01 February 2012

Adventures in substitute teaching : The worksheet that's due tomorrow

This is a typical conversation that I got through at least once a week in just about EVERY period:

Directions from the teacher say this:
The worksheet is to be done in class.  If they don't finish, it is homework.  Tell anyone who does finish to hold on to it and we will go over it in class tomorrow.

So, after I take attendance, I pick up said worksheet and hold it in my hands.  After getting the class' attention, I make this announcement.

"This will be your assignment for today.  I will pass it out, we will go over the instructions, and then you will work on it for the remainder of the period.  You are not going to turn it in today.  If you finish the worksheet, put it in your notebooks in a safe place and find something to work on quietly.  Your teacher will correct it with you tomorrow."

I hand out assignment.  We read directions.  I ask if there are any questions.

First hand up is the wiggly kid who can't stay still. "Do we turn this in when we're done?"

I shake my head.  "No.  You will hold on to the worksheet until TOMORROW when your teacher will go over it with you.  Anyone have any other questions?"

Giggling girl who has been making faces at her friends across the room is the next question-asker called on. "Do we turn this in at the end of the period?"

"No.  You are turning it in tomorrow."

Someone finally asks a question about the worksheet at hand, I answer and turn the kids loose to work on assignment.  All is quiet for about fifteen to twenty minutes.  I answer individual questions.

Inevitably, at least one of those individual questions is "Do we turn this in today?"  Sigh.

Suddenly, from across the room comes a "Mrs Davis, do we turn this in today?"

Inwardly I quell the groan.  "No.  (Mr., Mrs. or Miss _________) will collect it tomorrow."

No sooner do I finish saying that when squirrelly kid who hasn't been listening to a single word I said throws down his writing utensil with a flourish and jumps out of his seat.  "Mrs. Davis!  I'm done!! Where do you want this?"

I stop the urge to roll my eyes as I look at him.  "What did I just finish saying?" I ask as calmly as I can.

Kid wasn't listening. "Uhhhhhhhh," he says, trying to make something pop into his brain.  "I dunno."

Sigh.  "You. Turn. It. In. Tomorrow." I say, firmly enunciating every word and syllable.

Hopefully by now, everyone in the room has heard what I have said.  Several are putting the worksheet in their folders.  I feel a little better, because I know that everyone is now on the same page.

At this point, the silent kid in the back who has been quietly working on the assignment this entire time and hasn't asked a single question comes up and hands me her paper.


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