Friday, November 4, 2011


Yesterday, I subbed. 
I have been subbing at least once a week in all sorts of subjects and grade levels.
I haven't seen much thinking required of students.
You know, stretching the brain. doing things that aren't easy.
I've seen some thinking.  but not much.

Yesterday I noticed lots of behavior-emphasis.  Come to school.  Learn behavior.

I wish kids could learn to love learning in school.
Some do.
Some get great teachers.  Who will do anything to help them love learning.
Some don't.
Some see school as one big beat-down.  Or they learn that if they just sit quietly, don't cause problems, and get their busywork done, teachers will leave them alone and they can make it through.  Others learn that if they act crazy, cause lots of problems, and never turn in their work, they will get lots of attention.
We call this "negative reinforcement."  Reinforcing negative behavior.

I usually pay no attention to "naughty" kids.  Unless the behavior is hurting someone else, I usually pay them no attention.  Eventually, most stop the behavior that has for so long drawn attention.  I try to pay the most attention to students who are working hard.  Because that is the behavior I want to reinforce.  I learned this from both mentor teachers in student teaching.  They were both really great teachers.  I don't think I've seen as good of teaching since then.  And that was in the "big bad inner city." :)

I am not perfect at classroom management by any means.  But I'd like to become better.  Subbing gives me opportunities to see a variety of classrooms.

On the other hand, I miss having 'my own' classroom.  With 'my' kids.  With students that I grew to know and love.  But, with private lessons,  I don't have lesson plans. 
I don't have to refer students to the discipline office.
I don't have to call home to discuss the profanity they yelled at me.
I don't have to work 50-60 hours per week to get the "must haves" done.
I don't have to...  a lot of things.
And I still get to teach.
I like both.  I like a classroom, and I like private lessons.  I'd like to plan where I'll be in 5 years, or next year.  Which type of job I'll have.  Should I look for classroom jobs or not? I think about these things and then I am reminded...  We are not guaranteed tomorrow.  We should not be anxious about tomorrow, but let tomorrow take care of itself. The Lord cares for the birds and flowers, so He will certainly care for me.  For the desires and gifts He's given me.  Because He is good and He loves me, although I am undeserving.
And so, I'll take it one day at a time.  And today, it's subbing in high school choir :)