Students can often bring back fond memories. Let's build on that and not let students become a brick in a wall.
Join our Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/substituteteacherslounge
Email your questions to mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org
Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE
I think you probably know what being nostalgic is. You know what you think the definition of nostalgia is? My favorite. I heard this credited to Betty Davis, but nobody really knows for sure. But they had a definition that said an astrologer is recalling the fun without reliving the pain. Well,something happened this week that made me very nostalgic. I was gonna say melancholy, but I wasn't really sad. It was just a very nostalgic feeling. It helped me tied together some subjects that I wanted to talk about. And now I kind of have a reason to put them together. So we're getting down to the end of the school year, let's talk about a little nostalgia, Greg Collins, Substitute Teachers Lounge.All right now, don't worry,you're not going to have to listen to me just tell you some sad stories that I came up with this week. What I want to do is give you some motivation to deal with students as we wind down the year and we think about what we can do next year, I'm going to bring up Pink Floyd, believe it or not, but time that we get through this a song they released in 1979, I guess their chart run was really mainly in1980. Because the sound didn't come out until November of 79.Another Brick in the Wall, I love that song when it was out as a substitute teacher now that I've really looked at the lyrics, it's a little bit on the sad side. In fact, they're a British group, and a lot of the stations, whatever they call them over there wouldn't allow that song to be played in the UK. So it's, it's we'll talk about that in a minute. We don't want our students to become another brick in the wall. But first of all, yes, I'm going to give you some stories, because I feel like you'll probably have some of these stories too. And I'm going to tell you how I'm going to try to build on things that have happened. We're even going to talk a little bit about COVID. Because COVID affected us more than just, I guess for lack of a better word, I'll say medically, you know, when it first started, we thought man, I hope I never get that. Now, for the most part. I've had it my wife's had it, all of my kids have had it, I'd say there is a very slim chance that nobody in your family ever contracted it because it's becoming more and more common. Now we have ways to treat it, we have ways to prevent it. Just like the flu,we can't totally prevent it. But I'll tell you what my opinion is how it's affected us as we move along. But first, I'm going to take you back to November of2018. I'm getting ready to finish my fifth year substitute teaching. And I think it's important. If you haven't heard me say this before, I've said it multiple times, but maybe you're a new listener, maybe you're like me, and you forget everything to the point that I bought Prevage in now and I hope it helps me be a little bit sharper as as I get older. I'm65 now and I can tell it through my memory. But anyway, it was November 2018 When I started and I remember the room I started in I kept the the sticker I had to put on my shirt. I still have it here in my podcast studio.That's in the static feeling.It's not melancholy, melancholy.Really, if you go by the exact definition, it's really extreme sadness. Well, I'm not gonna I'm not sad, really. I'm just a kind of longing for the good old days, so to speak. I can think of my most popular things in high school, I can still think of some embarrassing things too.But I can I get your head funny.I've shared most of the embarrassing stories from high school with the students I've taught they think they're hilarious, and it's different another way of bonding with the students, but 2018 There were students that as you do, I got more closely. What's the word? I don't want to say relationship.It's not a relationship. They were the kind of students that were always going out of their way to say hello, even if they had to yell it from the other side of the sidewalk. We were outside in front of the school or something like that. If we were in the hallway and I they saw me and I didn't see them.It's the kind of students that would yell at you Mr. Collins,how you doing and It's the kind of students that would be willing to support whatever I wanted to try in the classroom.It's the kind of students that did their work. Not necessarily a straight A students, some of them are. But just students that we're willing to participate in what have we had going on students that took it upon themselves, maybe to help out with class, clean up some after class, I've had students that just voluntarily cleaned up after the last period of a class, the first first time I did long term, it was like that,I got close to students that also played volleyball, because they got used to seeing me in both locations. So that was five years ago. Or I should say, I just it's right, I just entered my fifth year, I've been doing this five years, I guess this was actually more like, four and a half, because the students I'm getting ready to talk about I taught them first in eighth grade. And now they're graduating. And as you might expect, I got kind of a sentimental feeling for the students that are graduating, I ran into some of them this week.And it was at a school that I've taught at before that actually pulls from high schools. It's an academy, so to speak, at polls from high schools, for different high schools from the surrounding areas. So it was kind of a cool way of seeing students from multiple different schools that I had taught, but to have the students that I was describing before that always seem so helpful and pleasant,and talk to me all the time. And we carry on a conversation with me, would really run any errands I need to I don't want I don't believe in teachers, pets. These are just students that were very friendly, pleasant. I like the word pleasant. They were pleasant in the classroom, they never gave you any kind of trouble at all. But anyway, I ran into them. And the first time I had taught them was four years ago, and while they were in eighth grade, okay, well do the math. They're graduating seniors. So they walked up into the hallway to me, the class was over. And I said, You know what,guys? This could be the last time I see you. And I said, will you remember me? It just a standard joke that I always say?Do you will you remember me when you're rich and famous, and they kind of smiled and said, you know, and then I went on to tell them, they gave me fist bumps.And they said, we'll be in the area, I'm sure we'll run into each other. And then one of the students that I've felt like, if I had to rank students, she would definitely be one of my top 10 favorites. And I don't even know how to know how to explain why she just is. But she said something that made me feel so nostalgic. Because when I first met this group of students four years ago, there will always be a special place in my heart for them, because they were the first bunch of students that I really felt like I got close to, to the point that I felt like I