Harvest Day was the day before Fall Break at this school, where I was subbing for the Severe/Profound Teacher. But did I know this? Of course not. The teacher I was subbing for didn’t put this in his sub notes.
So, since I knew I was subbing in SSN (Severe/Profound), I wore tennis shoes. But since I was a sub, I wore dress pants and a professional top. Wow. When I walked into the school, I saw the principal (who I knew from working at a different school that she was at), and she was wearing overalls and had her hair in pigtails. Yep, pigtails. I was SO overdressed. I really felt out of place.
This was another day where the teacher didn’t leave any lesson plans. I’m not sure why. Maybe because it was Harvest Day and the schedules were off or maybe it was because his paraprofessionals knew what they were doing. Some direction from the teacher would have been nice though. I guess I can keep dreaming – it would have been nice to know that I was subbing on an unusual day before I got there too.
The paras were experienced and friendly. They told me that they were working on a new behavior plan for one kiddo and that they were going to put me with an easy little guy. He was very sweet and compliant. And we did all sorts of stuff that wasn’t normal.
They had a horse for the kids to pet. They got to rope a pretend steer with the help of one of the high school kids and they got to get up close and personal with a tractor (did you know that some of them have refrigerators in them?? And the teenagers told us that there were even fancier models). They got to have a race on stick ponies and learn about produce that is grown in Colorado. Then there was the Market. The kids and parents had made products from their assigned produce and were selling it. Every item was one ticket – every kid got 2 tickets for coming to school and then they could buy up to 4 more tickets. It was organized chaos. But it was fun.
Finally, there was a parade throughout the school. It was supposed to be outside, but on this day there were unusually high winds (50 mph) and since the school was by a field, the dirt and dust were flying and it hurt when you got hit with something. Also, some of the littler students couldn’t stand up in the wind.
My little guy (for the day) was in 1st grade. He is autistic. And he was the cutest, sweetest little guy. He said, “Excuse me.” when he needed something and he smiled a lot. It was fun working with him. Although, all I really did was make sure he didn’t get overwhelmed by taking him for breaks and make sure he didn’t get lost in the chaos.
The 1st grade classroom teacher was a lot of fun and full of energy. I felt comfortable jumping in when she was busy, and she was glad that I did. I think that she will request me as a sub at some point, which is a good thing. But the school is about 20 minutes away and doesn’t dismiss until 4:15. Michael gets out at 4 and needs to be picked up. If they ask me to come back, we will work something out.
This school opened 2 years ago. Many of the teachers were on-staff at the school I did my student teaching at. It was good to see them, and I felt very welcomed. It was also a bit tough because those teachers were my co-workers when Chris was diagnosed. I hadn’t seen them in a year and I ended up talking a lot about what was going on with us at home. I brought pictures of the boys, since most of my co-workers that year had met them – and no one could believe how much they had grown and changed.
It was a good day even though it wasn’t anything like what I thought it would be when I took the job. I guess that I am learning that Substitute Teaching is like that – you need to expect the unexpected.