsible for the learning, or lack of, that takes place in my room. I want my students to excel in everything they do. Is that wrong?

Let me give you a few examples of what my ST did wrong.

1. She told the gifted students "I don't know how to do this problem...I'll look at it later." (Hello??? YOU NEVER TELL THE "SMART" KIDS THAT!!!!!) Now, I've put some problems up for them to do and then realized it is WAY over their heads and will say "Ok--that won't work, you'll be confused, let's try this." But, I've never told them I don't know how to do a problem. (Once I told them I was having a brain freeze and called another teacher, but they didn't think bad of me!)

2. She was so mild mannered, she let the kids walk all over her. One day, they were so out-of-control. When I asked her what the consequences were, she said none. She said the whole class was bad. I replied "Then you write 15 detentions!!!!!! (Yes, this is a VERY small class and she couldn't handle it!)

3. She cried in front of them. OMG! This is the biggest mistake of all times. You know the commerical "Never let them see you sweat?" Well, for a teacher, it's "Never let them see you cry!" It was all over from that point on. She never had their respect. EVER!

Well, my dear ST was a sub in our hallway (next to my room) on Friday. She did ok for the first class, but not so well the rest of the day. During fourth period, I opened the connecting doors and yelled at the class. See, my kids were working quietly (which is amazing in itself for that class!), and all of a sudden we hear a student yell "What the hel-?" I looked at my kids and before I could say "Did I hear what I think I heard?", they all shook their heads and said YUP! When I said something to that room about profanity, ST looked at me like a deer in the headlights. After school when I saw her, she said she couldn't figure out what I was talking about. She said maybe I thought I heard her say only part of the word class. When I told her what was said, she went "Oh, I know who said that." I looked at her like "WHAT?!?!?!?!?" She told me the kid who said it and then so profoundly stated "I heard her say it, but I guess I just didn't realize it was wrong." HELLO?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Since when is that acceptable in a school????

Well, I just really, Really, REALLY, REALLY wish the sub could be a sub in our school. At least then our classrooms would be run like they should!!!!

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