sensory overload

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
We moved over the summer, and I still don't have a steady job. I have been doing substitute teaching and for the most part it has been going well. The hard part for me is not knowing anyone and having a bunch of names dumped on me in a short period of time.

On Tuesday, I was subbing in the first grade room for the first time. The majority of the day went well. Then we needed to line up to go out to the buses. The office had given me 4 changes to the going home schedule, and the kids were standing in line and being really loud. I kid you not, I hit some sort of a wall and could not think straight. It's like I forgot everything I had ever learned. I kind of forced myself to figure it out. Then we went out to the bus ramp, and it was cold and raining. After all the kids were on the buses, I told the other teachers that if someone got on the wrong bus, it was probably my fault. They reminded me that the drivers all know who goes where.

I realize that the teacher in the preschool room has a much better system for lining the kids up in the afternoon. With only 5 buses, they are always parked in the same order. She walks her line out and the kids in the front of the line all get onto the first bus. When they reach the second bus, the beginning of the line are the kids to get on that bus. And so on.

The first grade teacher didn't leave me with a cheat sheet for the line. My line was all backwards and the first graders got mixed up with the other kids getting on the buses. I saw the preschool teacher today and she gave me her bus order list to use in the future. I think I can do better the next time, but man that was scary and embarrassing. :nonono:


Well-Known Member
I've been subbing for twenty years, and this is honestly one of my pet peeves.

You can't possibly be expected to know the bus order or who gets picked up by mom/dad/auntie sue/grandpa bob unless the teacher writes it down. You don't know whether to pick up the kids from the blacktop or if they come to the room, or where on this blacktop the class you have is standing. You don't know about the lunch line, the Flag Salute (in the classroom or whole school on the blacktop), or if the kids are allowed to sharpen pencils or go to the bathroom/get drinks during class. I let some kids go to the library last week, even though it wasn't "their day," and the class had a collective meltdown. I told them to relax, that I never wanted to get in the way of someone reading.

My standard line for getting through the day? "No tears, no vomit, no bloodshed - it was a good day." Everything else can be easily handled.


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
Okey ladies your both my hero’s. I could stop you from bleeding to death, or aid you in surviving a trauma. For the love of God never put me in a room with a group of small children.
It would be madness enough if it were routine, and the substitute teaching into the mix! If it were me 911 would require a phone call daily.

You both ROCK!


Roll With It
LBL, you and I are on the same page. In high school, the counselor told me my aptitude scores said I would be a great teacher, especially of kindergarten or first grade. I told her that I would know I had died and gone to Hades if I woke up and was a kindergarten or first grade teacher. It is like herding chickens. Or puppies. (shudder)

I am sure you did an awesome job, Pigless! You didn't lose any of the kids. None of the kids ended up under the bus wheels. I am sure the kids all got lunch, read something, and did not have their minds warped during the day. This means you did a great job.

I am sorry it was so traumatic.


Well-Known Member
I subbed for many years off and on. I get it. You are very aware and responsible! If they don't already, they will value you. Some days are stressful and the bus stuff often is very stressful. Getting it as organized as possible and good input from kind teachers is the way to go. You, no doubt are a shiny star.

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member

Did you ever have your brain shut off like that? That has never happened to me at work before.

Yesterday, I was subbing and a young man came to me first thing in the morning to ask, "Can I skip fourth period to go see them shoot a cow?" He was very excited. We discussed it with the principal, and he went to see the cow execution. Toto, we aren't in the city anymore.


Well-Known Member
I'm not sure I've had it shut off during subbing, but I've done that on other jobs. Especially since taking Topamax for migraines and if I'm under crazy stress...and I kinda think you are under a lot of stress. Moving alone is way high up on that scale. We moved this summer too and it was very hard on us. I'm just now starting to feel half way normal. Then, we have our "special D.C." kids (no comment needed on THAT!!!! and how it causes underlying stress)
And what the heck re that question regarding the cow? That question alone would if caused me to lose my mind. What in the world???? Omg! No, never been asked that one!!!lolol


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

I have felt my brain shut off before too so I know that is a scary feeling. I think it's just a stress overload.

It really makes me have more compassion for our elderly folks though!!

The good things is that you got your brain back to even realize that happened right??!