Ideas on education, the English language, and the teaching profession.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Notes on Subsitute Teaching Part II

"Today wasn't as bad as it I expected. I'm only going to have four periods to do and two of them are floral design (small classes with girls), one of them is BioMed (the class with Indian kids who seem to like me), and only one Agriculture (ugh, the knuckleheads). And, on top of the small load, I get to go home. I just hope that I don't get picked for another class on one of my off periods. I think that I've gained a bit of seniority at this school though and now the other subs are getting picked. I say this beause the secretary was talking about her regular subs (ie. me) and that they're great, plus I was only saddled with one extra class, the BioMed (to make it a full day) instead of 3 which she is entitled to put on me. I guess all that leaving early business and other happily unmentioned jabbering on my part has been all forgotten. I've been blessed the chaos of public high schools. "

"It was something of an uplifting thing to overhear a conversation in my first class. Apparently, some guy was discussing religion and Christianity and how this football coach (some of the biggest oafs you'll run into by the way), is a mean old man, but professes to being a Christian. I guess the coach got the great idea of preaching instead of conducting practice for the football players. The girls being Mexican Catholics thought that it was wrong to do that kind of thing, but that religion was important and the guy should respect that. The guy relented from his brutish way of talking and conceded to the girls. It gives me the idea that more mild mannered girls might be the key to pacifying the more at-risk guys and getting them and their children into church. That eases my mind a bit about their future.

The library seems full of life today. Two classes are doing some "research" on college campuses and college life and all that. I have my doubts as to the actual pertinence of this activity to some of the kids who appear to be sleeping right now, but I hope all the best for them. In back of me there was some faculty meeting about ID badges and their cool new functions (oh the joys of an administration career in education) that the teachers rightly yawn at. So, I guess I won't be lulled to sleep like other days I take a nice comfy chair in here.

I had a thought on my mind when subbing for some teachers. Is it a regular thing that women will adorn their desks with baby pictures, and them and their friends, but never them and their husbands? Is it the same way at your job? Or are they divorced? I know some aren't divorced, they just prefer their little babies. What is it about the whole maternal attachment? Maybe you could tell me. Heh, maybe you'll get it too.

A feeling of familiarity with the kids and the building have definitely eased my mind somewhat about my work. I pretty much know what to expect and I'm even knowing faces, and the kids know me. It makes a difference, for sure. Oh well, sticking to high schools which are few and constant certainly gives me that opportunity."

"Right now, I'm in a class that has only 3 people left in it. the rest seem to have gone to some pep rally. One of the kids has been staring at his fingers for over 20 minutes that makes me wonder if he has some natcotic buildup in his veins causing some hyper extended stupor in his mind. The other is a anime girl clad in all of hot topic's latests threads and another is some quiet Mexican kid...."

"Today was a swell day. Much better than yesterday. The teacher I subbed for trained his classes well. The kids knew what to do and most didn't give me any crap except for first period pleading for a "free day". But, even they finished their worksheets. So, it was a good day. Everytime I go to that school, Newman Smith, I'm pleasantly suprised. They have a good faculty. I can't really say that for the school yesterday, which was its rival, R. L. Turner. I was back to normal and got some reading done and there hasn't been any call from anyone.

Heh, one of the highlights of the day was this program I could use. It controls the whole network of computers so when kids were looking at things they weren't supposed to, I could override and close it. I only got to use it one class though, and most of the kids were good. I did get to close some anime fan art thing. That felt nice."

"Today was a crumbum day that I just wasn't ready for. Agriculture should be renamed "Dreg 101". The teacher left me with a pack of untamed hoodlums and a lesson plan written on a post-it note. It was a shitty situation. Kids came in leisurely having no assigned seats, no routine, no notice that there'd be a sub, or any kind of consequence. They had an assignment that they knew wouldn't be graded and a whole bunch of time to be annoying.On top of it all, they were all boys, and all delinquents. Simply, a situation that makes you cringe.

I held my own and did pretty well keeping them from killing each other. Though, at the end of the day, I just wanted to go so I thought I'd let the class leave early. Seriously, this class had NOTHING to do. And I knew very well that what I was doing was wrong and there really wasn't anything to justify myself except that I was tired, bored, and wanted to see if I could actually get away with it. Plus, I just really hate walking through overcrowded hallways with nasty kids. I dismissed the class 8 or 7 minutes early. I had my stuff ready and took it to the office where I'd sign out. As I was signing out, the secretary received a call right then about my dismissing my class and I got reprimanded. I meekly pleaded that I just wanted to avoid the bustle of kids, and that the group was small and they completed the (non-existent) lesson plan incredibly fast. Oh well, she told me that I'm not supposed to do that and that I was caught either way. She told me not to do it again and that I could go since the teacher I was subbing for came back anyway. I apologized and left. I don't think I'll get banned, but you never know....

Ok, I just called the sub system, and I was requested (as it I was specially requested) to sub again for the same class next week. I even called the lady to verify and she was very friendly. I took it. Kewliez (yes, there it is in writing). I guess I'm off the hook in that case. Better get some more word searches."

"I managed to get a break. It's always appreciated. I have one more class then I'm coming back home to eat. The classes have been going just fine. I'm pretty used to the behavior kids feel like giving. They always come in loud and obnoxious, they leave as quiet as mice. It's the same ol' song. Children are never creative or new. I know them better than they know themselves."

"I'm subbing for ESL right now. Boy, is it quiet. One of the great marvels of technology is this new program catered for English learners. So, at the moment, the kids are staring at the screen doing whatever. Well, honestly, only some are doing what they're supposed to be done, some others are making a meager effort, and the rest are staring off into space. Heh, I love ESL."

"My 3rd period has come in and they started. I had to quiet down a few chatty ones, but it's cool now. Taking a closer glance at the program they're doing, it looks pretty dumb. More memory games than actual language comprehension. But, so it goes. People (at least, education people) are harping on using technology to teach, but it just seems super expensive and utterly useless, even serving to dumb down the kids. I got to sub for a teacher who had to attend some workshop that was supposed to train the teachers on this new software that they might receive. It's alot like that thing you have in your class where there's a question on the overhead and all the kids can answer it with a remote that's given to them and the results are immediately sent to the teacher's computer. Even in Law School, the thing is stupid and time wasting. Imagine it in the hands of middle schoolers who are the most hazard prone individuals you'll run across. What's more, each machine is 4000 dollars! That's one machine per class! That's more than my whole yearly salary as a sub at that district. Oh well, you now know the biggest drain on school funds that cause people to gasp. Not teacher salaries, or even the beauracracy (that's 2nd), but all this stupid high-tech trash."

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