Tindell Baldwin »

Stories of a Sub

When I started substitute teaching I knew my life would be more entertaining but I didn’t expect to enjoy my days so much. I found myself popping out of bed at 6am ready for a new adventure. My first real experience with high school freshman left quite a lasting impact. It was only my third day to be in a classroom with kids and I could feel my little heart pounding as I made my way through the maze that they call Katy High School. I met the teacher in her classroom since I was only doing the afternoon and she explained to me how the rest of the day would go, warning me about a few problem children in her 5th period. I was supposed to be reading them articles about AIDS in Africa and then going over the questions and prompting them on the right answers. She thanked me in a hurry and made her way out the door. Twenty pairs of eyes looked up at me expectantly, I thought this might be what it would be like to be an actor, I smiled back. I managed to quiet them down and read through an entire page of information about the horrific tragedy that is AIDS in Africa. One of the boys who sat in the front row looked up at me slightly dazed as I asked the first questions.

“Ok guys what are four things we learned about AIDS in Africa”
The boy in the front row looks at me smiles and says, “you have the voice of an angel”. The entire class erupts in laughter. I can’t help but laugh along with them at this pre-pubescent boy attempting to sweep me off my feet.
I looked at him laughing and said, “i’m almost ten years older than you”.
He didn’t miss a beat instead he looks up at me and says “Age is just a number”.
At this point the class is really loosing it and I do my best to calm them down trying to get back to the subject at hand, AIDS in Africa. I managed to get the answers out of them and have a few laughs during the rest of the period.
In the weeks following I learned how to laugh with the class, help students with whatever they were doing, and learn some things along the way.
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