Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Fifth Grade Teacher

I subbed today for a 5th grade teacher.

It was absolutely miserable.  I've been with these guys before, and I knew going in that it was a tough bunch, but today was horrible.  I believe that the heat had a lot to do with it.  It was easily 85 degrees in the classroom today, with the only window opening up to another building's wall 15 feet away.  In the end, I ended up reading to them for 45 minutes, just to keep them quiet.  The book?  A copy of  The World's Most Haunted Places by Jeff Belanger. It was either that or the first Harry Potter book.  I let the pick.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A High School Social Studies Teacher

I subbed today for a high school social studies teacher.  It was only a half day, though when I accepted the job it was listed as a full day.  I love it when they change things without telling me.

My classes today were all in the computer labs, working on papers.  All classes were also very well behaved, for a change.  This left me with a fair amount of free time, and not much to do.  My solution?  Doodle.

You're now wondering why I didn't go into art, instead of teaching.

Also, when I got to school today the class room smelled VERY strongly of cat pee.  It was so bad, in fact, that the custodian was called it.  He said a stray has been going around the building, marking around the air-intakes by the classrooms.  He then put some chemical in the room's heater.  The rest of the day smelled of cat urine and bitter lemons.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Another Band Teacher

I subbed today for another band teacher, at a different school.
I haven't been subbing at this particular school much these days, especially since I picked up a whole other county a few months back.  However, whenever I am there, I am often mistaken for a different sub.  I don't know WHO he is, but he must be much cooler than me.  For example...
Student: Hey!  You're the guy who let us play softball in here last time!  Can we do it again?
Mr. C.:  Hah...ah, no.  You've got me mistaken for someone else.  That is so not going to happen.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Band Teacher

I subbed today for a secondary band teacher.
It was pretty great, two of my classes were gone on field trips, which meant two extra hours to read.  I wonder if the Fates aren't trying to make up for the horrible classes I'd been having recently.

Also, how is it that a student can loudly shout out, while watching a movie, " raise you hand if you're still a virgin!" and still be able to pretend to not understand why they're getting in trouble?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Resource Room Teacher

I subbed today for a resource room teacher.

It bugs me when people, other teachers especially, define students (or anyone) by their disabilities.  For example...
Mr. C.: Johnny?  I don't know who that is...
Teacher: Oh, he's... you know... the wheelchair...
Mr. C.: ...I see...

Monday, May 23, 2011

An Elementary Music Teacher

I subbed today for an elementary music teacher.

The following conversation took place after a third grade girl saw the book I'm currently reading, Dearly Devoted Dexter, sitting on a table.

Girl: Oh, is that like the TV show?
Mr. C.: Yeah... I don't think you're old enough to know about that show.  It'll give you nightmares.
Girl: It's okay, I watch it all the time.  I also watch NCIS.  This one episode, this dead guy had his eyes hanging out and everything and even that didn't give me nightmares.
Mr. C.:  Uh huh... alright then...

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Tenth Grade English Teacher

I subbed today for a 10th grade English teacher.

My largest task in several of the classes was to collect a very large research paper.  The notes left to me said that the students fail unless it is turned in.  They also said that it was due at the very start of class - no going to type it/print it off, or anything.  My life would have been very simple if I'd taken the "if they get it to me sometime today, it's all cool" stance.  Instead, in an effort to promote personal responsibility, I harshly enforced the teacher's rules.  This lead to a lot of angry students, and Mr. C. having to put up with some pretty lame excuses. In the end, I just wrote down any one's name that gave it to me late, along with their excuse.  It made for a VERY lengthy sub note at the end of the day, but I feel pretty good about it.

The school I was in today (and have been in a lot the past few weeks) is obsessed with the color of my beard.  Several times a day, every day I'm asked "do you dye your hair?" or "why is your beard so much redder than your hair?"  It's starting to get old.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Sixth Grade Teacher

I subbed today for a 6th grade teacher.  I had all the major subjects: math, science, social studies, language arts.

The teacher had an exercise machine placed directly behind the main podium.  My first thought when I saw it was, "whoa, I'm not touching that thing."  The kids said that the teacher uses it all the time when they're working.  A few hours later, as the kids were working quietly, and I was getting kinda bored, the thought turned to, "well... maybe I'll just stand on it and see what happens."  What happened was, my feet flew out in front of me and I was nearly thrown backwards into the computers behind it.  Lucky for me I caught myself.  Needless to say, the "working quietly" was quickly replaced by "laughing hysterically at my expense."
I know this will make a great story for their regular teacher tomorrow...

