Debbie Williamson

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Substitute Teaching Archive

Friday

21

October 2016

2

COMMENTS

You Are In Charge Of Your Own Education

Written by , Posted in General, Substitute Teaching

(I’ve been having problems with my blog sending out notifications to my subscribers. My awesome son-in-law fixed the problem, so I’m going to resend this post I wrote yesterday. I apologize to any of you who did get this post and are now getting it for a second time. Thank you for your patience!)

I love my job.

I have been substituting teaching middle schoolers for 13 years and 98% of the time I really love it. (The 2% can be a killer, but, it’s only 2%. I can live with that.)

Everything about it — the students, the teaching, the reading, the encouraging and directing, and the staff.

The school I currently work at has pretty great teachers. It’s been a joy to get to know them and be their friend. And every so often I actually get to see them at work doing their awesome thing shepherding needy, curious, sweet, aggravating middle schoolers through what most of us remember being the WORST YEARS OF OUR LIVES. It’s quite a task and responsibility. I’m humbled by their dedication and patience.

The other day I had a long conversation with one of them. And one of the things she said was:

You are in charge of your own education.

Thursday

20

October 2016

1

COMMENTS

You Are In Charge Of Your Own Education

Written by , Posted in General, Substitute Teaching

I love my job.

I have been substituting teaching middle schoolers for 13 years and 98% of the time I really love it. (The 2% can be a killer, but, it’s only 2%. I can live with that.)

Everything about it — the students, the teaching, the reading, the encouraging and directing, and the staff.

The school I currently work at has pretty great teachers. It’s been a joy to get to know them and be their friend. And every so often I actually get to see them at work doing their awesome thing shepherding needy, curious, sweet, aggravating middle schoolers through what most of us remember being the WORST YEARS OF OUR LIVES. It’s quite a task and responsibility. I’m humbled by their dedication and patience.

The other day I had a long conversation with one of them. And one of the things she said was:

You are in charge of your own education.

Friday

26

August 2016

3

COMMENTS

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Written by , Posted in General, Substitute Teaching

2 hugs, looks of disappointment, a meltdown (a student, not me), and unending muttering about what they have to do before I let them use the restroom . . . Hallelujah! It’s time for another year of substitute teaching muddled middle schoolers.

School started 3 weeks ago in our district and I’ve already worked 4 days.

The huggy, smiley, obedient kids are wonderful. They’re easy to like, help and favor.

The eye-rolling, muttering, disrespectful kids are not.

The other day, I had both. I stood at the door after the bell rang to welcome the 8th graders to class.

There were smiles and bouncy attitudes and hooray, it’s you!

And, there were frowns and sullen steps and bummer, it’s her.

I smile and cheerily (maybe annoyingly) say, “Hello. Good morning/afternoon. Glad you’re here.” And they all file in.

Let the games begin!

Saturday

11

June 2016

0

COMMENTS

Are You Trying To Ruin My Day?

Written by , Posted in General, Substitute Teaching

It’s summer and another school year has come and gone.

Our district was out on a Friday, and the Tuesday before I was subbing in an 8th grade social studies class. The teacher had left a worksheet for the antsy, almost high schoolers to do. As I gave the instructions and reminded them that they were to finish the worksheet by the end of the period, Sophia said to me, “Are you trying to ruin my day?”

And I smilingly and sweetly replied, “Not just your day, but the rest of your week as well.”

Sophia and I have a long history, going back to her 6th grade year. She was chatty and squirrelly then (lots of time spent in the hall), and three years later she’s still chatty and squirrelly (lots of paragraphs written beginning with, “I have been disrespectful to the guest teacher . . .”) Hilarious that she was worried about me ruining her day. Hahahahahaha.

Sunday

15

May 2016

3

COMMENTS

A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Written by , Posted in General, Substitute Teaching

The other day was like Alexander and his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Well, maybe not that bad. But it wasn’t good. Actually, I felt like crying a couple of times. But crying in front of middle schoolers . . . Imagine an injured sheep surrounded by a pack of hyenas. Not a pretty picture.

