Sunday, March 3, 2013

life with a substitute

Well Adrienne and I have survived day five of having a substitute.  My teacher's father passed away over President's Day weekend and his son had eye surgery today, so he's been out for over a week. It was definitely unexpected, but the kids handled it well (or as well as to be expected).  In typical  fashion, my teacher didn't leave enough work to take up the whole block, didn't email lesson plans ahead of time so we could print stuff off, and left us kind of in the dark about a lot of things. I understand that he had a lot come up at once, but teachers are supposed to have sub lesson plans prepared for emergencies like this.

Anyways, last Friday, the mayor hosted a reception for City Year Jacksonville and all of it's champions. I knew that we, the corps members, would probably have some sort of role in it.  It wasn't going to be a lot of appreciating the corps members, but it was a lot of fun. Guests had cards with a corps member's picture on it and a prompt that said "Ask so and so about..."  For example, mine said "Ask Sarah about her focus list students."  It was awesome because it got corps members and guests talking to each other.  One of our corps members, Jasmine, spoke about her service at Jackson and we even had the president of City Year, Jim Balfanz, in attendance.  It was an awesome event and I think the corps members like doing stuff like that because it makes their service seem important.  It's nice to have people outside of City Year and their school say thank you.

My teacher came back on Thursday, but he wasn't really there.  He was telling the students in third block why he hadn't been there and started to get emotional.  I think it really shook the students who are not used to seeing older men get emotional.  Later on, I looked over at one point when all of the kids were working and he was falling asleep in his seat.   It was basically like not having him around.

Thursday night, we went out for Biasia's birthday, which was fun.  We went to this really nice restaurant, got all dressed up, and had a great three course meal.  It's fun hanging out with the corps members because it's a change of pace from just hanging out with the room mates all of the time.  I mean, the room mates are great, but it's nice to hang out with new people every once and a while.

This will be the first full week with my teacher in a while. As annoying as he is, he did bring a little bit of structure to the classroom. Not as much as a normal, functional classroom would have, but some.  Enough to make it a little more enjoyable. Here's to a great, productive and impactful week!

Oh and I forgot my favorite student quote of the week.  During fifth block, I usually pull this one student out because he's such a distraction to the other students.  On Thursday, I was working with him and he finished his work early.  I offered to help him with his math homework.  At first, he said the only person who could help him was Ms. Cushing (Katherine).  Finally, I convinced him to let me help him and he realized that I knew what I was talking about.  After he was all finished, he looked at me and said..."Wow Ms. Russo! You're not as dumb as you look!"  I'll take that as a compliment!