Thursday, October 19, 2017

All Subs


Tuesday and Thursday of last week I covered a "severe" special ed. class.

Rather than go into a long-winded explanation of what that means, let me reference some previous posts. Two weeks ago, I wrote about the class that these kiddos will go into once they've aged out of the high school. And I pretty much had the same group at the end of the school year when they were still in middle school (so, June 2016). (In fact, Kenya, Brittany, and the boy Kenya had a crush on were all in this class.)

Tuesday things went pretty well. And if that's all there was to the story, this wouldn't have made the blog. I figured Thursday would go similarly. In fact, when I arrived, the lesson plan for Thursday was pretty much identical to Tuesday's. (The math problems were of the same type, but different examples. The grammar lesson had different questions. The reading assignment was a different page. But otherwise, we did the exact same thing.)

But when class started, I was all alone with the class.

These types of classes always have instructional aides. The IAs know everything, and I lean on them heavily. This class was supposed to have two IAs with me in first period. And yet...

Luckily, I knew the drill as it was the same as it had been for Tuesday. We did their "journal" (which was a math problem... a story for another day). And then it was time to deliver coffee exactly the way they had done on Tuesday.

About the time we were getting ready to leave, an IA showed up saying that she had been sent to fill in. And while we were delivering the coffee, another sub arrived to help out. (He was actually a substitute teacher like me. The class he was supposed to cover turned out to not need a sub.)

By second period I had full IA coverage. But, opposite what's usually the case on these days, I was the one who knew what was going on in the class and I was directing the others in what to do.

Somehow we got through the day. (I did have one regular IA, but she worked the last three periods.)

When I was getting the assignments for this week, the sub caller almost gave me a different teacher for Thursday. When I realized that I could cover the same teacher on Thursday as I did on Tuesday, I made sure to request that placement. I shudder to think what would have become of another sub walking into this without the backup I had had on Tuesday (with IAs who guided me through the day).

17 comments:

  1. My boyfriend is a special ed teacher, he sings the praises of his teaching assistants.

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    1. Oh yes, they are wonderful. They know all.

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  2. It's like they want to make it challenging, don't they?

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  3. Just out of curiosity, what made you request cover the same teacher? Whatever the reason, good thing for all. You do a great job. I always enjoy reading. Best wishes!

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    1. I meant to type 'covering for'. ~shakes head~

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    2. It was just a matter of happenstance. I didn't "request" it per se. More of an "oh, she's out again. It makes sense to keep me in the same class" kind of thing.

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  4. Good thing for everyone else that you were there. It wouldn't have been fun for some poor sub all alone that first period.

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  5. Good decision to take that class.

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  6. Awesome Liz. You made a good decision. All the best!

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  7. It amazing what they do in special ed. Not everyone learns the same way.
    Coffee is on

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  8. You know how to deal with each surprise that comes to you. It must have been quite the challenge

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    1. Not as big of a challenge as it might have been. I lucked out.

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  9. Those IAs are worth their weight in gold; bet they aren't paid super well? (or are they?)

    betty

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  10. I'm sure it was also helpful that you know these kids. It's one thing to just know the schedule, but it's another to have insider knowledge on the schedule and the kids. Especially with it being special ed.

    But they were suppose to deliver coffee? I realize special ed kids have different goals than the "normal" kids, but that seems a bit weird? Especially for it to be an everyday thing.

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    1. It's part fundrasiser, part skill building thing for the students. These are the kids who go out shopping once a month to practice.

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