Monday morning, I walked into the office only to find a coverage waiting. What's worse, it was for seventh grade, the hell grade of middle school subs. Even worse? It was for the Hydras, my worst class last year. Oh, man. I felt a bit anxious all morning even while teaching. Would they torture me? Would they mock me and laugh in my face like they did when I had to cover them last year? God.
I packed up my MadLibs and BrainQuest and ascended the stairs, trying to exude confidence. As I neared the room and the class spotted me, my breath caught in my throat.
The students in the room gasped and called out, "Miss!" And not in a horrified way. A student standing outside the door threw his arms around me and squeezed. The class waved and grinned at me.
Now, to be fair, the class was not exactly the same as last year. My good AP in her wisdom did her best to redistribute some of the, shall we say, dominating personalities. So there were a few faces I did not recognize, and a few faces from different classes mixed in too. Overall, though, it was a very familiar group. Importantly, the two most, erm, troublesome? boys were not there. That was certainly a relief, though it did not make the group perfect by any means.
I went through my spiel about the trivia game and we began. There was a lot of noise from boys clustered in the back of the room, and I had to call out a couple times. But since it was just a coverage, I didn't stress myself and did my best to focus on the kids who were paying attention and participating. It went fairly well. At the end, a couple girls even came up to give me hugs and tell me how they're doing.
I breathed such a sigh of relief when the period was over. I survived! Most of the kids didn't hate me! Holy cow!
Later, talking to Ms Math across the hall (we've taught the same classes all four years, so we're always discussing students and class dynamics), I learned that the Asshole Kid from last year who, along with his Insane B**** Mother, made my life much more difficult, has LEFT THE SCHOOL!
At the end of the day I found myself humming, Ding, dong, the witch is dead!
This morning I had another coverage (o joy!), and I was rather dismayed to see it was for the same seventh-grade class I covered last week, with whom I kind of strained my voice to be heard over the din. Ugh. But again I packed Apples to Apples, BrainQuest, and MadLibs into a bag and walked down the hall. Only to discover, to my delight, that there must have been a scheduling mistake, because the class was actually an 8th grade honors class made up of some of my favorite kids from two years ago. Sweet!
We played games and yeah, they talked and chatted loudly and chewed gum. But when I wanted their attention, they all got quiet and looked at me. Wow. They enjoyed the MadLibs and the Apples to Apples, and everyone participated at least in the group. I quite enjoyed the coverage too!
This is a week already full of miracles, and only two days in!