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Friday, January 11, 2008

'Life as Lucy Ricardo' Part VI

Although I majored in journalism and minored in English while in college, I managed to pick up an undeclared minor in education. In the credit review for graduation, I was surprised to find that I lacked just one course and student teaching to be eligible for a teaching credential. Hmmmm. I thought that at some point, when the hoped-for munchkins arrived and were in school, I might switch over from a communications job to teaching.

Fast-forward to the Atlanta suburbs some years later where I was doing the happy homemaker thing. Really. I baked bread. I planted flowers. The whole bit. But since we lived equidistant between two schools, I decided to try my hand at substitute teaching as a part-time venture. I tooled down to the school district offices and hoped I could sell them on my undeclared minor as rationale to let me work for them. On the contrary, they were just thrilled that I had a degree. I was in.

So I signed up for the two schools near me. For the time being, I’ll skip my first day as a sub down at the high school. It deserves a post all unto itself. Over the next few months I spent most of my teaching time at the elementary school down the road and most of that time in fourth grade classes. Don’t know if it was fourth grade kids or fourth grade teachers, but that’s where the calls came from.

Oh, I remember substitute teachers from my school days. It was a kid’s license to terrorize. I was determined to be on the lookout for their tricks – even the little fourth graders. Height, or lack of it, does not determine the ability to plot and scheme. They can be formidable opponents.

So on a day early in my elementary experience, my class and I had just recently returned from lunch, recess and a bathroom stop. That’s when a cute little girl in jeans and tee shirt approached my desk and wanted a pass to go to the restroom. I reminded her that she had just had the opportunity to do that. She whimpered, and I gave her the hall pass with direction to walk straight to the bathroom and right back. She nodded and left.

Not two minutes later another kidlett in jeans and tee shirt approached my desk with the same request. Ah ha. I know this game! Let’s all get hall passes and go giggle in the restroom and break all manner of laws. No way. Not on my watch. I was obligated to repeat the “ya shouldda just done that” speech. Kid squirmed believably. I partially relented.

“OK, when the other little girl returns, you can have the pass,” I compromised.

“But, teacher, I’m a boy!”

“Oh. Well. Then, here’s a pass. Come back quickly.” What else could I do? They all look alike in the fourth grade.

1 comment:

Willow Goldentree said...

hehe! My dad was a substitute teacher, I feel your pain.