The Deathtrap

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

An 8th Grade Computer Teacher

It hit me today that I spend 7 hours a day, 5 days a week with an ever changing hoard of quick to anger, paranoid, hormonal, and slightly crazy human beings.  I come into their lives, usually unannounced, and as hard as I try to prevent it, end up disrupting their comfortable routines; this of course puts them on edge, and more likely to resent me right from the start.
Yet, despite all this, I keep going back for more.  Am I crazy?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Fifth Grade Teacher

I subbed today for  5th grade teacher.

It was a fun day.  I spent about a half hour read poetry to the kids.  I loved it.  They loved it.  It was even part of the lesson.  A good time was had by all.

Teachers: I completely understand that emergencies happen, and there are days when you can't put out materials for a sub ahead of time.  However, on those days when you have to email in your lesson plans, please don't write them to suggest that the day's materials are out on your desk.  Or, if that particular wording is static in your plans, at least make an additional (very specific) note as to where to find things.  I don't mind digging through filing cabinets, or even making copies, but guessing at the worksheet you want, based only on what the board says the kids did yesterday is not helpful for anyone.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A High School Biology Teacher

I subbed today for a high school biology teacher.

I think all of the dead animals around the room were making me sneeze.

Mr. C. to Student:  "I think you've learned a life lesson today.  Never stick your finger in a dark hole, unless you're absolutely sure you'll be able to pull it back out."

Friday, May 13, 2011

A High School History/Econonomics Teacher

I subbed today for a high school history/economics teacher.

I had a rather... unique... student in one of my classes today.  It is the same student that I mentioned in a post last week.  This student spent the entire class period drawing me.  It was a bit unnerving, but frankly I put up with it so that I could post the picture here.  The assignment for that class was just to watch a movie, which was clearly fluff anyway, so I don't feel too bad.
She didn't have time to finish it before class ended.  She also insisted that I sign the upper left corner.

I also overheard a girl, who is a foreign exchange student from Germany, complaining to other students that they had lied to her.  It turns out, they had told her that the word "inbred" meant "foreign."  I guess she proclaimed, to a different sub, that she was an "inbred exchange student," much to the uproarious laughter of that class.  I can definitely see why she'd be unhappy. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A 6th Grade Teacher

I subbed today for a sixth grade teacher.  This school has 6th grade in the elementary.

This was probably one of the wost classes I've subbed for in a long time. 

It turns out that I had NOT read all of the Diary of a Whimpy Kid books.  I started Dog Days today.  With any luck I'll be able to finish it before the end of the year.

When a 6th graders asks you, "why do the veins in my wrist look blue?" don't bother explaining to her that it has more to do with which light wavelengths your skin can not absorb than it does with how much oxygen the blood is carrying.  Expect that their science teacher will have explained the latter theory to them.  Also expect them to think that you're wrong, soley on the basis that you're not a "real teacher."
Try not to worry about what other incorrect information they're learning.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

7th Grade Language Arts/History Teacher

I subbed today for a seventh grade language arts/history teacher.

She had a full classroom set of the novelization of Star Trek: Nemesis

Monday, May 9, 2011

Another Freshman English Teacher

I subbed for yet another freshman English teacher today.

This guy had some odd wall art.

Yep.  That's William Shakespeare kicking a soccer ball.

Friday, May 6, 2011

An English/Drama Teacher

I subbed today for an English/drama teacher.  Most of my day was spent on freshman English, so I'm starting to get a bit burned out on it; at least it is a different school from earlier this week. In fact, this was my first time subbing in this particular high school.

Over all, today was memorable day, and also a day for several firsts. 
I thought I'd taught pretty much everything out there.  I've taught algebra.  I've taught poetry and Shakespeare. I've overseen cooking classes.  I've refereed most gym games you can think of.  I've given constructive criticism in art class and (badly) conducted middle school orchestras, not to mention the social studies spectrum, in which I'm actually certified.  But today was my first day in a drama class. 
Today was also the first time I've kicked a student out for calling back, "your mom!" when I asked the class for the last name of an absent student.

I had a bizarre encounter with a student today.  Just before school and between classes I was supposed to stand out in front of the classroom door, to help keep an eye on the hallway.  Before school started I had the following conversation with a girl who's locker just happened to be right next to where I was standing.

Girl, her eyes wide: Ooh... who are you?
Mr. C.:  Mr. C, who are you?  -------> This is my standard reply to the "who are you" question.
Girl: [Name]... you look like an interesting person.
Mr. C.: Uhh... thanks?  I try.
Girl:  Yeeaahhh.... your mustache is just fantastic...
Mr. C.: ...Alright then, thanks...

