In addition to relearning how exhausting it is to teach, I have gained many profound insights.
Things I learned from my subbing experience:
1. There was a teacher in the teacher's room setting out a spread of wafers, oranges, and other delicacies. It's nice to know that bring-food-to-the-teacher's-room is a universal trend. New baby, engagement, graduation, it's Tuesday....Teachers like to feed each other.
2. When I heard the Israeli English teacher (the one that teaches English to the Hebrew speakers while the English speakers are taken out) talking to her class in heavily accented English ("Good morrrrrning, everyone."), I realized with a jolt what we American teachers must sound like when we teach in Hebrew.
3. I made the mistake of calling one of my students YA-el instead of Ya-EL. She snorted derisively. "What kind of name is that?" And another student, Noad, chimed in, "Yeah, all my American relatives say my name like it has a 'w' in it - No-w-ad. And they call my brother GiLad." (Heavy on the "L.") Haha, I laugh uncomfortably, unable to pronounce those names any differently myself.
4. I had to call the kids in from recess when they conveniently ignored the "tziltzul" (bell) and needed personal reminders. To one child, who was happily digging in the sand with his bucket: "Remain here the pail, boy, for the recess finished already five minutes."
5. I'm pretty sure none of the English-speakers were olim (at least recent ones), because among themselves, even during English class, they spoke Hebrew. One first grader was the spokesperson for her friend, "Shira doesn't know how to say this in English, so I'm going to tell you...."
6. Also an appilling misyse of vawlez.
7. Despite copious reminders yesterday, 1/3 of the kids forgot their book for the book report today and another 1/3 hadn't finished their book. ("I'll just write my beginning, middle, end, for the first thirty pages!") Again, some things are just universal.
To be continued....