This past Friday was my last day with the 3rd graders. They tried really hard to convince me to stay, but it wasn’t up to us. All good things must come to an end, and we move on. I will miss them though. They were good kids.
I spent the final week exploring other grade levels and situations. I was able to visit three Special Ed clusters known as “the behavior units.” The students there, for whatever reason, do not play well with others. They still deserve kind, caring adults and an education. They need to be able to read, even if they can’t control their tempers. Cute kids all around, and I enjoyed my time there. In fact, unless things change, my first sub position later this week will be in a behavior unit at another school! I’m excited. I find it amazing that I can’t get a job as a substitute when there is such a shortage. I guess I need to make sure my phone is on in the mornings when teachers call in sickly. I did get a system-wide notification that they were 30 … 30!! subs short last Thursday, while I was still demonstration teaching and couldn’t work.
Of course, now I feel lucky that I got the behavior unit position. 😀 I’m not sure I can explain why I like the idea of working with “the hard kids.” I don’t think it has anything to do with a savior complex and I know it’s not that I’m disillusioned and think that they will all be wonderful, sweet, and grateful for my kindness. I know that these students are the ones with the hard lives ahead of them. I was able to observe three different clusters during my final week of student teaching and each cluster was well-behaved (…well, considering :D) But on the day I wasn’t in the class, one of the units was destroyed by a tornado…we’ll call him Dan. Tornado Dan…I don’t know his age, but he was upset enough to flip tables. So, I’ve seen what a behavior unit can look like, and I know these kids use behavior as a form of communication because they lack the ability to use other means. Sometimes their pain and their demons are enormous. We’ll see.
I also dropped by a Kindergarten–so Adorable! Reminded me of my pre-school days. The kids were cute and were great show-offs during recess. I think I could teach younger students just as well as older students. It’s really just a matter of who I get along with best. I spent the last two days watching sixth grade and had the chance to watch the same lesson be taught by two different teachers. It was a great chance to compare and contrast methods used. I enjoyed the sixth grade atmosphere. These students can be pointed in the right direction, given instruction, and then turned loose to explore. I do like that about the older grades.