October 30, 2010

Sniffles, Sore throats, Subs, and Other things that make my life crazy

Hello!  I took a blog break this week as I was fighting a nasty cold...Wednesday I got to school with dirty hair in a ponytail, a half-hearted attempt at makeup and a presentable outfit, a sore throat, and a a stuffy nose.  By the time I left at 4 for autism tutoring, I was completely exhausted and feeling sick as a dog.  I knew there was NO WAY I would be well enough to teach the next day.

One of the few things that I absolutely HATE HATE HATE about being a teacher is that you can't just call in sick.  OH NO.  I spent a ton of time typing out detailed sub plans and proofreading them, and even then I still needed to go in Thursday morning to set up the room.  I have a group of kids this year who does not do well with subs.  Last year, the principal or assistant principal would literally have to sit in one of the 4th grade classrooms when there was a sub just to keep fist fights at bay.  I have a number of those kids in my room, and while there were no fist fights, my sub's report was hardly glowing.

Thankfully, though, the asst principal stepped in in the afternoon and told 6 boys who were causing most of the trouble that they would be missing part of Friday's halloween party.  While that didn't completely turn them around, it did save ME from having to give a consequence.  Let me explain: I believe that there should be consequences for poor choices.  However, I have a hard time giving consequences for things I did not witness.  Since I wasn't there, it would do more harm than good to come in Friday and tell these boys, who I do believe were causing trouble, that they were going to miss party time.  I have several boys whose respect and trust I have had to EARN, and doing something like that, when I wasn't there to see what happened, destroys a little bit of that trust.  So, the asst. principal saved me from that.  I was able to come in and say, "Listen.  I heard you had a rough time yesterday.  I know that you will make a better choice next time.  You will be having a consequence this afternoon, just like Ms. Asst. Principal said, but we're going to move on and have a fresh start today."  And, in true love and logic form, when they protest, "But, [fill in the blank with something they did not do or something THIS STUDENT did]!!!" I can cut in and say, "Listen, we're not talking about the other studnets.  We're talking about you.  And I wasn't here yesterday.  I don't know what happened, and I am not mad at you.  So let's please just move on and have a good day today."  And 9 times out of 10, it works.

I still hate missing school.  But it was DEFINITELY the right choice.  After a day of naps, Arrested Development, peanut butter toast, and jammies, I felt MUCH BETTER and was able to go to school Friday for Halloween.  :)

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