When I can snag a kindergarten job at a school within ten minutes of my house, I DO IT. Kindergarten is a super sub job because I get over an hour break in the middle of the day, if something goes wrong in the morning, I can adjust for the afternoon, and kindergartners are typically hilarious and sweet little angels.
Today, I got into the classroom and managed to find the bin with the sub plans...
But not before surveying the colossal disaster and potential next episode of Hoarders that was to be my classroom for the next seven hours. There was a kidney table, a rectangle table, and a teacher's desk. Out of those three locations, I couldn't find anywhere to set my stuff. Usually I shove it under the teacher's desk. This was the top of her desk...
Under her desk were boxes and files in piles. Her iPad had made its' home on her rolling chair. The kidney table was filled with multiple layers of all manner of educational paraphernalia. At one point, I cleared some of it away to make space to eat my lunch. I discovered completed Fountas & Pinnell (an important reading assessment) paperwork under unused Valentine activities and used Kleenex.
And the counter space looked like this. All of it.
Everything was in such a state of disarray that I--with my borderline obsessive compulsive disorder regarding clutter--could barely function. At one point I started to organize part of the room but decided there was just too much to do and too little time. (And, you know, the fact that I was way overstepping my bounds.)
It wasn't just the way the room looked, either. The morning class was, by far, the worst kindergarten class I've ever encountered. And I've encountered a lot. At one point I said, rather loudly, "One, two, three. Eyes on me." While this is the way the teacher told me to get their attention, only one student answered with, "One two, eyes on you." None of the other 21 students had any desire to listen to me. As I read to them about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, not a one of them paid attention to me. When I stopped and told them that I would start again when they could be quiet, they looked at me, blinked a few times, and then returned to their side conversations. They pushed. They shoved. They couldn't keep their own body parts to themselves. They spit. They cried. They tattled. Over and over and over again they squealed on each other. "She bumped into me!" "He touched her HAIR!" "He's not supposed to do his journal THAT WAY!"
The afternoon class was better but still takes the silver medal for WORST KINDERGARTEN CLASS I'VE EVER SUBBED FOR.
The lesson plans said things like, "Give the Star Student a bracelet located in the baggie in the desk under the document camera." Easy enough. Except the room was such a mess it took me a solid two minutes to find the document camera. (And they aren't small!)
It was exhausting.
And so the opposite of a healthy learning environment.
On the other hand, I'm singing the praises of my own child's kindergarten and first grade teachers who have both been incredibly organized and, therefore, total rock stars as far as I'm concerned.