Tag: substitute teacher

Life as a Substitute Teacher

Life as a substitute teacher is a life of the unknown. Do I work today or not? Always a question of where to work, what grade, and what kids.  I have been hard of hearing at this level for about 6 months or so. I am very new to this chapter of my life. A few people have told me, that I was proactive and didn’t stay in the land of denial and disbelief for any amount of time. I think the main reason I was proactive and ordered that first hearing aid was because I was sure I wouldn’t be able to work at the school, I wouldn’t be able to hear the kids all talking to me at once. I FEARED the loss of my job. I still have a problem with many kids talking at once, hearing aids are aids not miracles. I felt in my heart of hearts if I didn’t tackle this head on and immediately I would no longer have a job.

So what changes if any did I need to make as a substitute teacher and hard of hearing. One major thing I had to do was make sure I got those calls at 6:30 in the morning. We live in a small house and only have one phone jack so one phone in the house that is not in a bedroom, living room, or the basement. I have the school call my cell phone. I can usually remember to have that with me.   I also had to make sure my ringtone is nice and loud, but I also don’t want to annoy anyone else around me. The one thing I was given which I really like is this little device.

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This nice little battery operated stand will start brightly flashing when the phone has vibrated. This has been a great thing when I happen to be sleeping, and no hearing aids in.  I don’t hear the phone call but open my eyes to a light flashing. I can call the school back and not miss those jobs. Before I had this I was missing a lot of calls and I had to do something I was dreading. I had to let our secretary know that I am hard of hearing and I am missing your phone calls not just ignoring you. I got the kindest response, just a big thank you for all the subbing I do. I am not sure why I was so scared to let someone know.

I work in our local school district, which is small town and maybe 60-70 kids per grade level. A lot smaller then I was raised with. With having such a small amount of kids I know them. I have worked with them for 7 years; I have seen these kids grow. One thing I really like to use in the classroom is an FM system. I have seen these used before. Some teachers use them and some don’t. My son has an IEP and it states use of the FM system for his mild hearing loss. I try to use the FM system in every class I am in. For myself, and for students the use of the microphone is a nice way to make an effort that everyone can hear what is going on in the classroom.  I try to have no one including myself left behind.

There are classes that are much easier for me to teach in than others. Kindergarten through about 2nd grade really scares me. Why…they all talk to me at once in their little voices. I miss a huge amount of the content of what they are saying. I really try to implement one child at a time when I am in the class. An English class is usually an easy one, quiet and usually just reading. Now coming up I will be the agriculture teacher for three days. I know already this will be very stressful. It is a huge room with industrial fans, shop noise with industrial tech next door. I will sit facing the students and the door ( I don’t hear someone coming in the room), kids now to come up to me and face me to ask to leave class.

I guess my job is the same as all subs. I just have to make sure I am aware of what is going on. Make sure my eyes are on the kids and the kid’s eyes are on me. I would like to hear about what if any changes you have had to make in your career.

What Do I Want To Do When I Grow Up

My life as a substitute teacher.  When your main job is a substitute you need to expect the unknown.  I look at the calendar for the week and can get discouraged because I will only have one day scheduled.  I feel sad, defeated because at this stage of my life, both of my kids in school, I want to work full time.  6:30am will hit on Monday morning and the phone will ring and they need a sub.  That is what it is like, a boring outlook on the calander and then boom I am working almost everyday.  It happens so fast and is really is always in the air.  I will get settled in a class and then get called out and have to move to another class or move to the other school.  It is always changing it is the unknown.

I must have hit a point in my life that I need stability again.  I started working as a waitress at the age of 15 and worked at a small cafe till the end of my senior year.  Even before that I delivered the daily paper, The Stillwater Gazette.  I have working blood and it has always run thick.  I got through college in 4 years and that was with working a good amount of hours each week at a job and working up to two jobs in the summers.  College isn’t cheap ya know.  So when Henry was born I decided to stay home.  Then he was so sick and we had so many doctor appts, and therapy appts a full time job would not have fit in.  Now both kids are in school and that working blood is needing to be tended.  I need to know I am going to work each day and now I have hours coming in every week.

So my problem is what can I do for a job or career.  I have subbed k-12 for almost the past 7 years.  I love the school and I love the kids but there isn’t a list of job openings at the school at the time.  I went to school for Communicative Disorders with an emphasis in Audiology.  I have not obtained my Masters so I can not practice speech therapy and to be honest I can’t see myself doing that or wanting to do that.  Now audiology is a completely different story.  I enjoy the science of the ear.  I used to like making out an audiogram and graphing left ear and right ear with masked sounds and unmasked.  Now what do I do with that and living in small town, I don’t live in a metro area where there are a lot of towns around that may have openings.  So I research and read and I update my resume and just wonder what to do.

My ideal world I could get a job I would work with an audiologist or in a hearing aid office.  I know most say 1-2 years of experience.  How in the world can you get that experience if you can’t get in somewhere.  Oh well for now I will live the life of the unknown sub.  This week I was a Title 1 teacher, a 6th grade teacher, and 2 days as a 5th grade teacher.  I love the amount of days but I just need to know and have that consistency.

I will take input from anyone on this subject or hey want to offer me the job of the century- I am “ALL EARS”

Don’t You Dare Throw Those Scissors

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Ok so maybe this picture is a little drastic but I felt like this yesterday afternoon.  Yesterday was a crazy day at school, one that I hope not to repeat anytime soon.  I am a substitute teacher at our local school.  Now that is a hard job in many ways.  One big one is just earning the respect from the kids.  I have noticed lately that respect has gone out the window.  Maybe we were like that when I was young but I would have never dared laugh in an adults face or talk back to them.  It just wasn’t done and you didn’t do it.  I don’t feel like I am that old (in my 30’s) what has happened.  

So I am at school for the whole day and from hour one it just did not go as planned.  The kids were crazy.  Maybe spring fever, lack of respect, or just the kids themselves.  They were body slamming each other on the tables, they were throwing scissors across the room, they were fling kernels of corn (I was in the Ag room).  It was nuts!!!! That is an understatement.  This all happened by 2nd hour.  Wow this day is going to be long.  

Now to anyone that has hearing loss knows that background noise is not your friend.  It masks speech sounds or at least for me it does.  So in this Ag room there are shop noises, LOUD fan noises, high ceilings, just lots of industrial noise.  I need to concentrate to the max in there and then add this behavior on top of it EQUALS stressed.  The day was crazy but luckily ended much better then started.  The last couple hours were much better than the start of the day.  I don’t think I could have handled 8 hours of that amount of crazy.  

I was emailing my mom throughout the day yesterday, in between classes and during lunch.  She had written she wished there could have been a video of the craziness of the classes she could watch.  I just laughed and said you could have probably seen the gray hair forming on my head.  

Luckily my family could feel my mood last night and were huge helps to get dinner done and cleaned up.  We were all in PJ’s by 6:30 and watching a movie.  A good nights sleep and a day with my husband today has been the perfect prescription.  Out to lunch and a little grocery shopping.  

Now tonight my son has a TaeKwonDo test.  A whole different kind of stress.  A kind of stress that will cause me tears but only because I am so proud of all my little guy has accomplished this year.  

On to a fun family weekend.  No big plans, just time together.  No one better be throwing scissors.