At which point I turned and walked back into the classroom.  There were a few more odd exchanges throughout the day, as I monitored the halls between classes. Including...

Girl: I've never seen you here before.  You should make sure to sub again, I don't have [name of teacher I'm subbing for].
Mr. C.: ...Well, the year's nearly over, so who knows if I'll ever get back here.

And I overheard the following as she was walking past the door...

Girl to friend: That's [name of teacher I'm subbing for]'s sub... doesn't he look like an interesting person?

I have no idea what the hell I did to look like an "interesting person."

Lastly, this conversation took place during one my classes.  This is NOT the same girl from above.
Girl: Mr. C., you know what actor you kinda remind me of?
Mr. C.: Zach Galifianakis?
Girl: Oh my God!  How'd you know?
Mr. C.: I hear it nearly every day. 
Girl: Wow!  That's so awesome!
Mr. C.:  Yeah.  Real awesome.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Freshman English Teacher... Again

I subbed today for a freshman English teacher, the same one I subbed for on Tuesday.

I got to watch the ending of the 1997 Romeo and Juliet five times today.  It is a neat adaptation.

During one class I was explaining how to fill out an outline for an essay they were going to start writing.  As I began pointing out details on the sheet one student, without saying a word, stood up, leaned against a wall, and just stared at me with his fingers in his ears.  Some of the kids in the class had reason to hate me (I'm one of those a-hole subs that tend to enforce classroom rules), but he wasn't one of them.  It didn't make any sense.

I'm also starting to REALLY hate the iPod Touch.  Teachers, please realize that every district, and every building in each district, tend to be slightly different when it comes to rules about technology.  However, despite the different rules, all kids either have an iPod or a cell phone that they can play games on and listen to music.  Please make up a static note mentioning your rules about such things.  ALL students WILL insist that they're allowed to use such things in class when there is a sub in the room, regardless of if it is true or not.
More often than not it isn't a battle worth fighting, but it gets to be pretty obnoxious.

Lastly, and this is still directed at any teachers reading this, when you don't follow through with consequences for noted behavior problems, all subs everywhere die a little inside.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Middle School History/Geography Teacher

I subbed today for a middle school history/geography teacher.

The history classes were watching Uncle Tom's Cabin.  It was during one of these classes that I overheard the following conversation.
Student 1: Who is that actor?  I think I've seen him in other stuff.
Student 2: That's Samuel L. Jackson.
Student 1: Who?
Student 3: You're an idiot, no it isn't.  Samuel L. Jackson is white.
Mr. C.: *Fights against the urge to slam his own head through the desk*

The geography classes were all making detailed maps of the camp from which they had recently returned.  They told me that they had spent several nights there.  I had three blocks of geography, and during the first two nearly all the kids had a lot to do, and spent the hour doing it.  The last block, however, had many finished students.  One of those students was driving me crazy; bouncing all over the room, disrupting others who were working, etc.  Eventually I allowed him to get a book from his locker on the condition that he'd sit still and read it.  He brought back a Pokemon guide book, which kept him busy for all of five minutes.  At this point I had an idea.  After asking him to look up two or three specific Pokemon stats, I got bored with the game and just told him, "make me a list of all the Pokemon that don't appear in SoulSilver."  Knowing this would be a rather long list, I figured it would take him a while.  It took him a full 30 minutes, but shortly before the end of class he handed me the list.  I was rather impressed.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Freshman English Teacher

I subbed today for a freshman English teacher.

I understand that teachers need to assume their sub won't know jack about the subject matter, but some days I really hate passive lesson plans which say, "pass out worksheet and put on video."
On a related note, I got to watch 40 minutes the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet five times today.  Huzzah.

Quote of the day:  "So... a Kindle is sorta like an iPad, only just for books?"

Also, wearing your pants around your knees so that I can see the bottom of your boxers makes you look like an idiot.  Just saying.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A 6th Grade Teacher

I subbed today for a sixth grade teacher.  This particular school has sixth grade part of elementary school.
My day started off pretty good.  A little girl gave me a flower.

Of course it was clearly meant for her teacher, and she just didn't know what else to do with it.

I finally got to finish Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth.  As you may recall, I started it a few weeks ago but was never able to finish.  I finally got lucky and found another classroom with a copy.

I found a few old sub notes in the teacher's Sub Folder.  I read through a couple, only to find them full of whining and horrible spelling/grammar.  It made me slightly ashamed to count myself amongst them.

I did win the "Best Sub Ever" award, though.  So that's something.

Also, the same girl who gave me a flower also drew a picture of me.
She nailed the general look of menace, but I think she got my hair wrong.