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


Today I was the 6th grade cross-categorical special education teacher at Edison Middle School in Champaign. As those who follow my twitter may have caught, this was the 16th out of 52 teachers for whom I can substitute at Edison, which is roughly 30% of the teaching staff. I’ve made a spontaneous goal to reach 50% by the end of the year. It was a pretty decent day, even with the dirty looks and rude responses from some of the students in my classes when I reminded them to work.

During my plan periods, which were the first two periods of the day, I realised that I left my book at home. This was the first time ever that this has happened to me as a professional educator. I was fairly worried because, honestly, there just isn’t too much for me to do during a plan period when the plans are already made. I do take some time to attend to some aspects of my religious devotions (namely, reading scriptures for about 15 minutes or so), but the plan periods were for about an hour and a half. And I had no book to read. The teacher didn’t even have anything worth reading in the classroom, and I had no computer access. So I wasn’t sure what to do.

Until I remembered that I have an ebook reader on my phone and several ebooks stored. So I started reading a classic in American literature that I’ve never read before: Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I only read the first two chapters before my classes started but I was certainly glad of to have the ebooks to keep my mind occupied! After work I headed over to the library (it is just across the street) to wait for my wife to pick me up after work. I decided to grab a copy of the actual book to read during the two hours, so now I am no longer bookless. In fact, I am now reading four books concurrently. Serves me right for leaving my book at home. (By the way, the book I am officially reading at work is Harry and Rosemary Wong’s How To Be an Effective Teacher: The First Days of School. It will eventually make its way onto the blog as a review one of these days.)


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