Today was my first day of substitute teaching. I had a class of fourth graders for just the morning. This experience was truly dreadful and definitely trial-by-fire. As soon as I entered the building I knew I was in for a treat, when the secretary groaned: "Oh, that class." These kids were by far the most disrespectful, argumentative, and rude children I have ever met (And I worked as a camp counselor!). They couldn’t follow simple directions, sit in their sear, or even contain themselves from fighting with each other for more than 2 seconds. They were shouting at each other so much that the principle could hear us from across the building. No threats could scare these kids either…not even being sent to the principle or loss of recess. To make matters worse, the regular teacher did not leave me a clear lesson plan and her desk and classroom was a total wreck. I have never felt more depressed about American public schools than today. No wonder the college students I tutor and teach are functionally illiterate. This classroom was no more than a warehouse for children. I came home utterly exhausted and overwrought.
Needless to say, I have renewed my vow to find a way to send Liam to a good (and if necessary, private) school, and to home school as much as possible. I was so happy to see him when he and Sean came home this evening. Liam came running to me and gave me a big hug. I sure hope that my son will not become one of the hooligans that I saw today! His toddler tantrums seem like nothing when compared to the horrible behavior of these fourth graders.