was really teaching them maybe not so much about the subject maybe about life, I would share my life with them.What I had gone through all those kinds of things. And I was hoping and I still think I did.Well. I said, you know, again, I said, you know, I might not see you guys again. And I said I started teaching you all when you were in eighth grade. And one of them actually said, so did you teach in? And then she mentioned the middle school she went to and I'm thinking Have you forgotten at? You know, I'm65 and four years ago, still seems like it was just yesterday. And it cannot. I hope she's not listening to this. But I hope she is listening to this because I want them to know what special places they hold held in my life during that time period when I was trying to become a substitute teacher, which you know, I enjoyed because when I realized there weren't any a whole lot of podcasts out there just for substitute teachers. I created one but when she said did you teach at that middle school? I'm thinking do you mean you don't remember me doing that even though it seems like yesterday to me Alma use this phrase. It kind of broke my heart a little bit because I want it to be be remembered the same that I remember them. As you get over everything seems like it happened yesterday.Other than the stuff I'm taking Prevage in for everything. You know, I didn't have any trouble mentioning another brick in the wall, which we'll talk about here in just a moment. But that gave me that nostalgic feeling.When I mentioned we talk about Koba talking about it from this standpoint, I'm not sure that I'll be able to feel as close to more recent students as I did back then, because they were my first group of students, they were my first long term students, I will always remember them. I'm not doing long term roles anymore, I will see them.I think these kids I'm teaching today are just as great. But I just don't see them as often. So it's hard to get that closeness going on.I will tell you, what I was going to say about COVID is that it's more about the virtual learning we had to do while we were going through all that you couldn't get close to the students. In fact, what's happened in my opinion, is that I noticed it in the sixth graders almost exclusively. Now they're not, it's not bad. But I can just tell, there's less maturity, in my mind, in today's sixth graders, as there were in sixth graders, four years ago,and I'm blaming COVID, because they missed that year of socializing and growing. I mean,you grow mentally by interacting with people for that whole year in the school. So if they're not there, and you're just interacting with them through a virtual class, they aren't going to cut it. And unfortunately, I can see the lack of maturity.And that's, that's too strong a phrase, I can see the lesser maturity today, not in everybody. But if you compare a whole class to a whole class, in my opinion, the six writers today were less mature than they were four years ago. So we've got that to blame and that to deal with, and that which makes it more difficult to get close with them. The reason that this song, another brick in the wall by Pink Floyd was banned in part of the UK or part of England,something like that, back in1980, is because the lyric said this, in fact, that if you had the album, it was such a cool song from the sound of it, most of us back then we bought songs based on the way they sound more so than really studying their lyrics. So we probably bought some songs that we shouldn't have. This is not vulgar. This is not anything like that.There's no dirty words in it.But listen to what it says it's basically blaming the establishment. Here's what it says, We don't need no education. We don't need no thought control, no dark sarcasm in the classroom teacher, leave those kids alone. And then at the end of the song, there was a spoken word where they were making fun of teachers who yelled at students insisted that they had to do this even if it made no sense to them. So that that's what that song was about.And the reason that was called another brick in the wall is that they were blaming teachers,just for treating students as another brick in the wall, just another thing, they had to put in their experience, and then move on to the next one. That's what another brick in the wall means. Now, we've got to figure out how to break the another brick in the wall pattern. Now there's no way to avoid the fact that every student and effect is another brick in the wall. But let's make it more uplifting.Let's turn it from substitute teachers who just deal with this child as quickly as they can get them get the year over with so maybe they don't ever have to see him again. That's the Pink Floyd version of another brick in the wall. The positive let's turn it to a positive. We can treat students as another brick in the wall in that we can treat everyone as special as everyone else. I will tell you this,those students that I described The beginning of the podcast.They were great students some of my quote off the record favorites. But I still feel like I treated all students the same.I asked them one time, I took a straw poll, I had them do it on a piece of paper. And I asked them, Do you think I have favorites? Or do you think at least for the most part, I treat all students equal. And thank goodness, it wasn't 100%. But it was close to 90% said, I treat all students equal, I want that student that I know is never going to understand the subject.I'm trying to drill into their head, even if I'm just a substitute, I still help them out. Even if they're not going to understand it, I want to treat them well. Even the students that have given me problem after problem, if I know I'm going to teach them again,I'll be thinking about what can I do to make them understand what we're trying to accomplish.I want to be remembered as a substitute teacher that treat it. Everybody has another brick in the wall from a positive standpoint, in that you're just as important to me, I'm just going to spend this part of your life with you, you're going to get off and maybe forget me. But I hope that at least taught you some things that will help you in your life. Whether you remember it came from me or not.I'll share one thing with you,somebody else will share one thing with you and you will be another brick you will be another accomplishment. Let's call it that another accomplishment in the wall. In that you can share the positive things that I've tried to share with you. With everyone else you come in contact with. Teachers substitute teachers, don't treat students as another brick in the wall in that you just got to do this, get it over with and then move on to the next one. But treat them as another brick in the wall in that I want to treat you as special even with your see, as I do this student with their a I want to treat you special even though you don't speak up and help me in class. I want to treat you as special as the one that helps me all the time. So that's it guys. I'm nostalgic this week. I had to say goodbye to some students that were very special to me.And I sure hope that I get to see them in the future and I am confident that they will make me proud with their adult accomplishments just as much as they did when they were in school.