Archive for February, 2011


As a substitute teacher we are often thrown into roles that are outside our field of training.  I am certified to be a social studies teacher yet I have worked in elementary schools, PE classes, and math classes, to name a few.  When I got my classroom assignment for yesterday I was a bit surprised as well as apprehensive: Culinary Arts.  First, I have never seen either of the teachers be absent.  Second, I instantly imagined horrible things going wrong as children tried to cook something.  I cook at home, mostly baking, but had no great skills and couldn’t even imagine teaching a recipe to several classes of students.

I lucked out because the other teacher was free first period and ran the class, showing me how he would present the recipes for the brownies and blondies they would be working on in the next few days. You would think it was just the recipes being presented but I realize there is so much more to it than that; I took a list of notes for each recipe to make sure I didn’t forget anything.  Besides the steps students were quizzed on conversion, such as how many tablespoons are in a stick and half of butter, and  tool usage, such as how to make and use a double boiler.  He also discussed hints and tips for making each of the recipes.  Lets just say I had two sides of notes.

After this I was on my own.  The first class I had to present to went…quickly.  I unfortunately sped through everything and looked up at the clock to see there were 27 minutes left in the class; I was horrified.  But each time I redid the presentation I added more jokes, more questions, longer explanations, more wait time and all that jazz so at the last class they only had fifteen minutes left just like the class that the teacher presented in the morning.  I even had one kid ask if I was in the cooking field because I was doing a nice job of presenting the information.

I enjoyed the class because you got to be pretty interactive with the kids.  The brownie recipe calls for unsweetened chocolate and students could test it out.  It was amusing to see their faces of disgust and then get into a discussion about why it works.  I could really see how this could be an enjoyable class to teach.

I definitely ended the day a lot more confident than I started off.  What has been you most unusual assignment?


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On occasion I sub in the school I went to.  On occasion the students mention a photo of me. EVERY TIME I cringe and laugh.

My high school decided to hang old photos and memorabilia all around the cafeteria.  While in school I was presented with an award for doing well on the SAT (I think or some other test thinger, they all blend together).  They took pictures and for some reason it’s hanging up.  I dislike pictures of myself.  I don’t believe we were warned that we were taking them.  But what makes me laugh is students ask if it’s me.  If you look at the picture it clearly has my name on it;  I haven’t gotten married;  I have had old teachers and faculty say my first name;  I don’t look much different from when I was in high school (a few extra inches tall and sadly a few extra pounds).  I was even standing next to it today when I was asked; you think that would be an easy comparison, right? Yet, I am always surprised when they ask because the answer is so obvious. But then again, I find many of the answers I want from students are like this, they just have to do a little work.

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