For the most part, I don't like to talk about my job. That's probably because most days I don't like my job very much and I'm not one to dwell on unpleasant things. Leave it behind and forget about it, that's me. And when you are a substitute teacher that's exactly what you can do--walk away and forget. Tomorrow I'll be in a different building with different kids. It's possible I'll never see the kids I had today again (Which would be nice!). I never have to plan ahead except to make sure I have clean clothes to wear. No meetings to attend, no parents to deal with, no lesson plans to write, nothing. It's almost not even a grown-up job, because if I don't feel like going to work, I just don't answer the phone and nobody cares. Four years ago, I took the job a lot more seriously, but now I know my place-- babysitter. It's true. Most kids aren't going to listen to me or do any work and when the teachers come back, nothing that was done on a "sub day" gets graded. All I'm doing is holding down the fort and making sure everyone gets home with both eyes and no broken bones. I can do that.
Of course, I have to try to teach anyway, make a good show of it. Today it was third graders at Franklin. This was the yappiest group of kids I've had in long time. Luckily, none of them were mean, angry haters. On the contrary, these kids got along, almost too well, because they never, ever, EVER stopped talking the entire day. They kept talking even when I would stare right at them, say their name, tell them to stop talking. They chatted with each other constantly, mumbled under their breath when they read or did math, and shouted in the hallways to other classes. They talked so much, I'm not sure how they can still have voices left! Mine is certainly tired after a day of telling them to be quiet! The loudest part of the day? Silent reading. It was just chaos in there! Okay, maybe going down the hall to lunch was a little louder, but not much.
They had library today and when I went to pick them up, the librarian was beside herself. I guess they weren't quiet in there either and she was giving them a "Shame On You" speech for making it impossible to teach them. They couldn't hear her, of course. They were whispering to each other, loudly.