Substitute Teaching: Special Ed (PPHS 4.1)


I’m back at Provo Post High School today and tomorrow. I’m replacing one of the other aides, Gabby. She has a bit of the stomach bug that’s going around. I working with the first class I subbed for here at PPHS. Gabby wasn’t the only absent with the bug. Tyler was absent as well.

Today was a pretty standard day until the afternoon when we did fondue. The school has a fondue pot, but another class lost the chord, so they melted the chocolate in a pot. I was surprised about how brave the staff was to do this. I had a blast. My job was to keep track of Nick and Joey. Joey was easy because he won’t eat anything from school, so he didn’t get dirty. I only had to keep him seated every time he charged off to reorganize the kitchen and laundry room (I get to do this because I am the only person bigger than Joey–Gabby is the best at controlling Joey because he is scared of her; all 5′-2″ of her).

Nick on the other hand loves food. In this class’ sister class, most of the students need help eating (except Becca and Roy). In this class no one needs help. Nick should be supervised, even though he can use utensils, he doesn’t for long. Forks and spoons just take too much time. I had to keep my body between him and the fondue pot. The other students were patient enough to keep their seats, with Nick it was like I was an American football lineman. I had to keep my body on him. Joey, seeing I was busy with Nick, took off and started rearranging. If he did a good job of rearranging, no one would care, but his home keeping tastes are pretty nuts. I had to run off and that is when Nick stuck his hand right into the melting chocolate.

He didn’t get hurt. The chocolate wasn’t hot enough yet.

He put his hand in his mouth and sucked most of the chocolate from the inside of his hand, but missed the back of his hand. He wiped that off on his white pants. I didn’t see this happening. I was wrestling Joey into a chair, but I heard the gasps. Martine thought this was funny and made a grab for the chocolate. Fortunately, Jeremy was faster.

By the end of the day, Nick had chocolate all over himself and was totally happy. So was everyone else except for Cameron, Ty’s brother, who wouldn’t try it. The other class came in and Roy not only loved eating everything put in front of him, but also cleaning the pot and dishes. Everyone got a little chocolate on their clothes. It was messy.

One of the funny side stories is that we had strawberries, marshmallows, cake and bananas to dip until Alex, a very quiet, unassuming guy, snuck off with all four pounds of strawberries. No one knows when he grabbed them, but when we reached for the strawberries, we saw Alex looking like an angel with the empty bowl in his hands.

I suppose the reason the staff does this (I never asked) is to make sure these guys get as much experience at life as they can. I only hope Nick does not mind the shower he’s getting to get all the chocolate out of hair, off his arms and off his belly.


7 thoughts on “Substitute Teaching: Special Ed (PPHS 4.1)

  1. I can just visualize a wonderfully funny scene… a classroom of beautiful special needs children, “liquid” chocolate all over their bright smiling faces (and clothes, and desks… ). Sounds like happiness to me. 🙂

  2. i wish you’d work in that classroom more often, you describe the experience so well, with both sober comprehension and hilarity. i very much love this drawing. how do you do so much with just sharpies? fabulous.

    • Mary, as always, thank you for your generous complements.

      I have to admit being a little weak. The school asked if I would apply for a permanent position there, but I told them I could not deal with changing the poopy diapers of adult men. I love being in the class and helping, and I can deal with just about any smell, but the sight of poop makes me gag.

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