Tears and Boogers
Today I was a 2nd grade teacher at Leal Elementary in Urbana again. The teacher for whom I was subbing was still incredibly sick, and I definitely hope she is feeling better soon! I’d love to be in her classroom again on Monday, but, at the same time, her students really miss her, and she needs to come in to get them started on several new units they we wrapped up today.
While teaching today, I was reminded of two of the reasons why I prefer to work with older students: tears and boogers.
Yesterday, if you recall, I inadvertently made a boy cry a few times during the day. Today it was a girl, but not from anything I did. The first batch of tears started when she realised she had left her library books at home, which meant she would not be able to check anything out when we went to the library. Both the student teacher and I tried to explain that it was not a big deal and that it was just a mistake, but to no avail. She cried over this matter several times during the first hour of the day, but she seemed okay after library.
Later on in the day, she started crying because she couldn’t remember anything about amphibians. We were making KWL charts and she was very upset that she couldn’t think of anything to put in the “Things I Know” column. She also had a hard time coming up with items for the “Things I Want to Know” column, which only made the problem worse. The student teacher did a great job of calming her down, although the tears still came.
In addition to the tears, there was a ridiculous amount of nose-picking and booger-eating today. I had never actually witnessed a person engage in this disgusting practice until today. And it wasn’t even a boy! That’s right: one of the 8-year-old girls in the class took her index finger, put it up her nose, wiggled around, and pulled something out. After examining it for a moment, she put it in her mouth.
My only response was to say, “Ew! Don’t do that! That’s gross!” But by then it was too late.
And yes, I realise that older kids cry and pick their noses, but they don’t seem to do it nearly as often as the younger ones do. All that being said, though, I would gladly accept a job offer to teach younger students full-time, because a full-time job is a considerably better than working on an as-needed basis. A full-time elementary teacher in his or her first year in Illinois makes around $36,000 a year before taxes, give or take. If I were to teach every single day of the school year as a substitute, I would gross about $16,000. So I’ll take the boogers and the tears in exchange for a full-time job any day!