One day, subbing high school, a small class of 6 convinced me to let them spend the last 10 minutes in the courtyard just outside the classroom door. The kids left the classroom (they were still in my view - but not in the room) and sure enough, while I was gathering my stuff to go join the kids, a security guard came rushing in - looking for a kid who had actually ditched 30 minutes before. I could hear him announce on his radio "There are no kids here, there are no students in the room!" Then he rushed out before I had the chance to explain. It was really awkward, I had to explain everything to my supervisor.
Kids always want to engage you in a debate. For example,
Student: "This is boring! Why do we have to do this?"
Teacher: "What do you mean boring, I stayed up until 3am preparing this lesson!"
Student: "It's dumb - why can't we just do . . ."
Teacher: Takes it personally and continues the debate with student.
My biggest mistake is very clear in my mind.
I remember losing control by engaging in a similar battle with a student. The student NEVER wants to "lose face" in front of their peers, so they'll stop until they win.
This is ABSOLUTELY A NO WIN SITUATION for the teacher.
Just a couple of weeks ago I was subbing for a teacher for a whole week. Although it's the school where I am most of the time, I didn't really know most of the students, but they've seen me walking around (and I knew a few). So there was this one guy (about 17), very nice, respectful with a long, nicely braided ponytail. I thought it was very nice, so a few times I lovingly called him 'ponytails", because I didn't know his name. I do this sometimes, and it's never a problem.
He asked me to please not call him that. I felt so bad! I was thinking, why am I calling this kid this name, even though it's nice in my mind, who knows how he takes it? I apologized but I know it didn't mean too much to him at that time.
Later on during that day one of the kids asked me to say something in Hungarian. So I did, looking at this student. they were all amazed how strange it sounded, and he asked me what I said. I said "I said I'm sorry I called you ponytails". His face brightened up, and I saw that now we were ok.
As I got to know him later on that week, I realized that he is extremely sensitive. There were a few more things I said / did, that showed me that his feelings got hurt, not much, but he was a basic reminder, that even these tough guys can be so sensitive.
We're ok though, he likes and respects me, so i don't think I caused problems for him. I'm very quick to admit and apologize when I do something wrong, I don't care about my pride.
I am covering for a teacher until further notice and this is the first time I have a class for consecutive days. I am not used to handling paperwork and have made some mistakes with that. It's a lot to keep track of.
I lost a key but luckily it was found the next day. I lost track of a student (18 yrs old an insisted on leaving the classroom) and, of course, the parent called looking for him. It was very embarrassing and stressful.