The daily musings of a substitute teacher in East Central Illinois.

Student Messages

Today I was a special education teacher at Robeson Elementary in Champaign. My day was pretty easy, which was kind of a relief because special ed can be incredibly challenging and draining at times, especially for a substitute teacher. I’ve subbed for this particular teacher in the past, although I think this was my first time this year, and she knows me well enough to know what will work best.

Students in the elementary special ed classes always have a very interesting view of the world that they freely share with others. One boy decided that people who are sick are turning into werewolves. Nobody really knows for sure how he got this idea, but he insists it is true. We had quite the conversation about it. He also informed us that vampires are not real, but werewolves are. During this conversation, he outlined on the board who was sick and what was happening to them. He entitled the entire thing the “Monster Mystery Time” and asked that we keep it up for his teacher to see. Here’s what he did:

If you click on the picture, it should open to a full-size image. You’ll notice that it says that Gavin is turning into a vampire, despite the fact that vampires aren’t real. It was still pretty awesome.

Later on, I had two boys working on math and they had actually made quite a bit of progress. I gave them a short break, during which they wanted to leave a note for their teacher. One of the boys wanted to know how to write “hope you feel better” but, pursuant to my belief in not telling anyone how to spell anything, I refused. So he gave up, and the other boy took over. He couldn’t figure out how to spell “hope” either, though, so he wrote this, instead:

I was quite impressed that he was able to reword his message, even if the grammatical structure does leave much to be desired. It was fun watching them work out their message to their teacher. I’ve heard she’s going to be gone again tomorrow but, alas, I am not available to teach tomorrow due to a meeting I have in another town at 1 pm.

It was definitely a great experience working with these boys and girls today!

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