Monday, February 13, 2006

The Period Begins

My weight is equally distributed on each foot as I stand in front of the class. In the last five minutes twenty-five to thirty ninth-graders have evacuated the room and twenty-five to thirty different students have moved in to refill the desks. Some of the students are carrying book bags big enough to contain supplies to camp and hike the Appalachian Trail. The period start bell has rung and I look out across the room of faces and make eye contact with many as I introduce myself and explain that I'm their substitute teacher today. I'm holding my neon-green clipboard that I have come to learn is impressive to some students. The clipboard contains the class roster and perhaps written instructions from the regular teacher about the class lesson plan. I have already written my name and the assignment on the classroom board. I announce the assignment and lesson plan for the day after I focus on getting certain students who are standing or talking to settle into their seat. I tell them they should be in their regularly assigned seat. Many students see a sub teacher as a day of play and not much work so I must take command early or risk letting the class get out of control. As quietness begins to cascade across the room, I begin calling the names for the attendance record. I call first names only because it's a waste of time to sound out last names since they know their position on the alphabetical listing. I try to call names in rapid succession as they respond by saying "here" or by raising their hand and with a "here". Calling roll is a time when many think they can talk quietly to their neighbor and noise level can resume if it doesn't move quickly.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you what happens next.

Have a good day!



At 2/13/2006 10:58 PM, Blogger t browder said...

This is just a little tip that might not work for substituting like it does for a regular teacher. I always had a brief starter assignment(5 minutes)that students were to do immediately upon hitting their seats. It was usually something I could use to intro a lesson. A "silent" roll call was then taken with the class seating chart while that was going on. Of course as a sub,since it's not the usual class routine, you would have to refer people to the chalkboard as they entered the room.


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