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Out of My Element

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This week, I’ve been subbing in places that I’m really not used to!  Monday through Thursday, I was helping out at the elementary school, administering ISTEP tests.  (State-mandated testing.)  For reasons I don’t entirely understand, only certified teachers can administer the ISTEP tests.  Since there are only about five certified subs in the entire school system, I was in high demand.  (Especially after one of the certified subs got injured and couldn’t return after the first day.)

Elementary school students are little people, so this was definitely different for me!  For the first three days, I was working with a little third grade girl who had special accomodates for the test — extended time, plus all test instructions and questions read to her.  Additionally, I administered make-up tests for students who had been absent.  Thursday was especially draining, as I administered five rounds of testing (and while perhaps it is more draining to take the test than to administer it, it is tiresome to read the same directions over and over, and then sit quietly and watch the clock for up to 55 minutes at a time.)  And after that, I helped the librarian shelve books.  (Ah, the Dewey Decimal system!)  My brain was toast by the end of the day.

Thursday night, I got a call to sub Friday  for 6th grade math and social studies.  Not my area of expertise, but hey, I can probably rememeber 6th grade math; and social studies at that level is really just reading.  But then this morning, the secretary called and asked if she could switch me to high school chemistry.  I really don’t remember any chemistry!  Thankfully, she had a test planned for the  day.  I spoke to her this morning and she assured me that her kids are all really smart and well-behaved, so I shouldn’t have any trouble.

This week has been stretching for me, which is a good thing.  When I get my own classroom, I hope this week will help me remember that a substitute filling in for me may be totally out of her element, too.


About Karen Koch

I like the old-fashioned lifestyle. All this new-fangled stuff baffles me sometimes. I cherish living out in the country, raising chickens and rabbits, planting fruit trees, and enjoying a slow life filled with beautiful words and ideas. I don't always achieve a slow life. I teach middle school English and manage a little burgeoning farm with my husband, and somewhere in the midst of that, I try to find time for writing, running, knitting, reading, and playing the ukulele. And sometimes, I actually succeed.

One response »

  1. Quite the diversity 🙂
    Personally I cannot think of anything more boring than watching kids take tests. I don’t think I have ADD but I do have boredom issues 🙂
    Glad you’re getting plenty of sub jobs!


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