Before they get that way..


“You need to stop them before they get like that.”


I was in a grade 2 classroom for half an hour today. Two of the students were going to be reading a book to the class and then they would be orally discussing questions with a partner afterwards. The class is a group of energetic young learners who have many different personalities and needs. Sometimes, they all can’t work together well in the classroom.

While their regular teacher was in the room gathering her materials, the kids were fine. We began reading the book. However, after she left the room, some of the students were loosing focus and fooling around. I got them back on track and then the kids finished reading the story. Then came time for the discussion with a partner. This was not something the kids felt like doing. There was screaming and yelling, sitting on the floor, refusing to work with partners and drawing on things. I think one group of partners were actually working. They were told to get back to work and I tried to stop them all and gather their attention. Two of them ended up leaving the room and the others managed to have part of a discussion.

When the teacher came back, she realized that things didn’t go well. As a result, the students didn’t get to go outside for recess. It was then that I was told, “You need to stop them before they get like that.”

I did try to stop them before they lost control. They know that I am not their regular teacher and they try to push buttons. I am not saying that this is an excuse, but it contributes to part of the events that happened. I also don’t know each student well enough or what triggers them when they act out. I tried my best. We did manage to get the story read and for them to at least read over and start thinking about the discussions they could have had. Some days, having a substitute teacher in your room doesn’t always produce the desired results the regular teacher wants, and that happens. I do think that all students still need to try their best regardless of who is teaching them. Today I don’t think this happened, and I’m sure I could have handled the situation better.

Sometimes you, just as the students do, get caught in the moment and things don’t turn out as intended.



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