So part of what I do this year is teach Gym to all the Kindergarten classes. Kindergarten in Ontario generally has a team of two Educators, a teacher and an ECE working in the class. When I take the class to the Gym, it is the teacher’s prep time, and the ECE is supposed to come with me. It sucks that the ECEs don’t get any prep time, but that’s not something I can control.

Anyways, 3/4 ECEs come along no problem and help me out. One of them is driving me nuts. In September, she would hang back and talk to the teacher, instead of accompanying me. Trying to get 30 4 and 5 year olds to walk down the hall without incident is pretty hard on your own. At the time she said that the teacher was holding her back. I asked her if she wanted me to talk to the teacher about it, and let her know that I need the ECE’S help in the gym. She said no.

Since then, she has been coming to the gym when the class does, but she has been sitting on her butt, not doing much. She won’t help with the kids with behaviour issues, when they chase and hit and spit on the other children. When I ask for her help she makes a hand washing motion and says she is through dealing with them because they won’t listen to her. Ok, so I have to stop the lesson for all the other kids, to stop the behaviour because she won’t get off her butt and help.

I am not a gym teacher by training, so I have gotten some lesson plans. Right now we are doing a unit on balance. I have things all planned out, and then I get questions like this from her:

“Do you have the key to the equipment room?”

Me: No it’s gone missing (sidebar: and so has most of the equipment, anyways. But that’s a whole other story.)

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Her: (grimacing) What about music, can you play music like the Gym teacher last year?

Me: No, I don’t have a tape player.

She sighs and rolls her eyes.

Then, 30 minutes into the 50 minute period, she asks me if we should be getting the kids lined up to go back to the room.

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Then later, I am introducing a new activity as part of my lesson, and she interrupts me to suggest that we play duck, duck, goose.

I tell her I have a particular lesson plan I am following.

I’m the one responsible for planning the lessons. My lesson didn’t call for equipment, music or duck, duck, goose. How about instead of trying to replan my lesson on the fly, you get off the bench and help?

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Oh, and last year’S gym teacher didn’t really try to teach them anything, and literally gave every kid the same mark in gym, even the kids who had to sit out because they weren’t listening. Even when he was marking them on their listening skills. So no, not doing what he did.

Other times, I do health lessons in the classroom. When I do that, she either sits at a table doing something, or sits on the computer. I have to stop my lesson constantly to deal with kids who are acting up, because she isn’t doing her job. It’s infuriating.

It really makes me appreciate the ECE I worked with the last two years when I had my own Kindergarten class. She worked hard.