The Return of the Prodigal Daughter and a Phantom Pooper

Things to be Thankful For:

Yesterday, was one of the hardest days I’ve had since I’ve started subbing. Everything went wrong. Started on the wrong foot with the principal, had tech difficulties, was confused by lesson plan, got called a bitch by a grade seven within the first hour, I was told I was the worst teacher ever by a grade one, had a misunderstanding with another kid who (I thought) was accusing me of picking on his brother (but he wasn’t. He was just trying to figure out why his bro was sitting out side of the class, “I asked him to take a breather. I didn’t kick him out. Why did Mr. Macaroni tell you I kicked him out? Lemme go talk to him.”), none of my classroom management strategies were working. The kids went APE-SHIT. Before noon, I locked myself in the French room and cried.

But then…

The grade seven/eight teacher, Mr. Macaroni, came back to the classroom and totally backed me up. He told the one kid who called me a bitch to grab his stuff and leave. He sent the other kid who was disrespectful and refused to work with his partner in the hijab to go to the principal’s office. Later, the same kid who was rude to his partner, came to me and apologized the sincerest apology I’ve ever seen. Like, he was trying to hold back tears he felt so bad.

Then the grade one teacher must’ve heard me in the next room when I told the grade one’s how our words can be really hurtful sometimes because the kids made me a bunch of cards to tell me they loved me. They delivered them for the rest of the day with a bunch of hugs. Even the one who told me I was the worst teacher wrote me a note to apologize. She must’ve left it on my desk when I was teaching so I stopped by her class before the end of the day and said thank you. She had a black eye that was healing. she seemed eager to be forgiven and her face was bright when I told her how much it meant to me. My subbing bag is littered with “love” notes from grade ones. Nothing is sweeter.

The grade six’s kicked my ass, too. I talked with the sub who was filling in for their homeroom teacher. She’s been there for a couple weeks. Said it’s been a challenge for her, too. Before the end of the day, five of the kids (including the one who was the most difficult) came to me to apologize and gave me a hug. Apparently, the principal went to there classroom and told them to do the right thing. Even though he and I began on the wrong foot, I realized he had my back, too.

By the end of the day, the principal and I had smoothed out the ruffles and the majority of the kids who caused me grief had stopped by to apologize. It was the hardest day I’ve had so far because there were so many problems to solve but it was also the most rewarding.

Today, I was at the same school in the morning and things were much smoother.

But this afternoon I was called to Seven Stones, the school I interned at this fall!!!I was so excited to return because I hadn’t seen the kids since I left at Christmas. I started in with the grade 3/4/5’s. It was like nothing had changed. Their teacher welcomed me back as the ‘prodigal daughter.’ We fell into the groove. They coloured. I yelled a couple times for old times sake. Just kidding (not really). I left and the kids were like, peace out/whatevs.

We were short-staffed so we took the grade ones outside for the last hour of the day. It’s so beautiful with spring just around the corner. Apparently, there’s this Phantom Pooper at the school who likes to poop in the urinals. I guess he struck again because one of the kids wanted to show me how somebody pooped on a rock and how somebody else stepped in it.

Okay, I say. I don’t know how to fix that. Let’s tell a big person… Kartoffel!

Kartoffel was trying to tell me a story about some reunion that happened at Luna restaurant while a kindergarten kid went into a full monologue about something that neither of us could distinguish. So we just nodded. Two of the grade ones tackled me into a standing hug and then stuffed snow in my pockets. They kept eating the snow so we made pizza out of it.

I’ll make the pepperoni! says one.

This is the dough.

I’ll make the cheese.

Some kindergarten with a snotty nose joins our pizza party and tells us that’s actually bacon. I ask him if he’d make us some bacon ’cause we’re using that ball of snow for dough.

I missed them so much and before I left, I was piled over with hugs from other kids.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt so loved. 

After school, I went to Walmart and bought a $5 jumpsuit. No jumpsuit has ever looked good on me. Up until now. Now I have a $5 jumpsuit that looks fantastic on me.

Tonight, I had a long nap while G, the 11 year old raged at Fortnite in the next room. Put my ear plugs in and woke up an hour later.  Wanted chocolate. Nilee was with a friend so I asked if I could borrow the car. She said yeah. Could you take M and fill the water jugs? I was like, hell yeah. M’s the best. We drove to Save On and he told me about school and basketball and Lebron James and some other basketball player that I can’t remember and what he wants to be when he grows up.

I came home at ate my dairy-free Haagen Dazs. Now I’m writing. I had the best day ever!


ALSO, on Monday, we did some character work for the play thing AND I’M SO FREAKING EXCITED. We have a great team and Jessica, our director, is phenomenal!!! At first, I was like, this is a place where we can make mistakes, and I imagine we’ll all be a little clumsy but with a little patience, I think we could make a nice little show. But no. This chick knows her shit!  Jess knows what she’s doing!! THIS IS THE BEST! She took us through some exercises and I learned so much! We have a great team. And the cast is legit dedicated! Not just to their craft but to each other and making beautiful things. Shoulderbirds, I feel like I just struck gold with you.

Okay, I should really go to bed now. I have to sub all day tomorrow.