It's been an interesting few weeks in terms of my illustrious substitute teaching career. Of the 8 potential school days that could have occurred since Monday, February 8, we have had 2, and both were delayed openings for students. Yesterday and the day before. That's it. All of the other days were snowed out.
(Why is it that around here, a delayed opening does NOT apply to teachers?)
Nevermind the amount of money that I did not make as a result of nature being a mother. You know what I'm saying.
Remembering that I am aware of the openness of this forum, I still feel perfectly comfortable saying that on my first day in the classroom (a Tuesday), I was eaten alive. Plain and simple. I had no plans (poor guy has been out for awhile) and had no idea what to do.
Yesterday was the first day that I got to see the same group of children that I had seen on that first day. Although I missed two classes because of the delay, I did get to see the rest of them. I was armed with a few good plans, an iPod loaded with listening examples and the cord with which to connect it to the stereo system, and the knowledge that if I give these kids an inch, they think they're rulers.
The plans for grades K-2 involve getting them to recognize the singing voice and to sing intervals in tune. It seems as though all they did with me was sing some simple songs and play some games, but with the repetition of a few songs, they are reinforcing the ear-training skills.
Grades 3-5 are working with syncopation. I changed the lesson and the material according to grade level, but the goal is to get them to recognize the basic syncopated figure in several different songs long before I tell them what it is or what it looks like. In honor of Black History Month, we will examine spirituals and gospel music (yes, there is a difference), and they should be able to pick up the syncopation that they hear.
Grades 6-8. This is the point at which I stop talking about work, lest I say something inappropriate. Actually, they're not bad. They're fine. They did some things. They paid some attention. If I see them on a regular basis, I think I can get them to do something for me. Once I can trust them with pencils. Only one of my schools even has middle school in it. The other one only goes up to 5th grade.
I suppose that even though I've been out of the classroom for a full year, and so much has happened to me since then, I still know what it takes to be an effective teacher (or even a passable one) and what it feels like when it goes right (or when it goes horribly wrong.
On a different subject, I went to the gym this evening. I had been going regularly for a few weeks, but the combination of snow and hospital made it difficult last week. I'm still not quite back in the game in terms of my lifting, but I'm certainly not starting from square one. I know how it feels when the muscles being addressed are working properly, and I know what problems feel like. I enjoyed this evening's workout--slower repetitions, and a little bit on the heavier side with the weights. I very much enjoyed having Musical Daddy check my form on my incline press. I trust his expertise in the gym. Eventually I'll have to have him help me with squats.
They have a cool Smith bar in this gym--it moves back and forth as well as up and down, so you get more motion. Also, a lot of the machines are less rigid in their design and allow for more flexibility, requiring that you work harder to keep the form correct. The Smith bar is a bar on a track, rather than a free weight Olympic bar. It is usually lighter than an Olympic bar as well.
Tomorrow, The Boy will have his first counts drawn after this most recent chemo. We'll see how his recovery shapes up this time. Currently, we are fine from the renal standpoint to continue chemotherapy. Should he recover in about 3 weeks from the start of the previous chemo treatment, he will continue the regimen, probably at least the next two cycles to finish the phase. If it takes him longer to recover...we'll see.
Meatball had one of those days where he slept a lot. Hopefully he'll still sleep fine tonight. The last two nights have been awesome--he went to bed not long after dinner, woke up at 10:30 for milk, then back to bed at 11 and all the way through until 6:30.
I did have a nice day. I played with my boys. I put away almost all of the laundry (of course, in a day or two, we'll have to wash clothing again anyway), and I made a great dinner. My sister and my aunt came to dinner. We had pie as an "appetizer."