I could tell this was going to be an "interesting" day of subbing. First of all, the A/C wasn't working at 7:20A.M. and it was already 90 Degrees. I reported it to the office and a custodian came almost immediately and reset the thermostat.
It appeared that this 1st grade teacher had been absent the previous Friday of this long, holiday weekend. So there were notes from the previous sub and they weren't that good. A challenging class? Another thing I noticed was all the "systems" set up for misbehavior and how to warn, punish and report same. I'm just not into that as a sub. Fourtunately, there were only 20 on the roll sheet and one was absent. Another one left within the first hour for a doctor's apt. and never came back. This shouldn't be too hard...to work my magic and apply my "bag of tricks" right? Wrong.
First we had a very "helpful?" take-charge student who came in and started to tell me how to do all the routines and what to do if certain kids didn't cooperate. He seemed very intelligent and communicative. He wasn't mentioned in the lesson plans or notes as a leader or helper. Oh well, role with it...right? Not quite. Pretty soon I started to question his motivations.
The principal came on the intercom as usual and this time announced the wrong day. i.e. Monday instead of Tuesday. He then gave the "word of the week" for "Primaries" (K-3) as "necessary" He wanted kids to use it in a sentence and memorize its spelling. Our class, to a child, didn't know what it meant. I suggested, "It was necessary to know the day of the week. I wrote it on the board. The principal then announced the birthdays for the week and told them to come to the office for a "gift". Suddenly, my gung-ho student said his name had been called and he wanted to go off to the office. Some of the other kids disagreed but, what the heck, I let him go. When he came back we were singing a group song (listening to me sing mostly). I think he wanted us to sing to him (Happy Birthday) At the time, I didn't think it was appropriate since there was some disagreement.
The next large group assignment, and they all were, asked to do the next pages in a workbook they each had. Most were content with that and went ahead. He came up and said his booklet was complete and he had nothing to do and he wanted "free time"...this is a percocious 1st grader, indeed. I checked over his work and spotted some incomplete pages and lack of color-coding. He went back and quickly remedied that. Obviously, he was way ahead of the others.
As I was helping others, he went back, on his own and got out some shapes, puzzles and locking blocks and started to construct, with another student...without permission. I probably would've let him if he had asked. "Sorry, back to your seat, not now. It is almost time for P.E. and Recess." This is held early (9:15-9:45A.M.) because of the heat index. He was not a "happy camper" and reluctantly obeyed.
He hung back in our lesson planned P.E. activity. Obstacle Course "follow the leader" over the "Big Toy" (a gigantic piece of multiple climbing/sliding equipment) I noticed there were several who were "afraid" of sliding down the poles or climbing up the curved-pole steps. I helped them and they were encouraged, egged-on, by their peers. Most of the little girls were "little monkeys". We had some time before recess, so I introduced the "swinging contest" with the 8 swings available. They liked that, but several didn't have a clue on how to pump. Again, our "star student" was reluctant and not wanting to "take direction". I ignored him.
On our way back from recess in the heat they wanted to stop for drinks. OK, maybe less requests to leave the room later, I thought. I did my usual "drinking fountain timer rhyme":