Thursday, May 28, 2009
Today I subbed for the first time in a long time. It was in two 2nd grade classes. I was in one all morning and the other all afternoon. Whenever I sub there are several things I like to look for. I note how technology has taken over in some areas (i.e. no more chalk boards. Instead SMART Boards); kids clothing styles; changes in the curriculum; the behavior of kids; and finally what they're doing at recess. Today's two groups went from one extreme of very inattentive and chatty to very well behaved and relatively focused given that we're talking about 7 & 8 year old kids. The thing that interested me more than anything else was what they do during indoor recess. Back in the day when I was a classroom teacher the activities of choice ranged from board games to playing with baseball cards to drawing pictures. There was some of that today but not much. No baseball cards or board games at all. Instead here are some of the things they were doing: Marion Bros. video games, the card game Uno, playing with match box cars and trucks, drawing, Legos and finally, and most interesting, playing with stuffed animals-even the boys. I was really surprised at how many kids brought stuffed animals to school and were allowed to keep them at their desks. When someone was too preoccupied with his/her stuffed animal, I made him/her put it in their backpack. They were not happy campers when I did that but as I explained, I wasn't there to run a popularity contest-a line my subs used to use when I was a kid. The other thing that surprised me a great deal was that there was no interest in playing on the computer. When I sub for older kids, that's almost always a source of conflict. They try to go out of turn not realizing I didn't just fall off a turnip truck. Things have definitely changed in schools today as one would expect. I wonder what my grand children will be doing to pass the time during their indoor recess when they're in school.