Note to the Substitute Teacher
Dearest Substitute Teacher:
Good Morning! ☺ As you probably know, this is First Grade,
that wonderful year of discovery and new adventures! Yeah! ☺
Clap! Clap! Thought I would give you a little heads up
to our typical routine, just in case you're a newbie!
You will get a curt note from Harriet's aunt Louise, who picks
her up early two days a week for dance class, so please
have her ready, leotards on, at 3:00. Sharp.
If there is a fire drill, Sandy tends to get a bit hysterical and hides
under her desk. Usually Sam coaxes her out, but if not, you will
need to carry her (I know she is a little "chubby"—be careful
with your back!). When you return to the room, be sure to count
31 noses. ☺
Peter forgets his snack every day, and Lily always tries to share
her brown banana, but he hates brown bananas, so tell her,
That was very kind, Lily, and give him saltines from my right
bottom desk drawer, or maybe they are on the third shelf
in the blue cupboard with the sticky door. He will try to toss them
and hit up Hillary for her preserved cheese things, but don't worry,
she never shares.
James has severe allergies and his mom sends appropriate food,
but he will try to eat any yummy thing, so if he starts to rash up,
the office has an Epi pen, and little Tina can run and get it for you
in a flash. Give him a quick jab in the thigh, he only cries
for a second. Wipe his nose and proceed with appropriate food.
Take a sniff, then check the back of Jessie's desk. She hides old
snacks there, where they tend to ferment. Wear gloves.
She may try to tell you they are still good. Even if you recognize
what they are, throw them out.
Ralph has some lingering bowel "issues," so if you notice that "smell,"
if he holds up two fingers, or sometimes just says, Teacher, poopie,
rush him into the bathroom. (Ask Juan to watch the class for a minute,
he is the best little teacher! ☺ ) Ralph will want you to wipe him, but
tell him, No, you're a big boy. I know—he really is a big boy!
The drinking fountain tends to run by itself with a little whirring noise.
Paul knows how to slap the side to fix it. (That never works for me.)
The water is always warm—they tell us it is okay to drink,
but I bring my own from home.
When the special teacher comes to work with Riley, everyone wants
to try his bouncy calming cushion and it can be disruptive, but let
each child have a quick turn (this takes a while), then try to go back
to the reading lesson (this is hard). They may be a bit bouncy,
for a while. ☺
I have outlined seven reading groups with their distinct lessons,
and Sally in a "group" by herself. Make your way around, but be
prepared for the other groups' distractions. Lin is a pro with
paper airplanes, and Seth loves to attach and "unattach" his
Velcro shoes. I've spoken with moms. There are sticky notes
in the top drawer, if needed.
Molly always misses her mom, but she stops crying in time
for lunch. Tissues are on her desk and she goes through half a box.
The wastebasket is between her and Jack, who has chronic sinus
infections and makes little clearing noises throughout the day.
They will lessen when I play music. You may also notice a high
pitched whine. It sounds like a child, but I think it's the furnace.
I tell the kids to cover one ear and that seems to help, the music
helps, too, ☺. Mason always blames it on Max.
At recess and dismissal time, make sure everyone wears their own
matched boots, snow pants, scarves, wet mittens (lined up on
the radiator after recess), and especially hats, (Sean had head lice
last week). His mom is sure he caught them (again) from Bruce,
since those cute toe heads tussle regularly on the carpet.
Afternoons are pretty quiet. Except for when there are assemblies.
I think the one today is a visiting planetarium. Line up my bright
stars and take them to the auditorium. There will be a huge, dark
bounce house that you snake your way through, with constellations
on the ceiling. They will love this! ☺ Bring bandaids just in case.
Start getting them ready 30 minutes before dismissal time. Gather
leftover belongings (there will be many), and log them into the Lost
& Found room near the front door. Pick up my mail at the office
and hope there weren't any special instructions for Danny,
who rides the bus every other Wednesday, gets picked up by mom
on Tuesdays and Thursdays unless he has Scouts, when dad comes
and always wants a mini-conference. Jennifer shuttles over
to the other elementary for Latch Key on Mondays and Fridays,
except the weeks when she is with her stepmom, who follows
her own schedule. I just try to be flexible. ☺
If you don't cover all curriculum areas, though I hope you will,
please leave details of who accomplished what, as I will need
to catch them up. FYI—This may be a challenge for me
because I have the throwing up flu, which I probably got from Clive,
whose desk is right there next to you (mom rarely keeps him home
when he's sick). He really is a lovely boy, except during math,
which he hates. It seems to bring out a tad of "aggression,"
and he may need some redirection—just a little, really—
a firm hug should do, but turn your head.
Well, ☺ I'm probably forgetting something. I'll call if I remember...
P.S. If I am still sick tomorrow, it's our winter field trip to the zoo,
and only a few chaperones signed up for our little "critters," ☺
so before school begins, please call parents and beg for additional
h - e - l - p ! Keep Molly with you, and put Clive, Riley, and Max
in separate groups.
This is a great class—creative, loving, full of First Grade spunk
and surprises – hope you're not too surprised!
You'll want to take them all home, but fortunately,
their parents will beat you to it! ☺
Enjoy your day of adventure—hope I can count on you for my next
☺ Mrs. Tammy Teacher