Well, after being on the substitute list for two months, I finally got a call on Monday to take over for a 4-5 grade teacher out at Timnath Elementary School who was feeling a little under the weather. It's a bit of a bike ride from my house, but I did end up making it in time. The students were awesome, very helpful and hard working. I was very impressed and a fun time was had by all.
Either my classroom management has improved, or I was a much better teacher when I didn't have to worry about classroom management (confirming what my supervising teacher believed during my student teaching).
Tuesday, to my surprise, I got another chance to sub for a kindergarten teacher during the second half of her day at Dunn Elementary School. This did not go as well. It could be because I just don't do as well with small children and I have more practice with the middle years. I have another theory, however.
I recently read and wrote about control theory. The 4-5 grade teacher gave his trouble makers specific tasks while he was not in the classroom. One particular student who seemed to be of concern to the classroom instructor received the task of making sure students who had to go to study hall during recess got there, among a bunch of other things. The student was given power, and therefore didn't have to act goofy in class in order to try to get it (and the recognition from other students that comes with it).
In the kindergarten class, students who acted inappropriately were given less freedom, as is consistent with the traditional classroom model. These students then got in more trouble by trying to gain power over the other students and me, spiraling downward.
So that's what I think. It's too bad though, because kindergarteners are pretty cute.