Hats Off!

I have picked up quite a few more substitute teaching jobs since I have last written a blog.   Several of them at the middle school level have left me with just one thing to say…

Hats Off for the Middle School Educators!

hats off

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

You have what seems like an impossible job, but you manage to corral 30 or more hormone infused bouncing bodies and teach them how to behave like humans, all the while imparting a worthwhile academic education.  You are truly impressive people!  This is made even more apparent when the school changes your daily schedule to incorporate the neighboring high school pep-rally or create an extra long block period to let one third of the student population finish a certain test.  You carry on, full of vigor, calm, and just a bit of sassiness.  You are wonderful!

My substitute teaching jobs have in no way diminished the respect for elementary and high school educators, rather my awe has only grown for teachers of all grades.  This really is a demanding occupation that requires a great deal of flexibility and at the same time rock-solid determination.

And so, to all the wonderful educators who have or will cross my path, thank you for all that you do!



In other news, I have received several grades back on papers, lesson plans, and tests from Grad School.  I am relieved to report that I earned no grade less than a 93.  A- or above!  Woohoo! (Yes, I’m boasting just a little bit… it’s been a while since I have gotten grades, so forgive me, please)

good grades


Thank you for bearing with my silence as I went to my classes and various classrooms!  I’m glad to be back writing again!

Please feel free to comment or leave me a message!  I am always open to feedback.

Ms. Turner


Kids and Inclusion Classes

I have now had the opportunity to substitute teach in several honors, regular, and inclusion classes.  The classes and the individual students are all interesting in their own unique ways.

And I hope you are having a wonderful start to the fall weather!

welcome autumn


Oh, the thinks they say!

One middle school student was consistently mispronouncing vocabulary words.  One of the words that were giving this student trouble was “fatigue.”  She wanted to make the “e” on the end of fatigue a long vowel sound.  After modeling the proper pronunciation of the word, she wanted to know why the “u” wasn’t more emphasized.

Later in the class period, this same student exclaimed that “the story was so boring!  That no one wanted to know what the medicine bag looked like!  Who cared if it was worn in places and tied with a leather strip?” When I mentioned that it was a technique called imagery, she asked…no, demanded that I spell it for her.  Once I did, she looked up at me and asked, “You mean Im-MAG-ery?”     It was all I could do not to chuckle out loud!  I just got this vision of a little magpie bird who didn’t want to sing the way the rest of the birds are singing, so it’s going to go on pronouncing and singing the way it wants to!

National Geographic’s Illustration of a Magpie

And how they act!

In High School English classes, the students tend to fall into several different groups; some students want to avoid all interaction with others, some wish to talk to their nearest (or farthest) friend in the classroom, and some students want to talk to you and distract you from the fact that they are not doing the work. (Several students have tried to engage me in a conversation about reading for fun when the assignment was not even half done, many have tried to converse across the width of the room, and a few tend to draw into a shell, and most of them want the answers handed to them on a gold, gem-encrusted platter) Most of them have their cell phones, ipads, kindles, etc. that they would rather be playing with than paying attention to classwork.  Some of them can’t seem to focus, they want to get up and traverse across the room and up and down the aisles. (Maybe just a little bit too much sugar and caffeine)  And a select few of them want to sleep like Rip-Van-Winkle.

Honors classes can be either more focused on getting the assignments done or they can be extremely persistent about goofing off.  One or the other, but it is usually not a happy medium.

And in some of the inclusion classes, you really cannot tell who has a learning disability unless the teacher has a separate role or has left notes for you.  It can be obvious or at least more noticeable, however, when the student has a physical or sensory impairment, or the physical characteristics typical to Down syndrome.  And then you have the students with ADD, ADHD, or Tourettes Syndrome.

(Oh, and I did not know this until recently, but apparently, the attention deficit disorders and the Tourettes syndrome are not included in the IDEA provisions for special education unless they are combined with another disorder or disability. )

Most of these inclusion classes are required to have a co-teacher or a special education provider to aid you, which is extremely helpful!  The co-teacher lends familiarity and routine to the classroom, which helps the students settle down back into their habitual working habits(you hope!).  Several of the co-teachers that I have spent the day with opted, at times, to take any misbehaving students to a separate room, that way each of us had smaller groups to monitor.    But for the most part, having a co-teacher to monitor group discussions and help answer questions about the assignments or directions is quite awesome!

But I am enjoying meeting full time teachers and other substitutes during my adventures!

Ms. Turner

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