I went to my first sub job since moving to Texas. It felt good, even though it was short-lived. I actually enjoyed it so much that I told the director not to pay me for the two hours that I spent there. I was responsible for a class of 8 gifted students who had just spent the past week on a field trip. Attendance was optional and only one student came to class. He showed me around the classroom, talked about the field trip and mapped out his day academically.
This job was not at your normal, everyday public school but at a private school specifically for the gifted (http://www.rainard.org). The studies for this class included an indepth look at South Africa in all its glory, and shortcomings. Lots of student work hung around the classroom, evidence of deep understanding of the issues of apartheid, economy and everyday life. I was in awe at what this teacher was able to ‘pull’ from his students. I worked so hard with my 4th-6th graders to get detailed work like this in the public school setting. It is amazing what difference ‘attitude’ makes in a learning environment.
I hope to return soon to the campus and work in other classrooms. The strength of this school is the ability to focus on where the student is and to develop substantial relationship with the student and his/her family.
From what I can determine from the other school districts in the area, gifted teachers are more like coordinators than teachers. Students attend a gifted class once a week, that is really more enrichment than academic. Quite a shock for someone who was able to spend the last three years working with these delightful students everyday for nearly every subject. I haven’t yet gone into the public school setting so I can’t be sure of the environment. My goal is to sub in as many different settings as I can so when it comes time to select my full-time employment, I will choose the one that best suits my goals as an educator.