At the beginning of August I got a call from a Principal at Central Middle School about a week before school as supposed to start. They were looking for a long term sub that could work for 1/2 the year. I was surprised and I wasn't planning to work full time this year but since I had done student teaching for the same amount the year before I knew what type of time commitment I was looking at.
I liked the campus, I liked the sense of community and I really liked the administration so I decided to take a chance. It was a lot of work (for sub pay) and I had a lot to learn but it was a really good experience and I'm glad I did it.
I had a week to get ready, come up with rules, expectations and get ready to teach. They were just transitioning to a new curriculum so we kind of were working it out as we went for a lot of the time. Here are a few highlights.
The teacher I was filling in for was on maternity leave so I had to clean up the classroom, and make it my own a bit. I started by organizing and throwing away old food and stashing the mess, ha ha.
I rearranged bulletin boards, moved tables around and used my Cricut to personalize the room.
My classroom rules....nice but next time I would have explicit expectations posted for things like labs and tests.
The first few days of school I was pretty nervous but I learned to be adaptable, learn quickly and be open minded and ask lots of questions. One of our first activities we did four corners to do an impromptu science experiment to poll what kind of super powers the rest of the class would like. to have if they could.
We did a mystery substance lab. We did lots of labs...
I had them record themselves with videos
We did some projects outside.
We did engineering challenges, like the paper chain challenge and make the tallest tree.
I participating in things like Crazy Hair Day and even got on the Central Instagram page.
I had good days (like the boy that drew me this picture)
And bad days that were frustrating and long
(like finding this mess in the sink, and having classroom things destroyed)
Middle Schoolers are loud, destructive, do things without thinking but are also social, engaging (most of the time) like novelty and are generally interested in science. They take patience and grace but I also felt I had instances where I could support and build them up and I would like to think that I was an asset to the school while I was there.