6th graders behaving badly makes for a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. And when they’re behaving badly AND rolling their eyes AND whispering to their friends about how ridiculous you are, well, I left thinking that maybe we could cancel cable and not eat out ever again to make up for the loss of income when I QUIT!

And to make bad, horrible, I had to cover a 7th grade class during my prep period, the one period I had to regroup. And those 7th graders . . . older hyenas. I shudder thinking about it.

Tuesday

2

February 2016

5

COMMENTS

The Best Talent Show Ever

Written by , Posted in General, Substitute Teaching

Recently, I was in a 6th grade language arts classroom and first up on the docket, a quiz. The directions were: start the quiz, finish the quiz, turn it over, put pencil on top, and wait for the rest of the class to be done. And like always, I went over those directions a few times to make sure they heard, and most importantly, heard correctly.

Five or so minutes later, a boy comes to me and whispers, “Mrs. Williamson, what do we do with our quiz?” (Can you picture me hanging my head? I did.)

I quietly replied to my friend, “I gave you the instructions before we started about what to do when you’re done. What did I say to do?”

He said back, “Oh, yeah, I wasn’t listening.” (Can you picture my head hanging lower? It did.)

And I thought, Holy Toledo, what am I doing?!

Saturday

9

January 2016

6

COMMENTS

Not A Detention Slip!

Written by , Posted in General, Substitute Teaching

At the middle school I substitute at, Fridays have the longest class periods than any other day of the week. They’re almost one hour long. If you teach, sub at, or are rearing middle schoolers, you do understand how long one hour is with one middle schooler, much less 35 of them. And on a Friday when they are all anxiously waiting for the weekend, or it’s raining, or the day before Christmas vacation . . . brutal.

I was in a 6th grade Language Arts class yesterday, yes Friday, the day with the verrrryyyyyy long periods. At one point, as I thought I was losing my mind, I was sure that the bell was going to ring soon. I glanced at my watch and saw we had 35 more minutes. 35 MORE MINUTES! Holy Cow. I started to have a panic attack. Just a little one. Got sweaty. But I took a few deep breaths and was back functioning shortly.

Tuesday

25

August 2015

4

COMMENTS

GRRRRR . . .

Written by , Posted in General, Substitute Teaching

The school year’s started and I’ve gone back to substitute teaching. I LOVE my job. The first four classes I had were delightful.

A class of 6th graders who were still sufficiently overwhelmed that they were attentive and obedient and fun.
Three periods of 7th grade science with so much work assigned there was no time for any shenanigans.
An 8th grade math class whose teacher demands perfect behavior and they know better than to do anything less.
And three periods of a new communications class where I had a total of 23 students and we watched Horton Hears A Who.
Did I say I LOVE my job?

Then today . . .

Oh boy. Today made up for those pleasant days.

Tuesday

14

April 2015

12

COMMENTS

Your Best Yes

Written by , Posted in General, Substitute Teaching

As a teenager, I loved math. So enrolling at UCLA, l I declared economics as my major. (Do you know how not about high school math economics is?) Anyway, after two years of studying as hard as I’ve ever studied — staying up all night, learning to love coffee — I was barely getting C’s.

I was desperate for a change.

Wednesday

1

October 2014

10

COMMENTS

Mercy Always

Written by , Posted in Devotional, Substitute Teaching

As you know, I substitute teach middle school.

Lately, I’ve been in 6th grade classes (as I shared in here). And even though they’ve been in school since early August, they still have much to learn about being middle schoolers. Most of them love me and are soooooo excited to see me when I open the door each period. They smile big and say hi and wonder what fun thing we’ll be doing. However, some can be rude and disrespectful, loud and smelly! Boys come in after lunch sweating. Really sweating. Sweat is running down their faces. Ick.