Today the 6th grade left early in the morning for their annual trip to Dearborn. Since one of the 4th grade teachers wanted to go I offered to teach her class for the day. I didn't think much about it until the past couple of days. That was when the panic set in. I hadn't subbed in someone else's class for at least six years and I haven't had students younger than 5th grade in all that time. In my mind I was sure that it would be total chaos.
I am happy to report that my nightmare of everyone running wild was just that - a dream. The students were great and we accomplished all that we set out to do. I did have one student ask if he could bring a bottle of water into the classroom. I said sure as several other students had them until I saw what his "bottle of water" was - A & W Root Beer!! I explained to him that the drink wouldn't work. He couldn't believe that I busted him. From that moment on, all went well, especially once I reminded them that having 6th graders prepared me for anything. My favorite part of the day was when one of the girls hugged me and said, "You are the best sub we have ever had!"
There are big differences between teaching 4th grade and 6th grade. The 4th graders had a lot less behavior problems, but they were needier. Their instructional time was all in the morning which made the first four hours long, but I actually liked it a lot better. Once we got to lunch, the day was pretty much over except for math class. There was also more down time during instruction time as students spent a portion of their day reading. I don't think that I am ready to change to elementary, but it was fun for the day. The best part was that I got to teach across the hallway from Mr. Larson. I haven't laughed that much at school in quite some time.