Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Ah hallways... the one place everyone wants to work. The one place I love sending kids to work because it makes for a slightly less hectic classroom. Not the one (as in only) place kids get into trouble (because there are multiple place kids get into trouble these days).

Here is a story about one of the more humorous stories of kids getting into trouble in the hall.

A couple of boys were the first to request to do the work in the hall. They promised me they would get their work done (and they were) so I let them.

Now I'm not going to say big mistake here like I normally might because it made for a funny story...

The classroom I was in this day was on the second floor of the school and was located right beside the stairwell. So the boys were working on the other side of the doors inside the stairwell but still on the second floor.

Well you see there is this other teacher who teaches right below the classroom I was in this day. The thing about this teacher is she is not a favourite amongst the students at this particular school.

So what do the boys decide to do when they see her enter the stairwell on the main floor?

No, they do not spit on her or toss gum over the side so that it sticks in her hair... that would be too cruel and they would have been in big trouble for that.

They toss an eraser down on her.

The teacher flips out on them and comes in to talk with me about how they should not be in the hall because they can clearly not behave.

So the boys come back smirking at each other at their successful eraser toss which got the exact reaction they were hoping for.

Good one teacher below us.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


My boyfriend showed me this video.

I must admit that I pronounce students names wrong ALL the time but Blake and Aaron? 
 I would get that right.

Before I do the attendance if I've glanced at it and have noticed there are a lot of names I'm not sure of I'll usually let the kids know that I might pronounce some of their names incorrectly.  
I'll always apologize when I get it wrong and try to do better in the afternoon.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I have this friend who is a bit of an artist (ok, a bit of an artist is likely an understatement... he is an artist.. it's what he does).
Anyways, whenever a student draws something that I think he might recognize I snap a picture of it and send it to him.  

Because you are dying to know... the picture I sent him (that started everything) was this one:
The kid told me it had something to do with Star Wars (because I know you were wondering)

Anyways, when I sent it to this friend I couldn't remember what it was of... I assumed it was Star Trek since the movie had just come out.  To help us figure it out I sent him pictures of some of the other art work this particular kid had drawn.  Which was when my friend (the artist) decided the kid had talent and he now wants the kid to sign his crutch.  Which will obviously happen when I break my friends legs just so he has a reason to get a crutch (what can I say, I'm an amazing friend).

The kids were away at music this whole time and when they came back they were to write in their agendas, clean up, and then go home.  There wasn't really going to be too much more of the day.  But my friend had one request "get him to draw a robot ninja ordering a coffee from a space dog"

There wasn't a lot of time to spend drawing but naturally I had to get the kid to do this to see what he came up with (plus I expected my friend to be super pumped that I actually followed through with it).

I did forget parts of his request though.  I believe I asked the kids to draw me "a robot giving a space dog a coffee"

So in the end this is what he drew...

 I had a couple of his friends also draw it

I think we can all agree that it was a productive day in grade 3/4!

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Write a note to the teacher about how the day went. I've never had the opportunity to call in for a substitute (yet) but I'm sure the teachers appreciate it. My "notes" often turn into a novel and I feel somewhat bad about this but hey, I have big printing.

Sometimes I'll break up the day in morning and afternoon, sometime I will break it up for each class so that the teacher knows exactly what we did in each class, other times it will be more of a "the class was great and everything got done" kind of note. I usually write the first half of the note at lunch so that I don't forget about the morning during the afternoon.

I also try not to write too many bad things. Sometimes the teacher asks for a list of names of kids that could have been better and then I'll give them the list. But this rarely happens. They have to be really bad to get their name in the note. I think in all 5 years of me subbing I've only written a completely horrible note a couple of times. The last time I did, the teacher e-mailed me and apologized. She also told me she made her class write letters of apology to me but I was too scared to ever return to her class to get those letters.

Don't forget to write about the good things. Lots of amazing things happen every day. I like to write about funny moments (I hope the teachers get a little laugh about them) and write down names of anyone who was extra helpful that day. Like parents, teachers don't just want to hear about all the horrible things their class does when they are away. Tell them some awesome things about their class in the note too.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Quick Questions

Sometimes, as a substitute teacher, you will be required to fill a vacancy. This just means that you will be a float between numerous classrooms throughout the day. Schools will often do this when teachers need to be in meetings for only a short period of time within the school or to help the teacher when they are doing individual student teaching (such as CAP testing).

Other times you may find yourself in a classroom other than your own to help a teacher out when you have a prep.

I don't recall which of this circumstances this day fell under but the point was that for one period I found myself in a classroom other than my own.

So, I walk into the classroom, introduce myself to the teacher, and explain why I am there and before I can get out my name one of the girls in the class already has her hand up to ask me a question.

Sidenote: Here is a picture of myself. I can apparently pass for a lot of nationalities. Asian being one of the ones that is often guessed first by people who do not know me. I am not Asian though.

Eventually the teacher calls on the girl and she is given the chance to finally ask her question.

