Halloween Monsters

In honor of Halloween, I involuntarily signed up to babysit monsters residing in the 6th grade in Austin, Texas. Friday (the 29th) was my first sub job of the year and to say that it was eventful is, well, a HUGE understatement. Let me just start from the beginning.

When I mapquested the location of the school, I quickly realized I might be in for more of a challenge than I thought. I have heard many people say that it can be difficult dealing with children from extremely low income areas because they have behavior issues due to their inattentive home life. Of course, that's not the case with every child but it's hard when the children aren't getting attention or support from home and they aren't held accountable for their behavior. So, this is when it gets fun. I got to the school in the morning and had to have the janitor open up my classroom door for me. As we were walking to the classroom, the janitor laughed and said, "you have the 6th graders? oh, they are going to be horrible!" Or something to that effect. Hoping it was just a crazy janitor talking, I blew it off as not a big deal. Then, the teacher whose portable was connected to mine came over and told me the class was absolutely horrible and that I was going to have a really difficult day. Awesome, I thought. This is going to be interesting. Then, I went to go pick up the monsters from the cafeteria and as we were waiting a teacher pulled me aside and told me the same thing. This class is absolutely horrible and tried to give me a few pointers but basically just said, "good luck!" with a smile. THEN during the assembly, the principal calls out the 6th grade class and tells them that if she hears any bad reports from me that she would be extremely upset. A shout out/threat...from the principal...in front of the entire school...about how bad they are. I mean, how bad could could it possibly be? I'm sure these people are just burnt out and are being dramatic. HA!

Here I was, a young, blond substitute about to enter the wrath of 11 year old monsters.

I made a fool of myself from the very beginning trying to call role. If you ever sub, make sure you go over the role before you are saying it in front of the class. There was a lot of literal spelling that sounds like it looks. You know how you get frustrated with spelling rules when you are young and you wished everything was spelled like it looks? Well, these parents rebelled against ALL spelling rules and regulations. Trynadei pronounced Trinity...yes.

I had been forewarned about one particular child and the beginning of the class was rough but not terrible. Unfortunately, one of the other boys started taunting him so he decided to start flicking him and the whole class off, threatening to beat him up and using extremely colorful language. During the first test (she left 4 tests...who knows), the adjoining teacher next to me told me to let the 2 little girls who couldn't speak a lick of english get on the computer to play games. I thought for sure they'd be playing educational games to help them learn english. Nope, just games...for 3 hours. Oh and during the reading test, the really really really bad kid is at a 1st grade reading level so they let him skip the test and play games, too. But of course instead of playing games he got on youtube and was looking at inappropriate rap videos with half naked women. Really?

All day the kids were talking, throwing things, getting up out of their seat and doing whatever the heck they felt like doing. When a kid doesn't blink at the idea of having to go to the office, what am I supposed to do/say to make him stop? Luckily, the day slowly came to the end and they were on their way to "specials" when one of the other boys decided to call 9-1-1 from our classroom. All of these things were happening just as I would turn around after getting onto other children who were misbehaving. Obviously I'm not letting children watch rap videos and call people with me standing there witnessing it. For the first time in my life, I was summoned to the principal's office and the principal was literally interrogating the child and using military tactics to make him confess. "I DO NOT LIKE LIARS!!! YOU BETTER NOT BE LYING TO ME!!!!!" She acted like a drill sergeant and I ws so uncomfortable.

I really never raised my voice or got stressed out all day because it made me sad to think that these kids are most likely getting yelled at at home, too. I know there is a better way to reach a child but it's hard when there are 20 other kids acting up as well. It made me realize there is a HUGE need for children to having mentors and role models especially in that environment. Most of those kids only have one parent at home and aren't taught a lot of things that should be taught to children. Overall, it was a crazyyyy day but I survived (!) and now I see every other sub job as extremely easy.

Who knew Halloween was going to come 2 days early?