Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Comfortable Shoes, a Necessity

Teacher education is an interesting experience. They tell you how to teach certain subjects. They tell you how kids learn. They tell you you'll get sick, and that you'll have behavioral challenges, and that you may feel like a failure some times and a success at other times....even within the same day.

When I was student teaching, my university advisor called attention to our physical habits. Several of the girls in my student teaching seminar received notes when she came in to observe us that we spent too much time pushing our hair out of our eyes. After that, on observation days, there was a marked increase in pony-tails, barrettes and head-bands. The lesson was that kids will pick up on every little thing and you are "on" ALL the time. No doubt I'll write more about being "on" at a later date, but this post is about the one thing nobody warned us about in terms of substitute teaching.

As a sub, you are on your feet

I learned very quickly that it's a very psychological game, this subbing. You walk in at a disadvantage. Kids see it as a day off for them, and any sign of a substitute teacher backing off WILL be taken advantage of by observant young 'uns. Sitting down is that very hint that they're getting to you...that you're losing steam and need a rest, and THAT means that you've given away some of your control. Even when you think they're calm, such as silent reading time, as soon as a sub's backside hits a chair, anarchy reigns. They're always watching you.

So, by the end of the day, feet and legs are screaming for some compassion. Do I go home and soak in a hot tub?


I go for a run.

And dream of the day I have my own classroom so I'm not walking in every single day at a disadvantage.

Until then, I should probably ask Santa for a good pair of work shoes.

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