Monday, February 12, 2007

Surviving Substitute Teaching

For the last three and half weeks, I have been substitute teaching at a local high school in the foreign language department. The teacher that I subbed for participated in the Deaf Olympics as an interpreter for the USA Hockey team. The USA team took the gold medal.

I subbed in three different American Sign Language classes with about fifteen students in each class. In two of the classes, the students were absolute angels. One class had a few students who enjoyed disrupting the class and clowning around. They certainly kept me on my toes. Fortunately, no one had to visit the dean.

It was easy for the students to take advantage of having a deaf sub because I could see them whispering answers to each other during quizzes. It was nearly impossible to monitor it closely so I'm sure a few of them got away with some assisted answers. They also got away with talking to each other during movies.

On the last day, the students wrote a one-page essay describing their experiences with a substitute teacher. I was pleasantly surprised to receive some nice feedback.

Last night, the regular teacher stopped by to pick up her key and some papers and gave me a t-shirt from the Deaf Olympics.

I'm actually going to miss those students!


Sonny James said...

I'm glad to read that you had a great experience teaching ASL. Consider becoming a member of American Sign Language Teachers' Association ( if you aren't one yet.

Karen said...

I joined our Chicago ALSTA one year but I haven't kept it up. Right now, I'm contemplating some other career options that include working from home.

Anonymous said...

thats great...i am an ASL student and have enjoyed every moment learning about the language. I hope and wish the best for you!!!

mcewen said...

My older daughter and my brother have taught EFL, it is especially tough. Good for you.
Best wishes

groovyoldlady said...

Oh. We used to do the meanest things to subs! We'd all switch seats so he/she wouldn't know who we were, we'd talk and giggle and titter and pass notes. We'd act like we never heard of the subjects she was presenting. We were awful!

With homeschooling, substitute teachers is not an issue my children have to deal with.

Surviving Motherhood said...

I am pleasantly surprised to read that they teach sign language as a foreign language! That is fantastic and not something you ever hear of in the UK.

Sounds like you had an interesting experience, it must be hard work keeping track of teens, not something i envy you for!