"Is she Korean?" she asks, referring to myself.

I laugh about it because of course I would be mistaken as an Asian.

"No", I tell a disappointed Asian girl who was clearly excited that she may have found someone in her school like herself.

I think looking like so many different races may be helping me though. Kids that are Asian think I am one of them. Kids who are native american also think I am them. I've also gotten Mexican, Filipino, Hawaiian, and French. Basically, everyone thinks I can relate to them.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Stories (Part 2)

I mentioned "The Book of Awesome" in last week's tip of the week which I suggested for grades 5 and above, telling you to stay tuned for a suggestion for lower grades. Well the wait is over. For anything under grade 5, bring a picture book! Wow, what an incredible idea that you would have never thought of!

I like to go to "Winners" or "Chapters" clearance section for my picture books. You will find a lot of lesser known books here that are just as amazing as the more popular Dr. Seuss books. But the difference being this: the kids haven't heard these stories a thousand times already. A bonus to you is that you will never be paying more than $6 for a book.

I like to switch it up depending on the season that we are in. Once December rolls around I start bringing out my Christmas books and in October I break out my Halloween books. I have yet to acquire any books for the other seasons.. but you definitely can! One of my more popular books is a Halloween pop up book. The kids love it, I love it... it's wins all around.

Just remember to bring your book home with you (I've lost a couple of good books by forgetting about them on a desk or chair somewhere) and make sure the kids do not destroy your precious, precious pop up books.

Here are a few from my collection

The ever popular Halloween pop up!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tales from Grade 5

I was subbing in a grade 5 classroom where they had to create fairy tales.  The great thing about this was that their fairy tales were already done.. the pictures and everything.  All they were actually doing was reading and sharing them with the class.  

So all I really had to do for about 30 minutes was listen to some stories that grade 5 students came up with... and let me tell you they did not disappoint!

I'm having major regrets about not photographing every page of one of the stories... the stories were actually really well written.  I did happen to snap a picture of a couple of pages out of one of the girls stories though.

This one was simply titled "Goldilocks: The Sequel"  

Since when do grade 5 students write this well?  
First, I wonder if this girl realized there was actually a Prince Harry.
Second, I thought it was hilarious that she spelt it Hairy... because he was so hairy.
Third, everyone found every story hilarious because they used pictures of their classmates in the stories.  
Finally, they were all such good drawers... this girl usually didn't leave any white space on her page!

Sunday, July 07, 2013


Once I was in a grade 7 class and the teacher had been reading them "The Book of Awesome". The thing about "The Book of Awesome" is that each story is no more than a 3 pages long, the majority of them are appropriate for all ages, and it's an easy read.

Sadly, I missed the boat on "The Book of Awesome" and never got around to buying it at my local Superstore for 40% off (hey, I'm a cheap substitute I'm not paying full price!) but you better believe I scooped up "The Book of Even More Awesome" for the ultra low price of about $11. Once you read it (which you will because let's face it - it's awesome) bring it along with you when you sub in grade 5 or higher (if you are subbing in a grade lower than grade 5 stay tuned). If there is ever a lull in the day read them a story (or 4) from the book. Discuss what they find awesome about their day to day lives. You can likely fill an entire class this way. If you are really strapped for something to do get them to write an "Awesome Story").

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Graduation Speeches

I don't do much subbing in high school so this isn't a story about a high school grad. No, this is a story about an elementary school graduation. Specifically one of the speeches. 

Now, before I begin the tale I must admit that I was not around for the actual graduation. I merely spotted the speech on the teachers desk and decided I would want to read it. The speech was written by one of the boys in the grade 6 class I was subbing in that day. 

The speech started off like most speeches would. The boy stated his name and how long he had been attending the school for. Naturally he will then tell everyone he is giving a speech by saying "This is a speech" at about the 5 second mark. 

Then he talks about the beginning of the year and how all the students in the class really got to know each other and became great friends. He talks about improvements he made throughout the year (his writing being one of them). 

All great stuff. Now, I'm expecting him to wrap up the speech saying how he will miss his teachers at the school and how he will have many great memories (maybe even share one or two of them). But nope. That is not what happens. 

The last half (yes, half) of his speech takes an unexpected turn and he starts talking about how we should all be active. Go swimming, ride a bike, spend time outdoors he says we should do. Don't sit around inside on your phones, iPods, or laptops. Eat your fruits and vegetables. Say hello to your neighbours. carry old ladies groceries (ok, he didn't say anything in that last sentence... I'm sure it was edited out of the first draft or something). 

And then it ends. Yes, he does not say anything about missing the school (maybe it is because he won't). He does not say anything about the fun times he had there (perhaps there were none?). He does not even mention his favourite substitute teacher!... I'm sure I got written into the final draft. 

Anyways, the whole thing reminded me of a "song" by Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen).

I admit, the song is in my iTunes library. It has a good message okay!

Also, today is my birthday!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...