Daily Prompt: When life gives you lemons… make something else. Tell us about a time you used an object or resolved a tricky situation in an unorthodox way.

I am a substitute teacher. Sometimes, the students are off the charts crazy. That is the reality of being a substitute teacher.

The classroom teacher did not leave enough work for the students to complete. Unstructured free time for 4th graders will turn adorable children into devil’s spawns. Once there, it is extremely hard to bring them down to human beings. That is the reality of being a substitute teacher.

As soon as it started happening one day, I told them to start writing down prompts that they want their teacher to ask them for timed writing. The students were really into it and actually came up with wonderful ones. The peace lasted for about 3 minutes before the students went rowdy again. That is the reality of being a substitute teacher.

Then, I asked them to pick a book for us to read together as a class. Terrible idea. Don’t do it. They started talking/yelling/everything in between about which book to read. So, I just picked 3 randomly and made them vote on it. I read the winning book aloud to the students and this quieted them down for another 5 minutes until it was five minutes for lunch. The students almost started a stampede trying to line up in order to get to the cafeteria. That is the reality of being a substitute teacher.

Since it was not time, I had to hold them back. I played Frozen songs and this was the exciting thing that they could listen to and line up to the beat of “Let It Go.” They were singing quietly as they lined up perfectly to go to lunch. Success. That is the reality of being a substitute teacher.

I have no idea how teachers deal with the students on a daily basis but that is just how I handled the situation in somewhat unorthodox way. Frozen songs will always help. Thank you Disney for your help!

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