Reserve Teacher (March Post #12)

Slice of Life logoToday I returned to the classroom that I was working in all fall.  It was so nice to see the students. It has only been a few weeks really since I last chatted with them but they seem to have grown in the last few weeks. It was fun to see.

I found I am not the best one day reserve teacher. I think I have taught to long. The fall was great. The regular teacher was on leave and I was setting the agenda and building the plans. Today I was just stepping in so she could visit the doctor. She was the planner and creator of the days lessons.

Her lessons were fine – I just realize that I must have a very different style of thinking and creating lessons. I just could not get my head around her plan for the day. The day felt out of sync to me.

I have my rituals and routines for how I start a day, how I set up the community and build what type of day will we have. On a regular reserve day I could have done this but today their teacher was there to begin the day and then she left leaving me to finish off the day.

I never could get settled and so late morning when it was just the students and I we returned to a morning greeting, check in and set the tone for the rest of the day.  We pulled out our writing notebooks from the fall and did a writing lesson on similes using Owl Moon, a lesson I had taught in another classroom.

Ahhh – It felt good to settle back into what works for me. It was funny but I think the kids needed that as well. They were unsure how to handle the two of us that they care about so much but who have very different styles.


I do think students are more flexible than we are as adults.  At least this class has learned to work with a variety of teachers – a good skill to have. I just haven’t learned to work with a variety of lesson plans.

Lesson learned for the day: I was right – when I do one day reserve teaching again I should bring some of my own teaching ideas, and books to read. Always have a few writing and reading ideas that feel right. When I feel at ease so do the students.

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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4 Responses to Reserve Teacher (March Post #12)

  1. Two years and finishing strong... says:

    I’m trying to explain this very thing to someone today…they didn’t get it. Thanks for putting it into words for me.

  2. Linda Baie says:

    When I returned to teaching a long time ago, I subbed everywhere, and did have a whole bag of activities just in case, or when I had to fill time because the teacher didn’t. How nice that you had something terrific to do. Bet the students liked it too!

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