I think it's harder for me than for the typical student teacher to endure being the low man on the totem pole --- indeed, not to be on the pole itself at all, but perhaps a small totemic rock placed next to the pole. I'm about ten years older than the typical student teacher, much more educated, and have been a very well-received preschool teacher for nearly six years. So I kind of chafe at the low expectations of public school and the tiresome bureaucratic rigmarole that needs to be done before any actual learning can get done.
What on earth is this making the students write "SSM" on their papers after doing rudimentary addition? It stands for Some and Some More, meant to be a thinking strategy for later use when facing word problems. Really, it's this kind of time-wasting nonsense that churns out kids who believe they don't understand math after 12 years of public education. I'm sure none of those kids had any idea why they wrote "SSM" next to their pictures of three apples and four apples.
I'm still doing mostly busywork, but I took the floor today and did the calendar session solo. It has hella components: we count the days of school (ten so far!) with straws, tally marks, sets of five dots, printed number cards, numbers on the board, and tacks in the wall. Also, there's weather and days of the week. I handled the myriad little tasks with a reasonable amount of aplomb, although the kids had to keep reminding me of what I'd forgotten.
I also sat in on another grade meeting, this one with Mr. Go-Getter Young Guy, the principal. He came off as more friendly today than before. And one of the other two first-grade teachers, a nice old lady, made me feel helpful and appreciated. So the day ended on a nice note.