Friday, March 25, 2011

A 7th and 8th Grade Language Arts Teacher

I subbed for a 7th and 8th grade Language Arts teacher.  It was my first day in a new building, and I'm not sure that I ever want to go back.

Just a warning, this one is a bit more "ranty" than most.

To start off my day, the note and lesson plans left to me were incredibly condescending.  This is something I get once in a while, especially if teachers have had a string of bad subs.  Once I even had a teacher cover her drawers and cupboards with sticky notes telling me not to get into them.
My next tip that it might be a rough day was while listening to a couple para-pros talking before school started.  They were going on about how the 7th grade schedules had recently been redone because of a large number of discipline problems. 
My first three hours weren't too bad.  The kids were a bit rough, but nothing I hadn't seen before and I kept them in line and we got through the lessons with no problems.  My last hour of the day was much different.  First, we were on a weird schedule because of an assembly in the high school.  Second, my lesson for the hour was to just "show the movie and keep the kids silent."  The movie was The Great Outdoors, with John Candy.  This film wouldn't have been my first choice to show a group of 7th graders with a known tendency towards immaturity. 
The kids were nuts.  I had been told to "send them to the office if they give [me] any disrespect."  The first kid I sent down was sent back within five minutes, having been told to "be good."  At this point, I knew I was on my own. 
Later on in the hour, we had a tornado drill... and not all the kids came back.  So, I took role again and made a note of who decided to skip.  When everyone got back to the classrooms, we were still on some sort of lock-down, so kids weren't to leave classes.  One of the kids came back with his hat on. I asked him to take it off and he refused.  Since I couldn't send him to the office (not that it would have mattered) I told him I would leave a note for the teacher about it.  His reply, "so what, he won't do anything.  He always lets me wear my hat and never does anything when subs leave notes anyway."
I don't believe that the teacher lets him wear his hat, but the second part was a bit disturbing.

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