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    Well now
    By Erika

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    Guess this isn't your worst day now......
    Unbelievable Day in Kindergarten"
    Posted by Eric on Jun-01-02 at 02:43 PM (EST)

    I have subbed for kindergarten many times, and it has always been a pleasurable experience. Yesterday, all of that changed.
    I was warned going into an inner-city kindergarten class that this class was the absolute worst. I heard it from the office staff, the other kindergarten teachers, the principal and assistant principal, notes from other subs that were left on the teacher's desk, and a couple of kindergarten assistants who had been with the class. All of these people were right.

    Not to mention the fact that the teacher called in sick at the last minute and there were no lesson plans! I was told to improvise.

    Immediately upon entering the room, the students had a very simple worksheet to do for morning work. Most of them found other things to do with the worksheet, such as making paper airplanes, rolling them into balls and throwing them around the room, scribbling on them, and shoving them in my face. The kindergartners would not listen, no matter what I tried or how loud I raised my voice. In fact, they found their "defiance of authority" to be very funny.

    The students proceeded to jump around on the tabletops, dive off their chairs, try to reach the ceiling with their fingertips, dance around the room, and so forth. A few times I had a few assistants come into the room to help me. They were able to quiet the students down for a couple minutes at a time, but it only lasted until they left the room.

    I was really surprised at how physical the assistants were with these kids. They would smack them around, forcefully sit them down, push their chairs in, and manuever them back to their seats in ways that I had never seen before. And the assistants were just as verbal as they were physical. They talked to these kids like drill sargeants. I personally do not like to be physical with kids at all, in terms of dragging them around when they are not listening.

    The kids could not get organized or ready for anything that I thought of doing, such as reading a story or singing songs. They lost both their morning and afternoon recess within the first half hour of the day. And they verbally refused to do anything that I asked them to. They thought everything was funny.

    Library class was a complete disaster. They were supposed to go to the library at 11:00. I tried to take them there, but on the way, they were running and playing in the stairwells. One little girl who I had spoken to countless times finally pushed me enough to make me take her straight to the office. She was lectured by the principal and forced to apologize to me, but she continued her misbehavior the moment we returned to the room.

    Speaking of returning to the room, when I got back there, the librarian was in there with my class. She said that most of them were running inside the halls upstairs instead of heading through the library doors. So she took them back down to try again. The second time, she led them upstairs while I stayed at the rear of the line. Two girls decided to make a quick exit outside the stairwell door, and they were outside of the school running off before I could catch them. I ran around outside the school after them, but somehow they disappeared and then later reappeared in the library line.

    At this point, I can't remember how many other assistants, teachers, and administrative staff were helping me in my room (the kids had failed to make it to the library a second time) or how many kids I lost that went to the office. Many of them had their parents called, and they were sent home.

    The librarian and I tried a third time to get the kids successfully up to the library, and by the time they all made it, the scheduled library class was over. They had wasted the entire library time just trying to get to the library without any problems!

    Next came the lunch fiasco. I was told in the morning not to take lunch count, because the teacher has scheduled a pizza party for that day at noon. But at noon, no one came. It turned out that the pizza was never ordered! And the cafeteria staff had no extra food available! This turned into another big mess until the assistant principal herself finally had to drive to a nearby restaurant and order food for 25 kindergartners with her own money!

    I was down in the office filling out so many disciplinary forms, and talking to so many parents. When I was done, I had to chase a few kindergartners around the downstairs hallways because they had "escaped" from the room while the lunch attendant was in there. And when I got back to the room, I found out that one little boy had punched a girl straight in the face. She was bleeding from the mouth, and her face was all scratched. I was told by the assistant principal that this kid rountinely punches another kid in the face almost every day! And the father always thinks that the other kids start it. The "puncher" even goes as far as to scratch himself on the neck purposely just so he can say that the other kids did something to him first.

    I am tired of typing, so I don't think I can continue this story now. You've probably heard enough, and you probably get the picture by now. Even though I've only taken you through noontime on a full-day kindergarten. I don't even want to get into talking about the afternoon!

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