Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I made a 7th grade boy cry- tales of substitute teaching

I didn't do it on purpose. It really was an accident.

I was subbing for a history teacher and the activity he left was good for a sub- read aloud and answer worksheets. But since I was an educator in a former life I thought I would make it a bit more fun. We did the reading aloud and then I made a game that would help reveal the answers on the worksheet. I was bored and wanted to entertain me and hell, it couldn't hurt the kids to have the information presented in 3 formats, right? (Okay and if the regular classroom teacher hates it then I'm sorry!)

So we read and then play. One of the rules of the game was to not cheat and I went over that emphatically. So what happens? A little spiky haired kid in the second row cheats. He looks over the shoulder of the kid in front of him to get the answer because he was talking when the right answer was given. And I had already asked him once and told him once to be quiet. I asked him if he was cheating and he said no. Then he did it again. I said "Spiky haired kid- cut it out! I told you to not cheat!" he looked sheepish and then, by goddess, the little turd did it again. I about blew a gasket.

So I told him I was writing his name down for his regular teacher. Well...

At that point he didn't say a word and we finished what we were doing. Then he came to my desk and asked if I really wrote it down and I said yes. Then the tears started rolling.

Well, I felt bad. I didn't know this kid from Adam and here I made him cry. I suck. I felt about *this* big. So I give him a tissue and tell him to go into the bathroom and calm down. The rest of the kids are freaking out- I guess this kid is an athlete and an honors students so it was really completely out of character.

So when he came back I told him I would cross his name off the list but I would expect for him to explain what happened to his teacher, himself. I told him I would leave his teacher a note that said "Spiky Haired Kid needs to talk to you."

He said thanks, his lip quivering and he gave me a hug. Then he showed up again after school and wanted to know what he should say to his teacher. I told him to tell him the truth and it should be fine.

So--- I left a note for the teacher and I hope he goes easy on the kid.

I wonder if they'll call me to come back after that?

Handing out tissues,


Hecate said...

I said it last night and I'll say it again, if he's an honors student why in hell was he cheating? Did he think he didn't have to pay attention because there was a sub in class?

Bragger said...

You can't be a good substitute UNLESS you make someone cry. Especially the honors student athletes. He'll get over it. But maybe he'll learn not to cheat. Or maybe he'll grow up to quarterback a sucky NFL team.

Farrago said...

This story made me cry.

Okay, no, it didn't. I actually like stories about making little snotty-nosed kids cry.

It's when I'm in moods like this that I'm glad I never became a teacher...or am I sorry I never became a teacher?

Maggie said...

Hecate- of course he didn't need to pay attention because I was a mere sub and not a REAL teacher... LOL

Bragger- I get he doesn't learn to not cheat and won't be even close to a famous athlete- just scarred by some sub who made him cry in the 7th grade...

Farrago- it was better when I was a "real" teacher... LOL... if you like torture of the verbal kind, teaching is the place for you- to dish out and receive such

phishez said...

I think that was very sweet and generous of you. He shouldn't have been cheating and he shouldn't have been talking. Especially since he'd been told off already for it.