Thursday, November 13, 2008

Life in the Blue Room

This week I started substitute teaching again. It's like being a secret agent. You wake up in the morning to a phone call not knowing what school, subject, or grade level you will teach. (It's not that glamorous)

Through some nice connections at my other job I got to know some teachers and students at a local high school. So this week (and for the rest of the year) I was asked to sub consistently in the behavioral challenged classrooms.

My job was this week was to work in the "blue room." When kids get worked up in class they get send there to process their choices and talk with me about how to make their day better. It sounds a little corny but I think it works. They storm through the door frustrated sit down and after some cussing and threatening they begin to talk. And like most problems in our life I find out it has nothing to do with the teacher or their classmate. There is an issue at home. A lack of confidence. A desire to be respected. A feeling of ineptitude and discouragement.

So we talk about it. They fill out a sheet and go back to class. Some don't fill out a sheet but sit there the whole time cussing, threatening, and throwing books. But overall the blue room is a place of clam.

I think it would nice if we all could have a blue room.


Anonymous said...

Cool post! God is my blue room. I am always completely honest with him because, well, he knows what i'm thinking anyway, so it feels good to just get it all out. Sometime i cuss, scream, and/or cry, but he always manages to talk me off the metaphorical ledge.

Dan and Nicole Hershberger said...

I think it is great that you are subbing again. It was nice to think back to my time as a sub. i think subbing is the most rewarding when you can work in a situation like the blue room. anyways....props and good luck. ps, i remember those early morning phone calls....they scared the crap out of me every morning.

Anonymous said...

Secret Agent huh? That's so funny, b/c I was just telling someone that I signed up to be a teacher, not a CIA agent. Mine's for very different reasons...sometimes I wish I could go back to subbing with a new school each day! But my love for my kids keeps me coming back for more!


Dan and Nicole Hershberger said...

Mike, I didnt know where to write this so that you would see it....but that shirt....seriously, I have had it for years....and before I had it, it was my sisters...i have probably wore that thing more than any other article of clothing i have ever had, counting diapers. Unfortunatly, it is starting to show some signs of being see through....not major, just a little speck...but it is the beginning...for that, i am sad.

Anonymous said...

In pastoral ministry, you have a blue room. It's called the "Pastor's Study". Some call it the "Protesant Confessional Booth." It's a place to let go and be real in an environment of love and grace.