Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Middle School Art Teacher

I subbed today for a middle school art teacher.

Today was an interesting day.  It was a combination of the "keep working on project" and "put in a movie" days.  Three of the six classes I had today got to watch a riveting docu-drama on Claude Monet.  The last two classes got to watch Scooby-Doo.
The first class was really excited about this, up until they realized I wasn't talking about the movie with Sarah Michelle Gellar.  After that a few of them had the nerve to actually complain.
After two episodes of Scooby-Doo, an episode of Huckleberry Hound came on.  The kids really found this interesting, since it exposed them to a degree of cartoon violence that they had clearly never encountered (in school, at least).  In the episode, H. Hound took on the role of a lion tamer.  I would describe it, but you can just watch the episode below.  The scene with the pistol really blew their minds.

The end of the Scooby-Doo tape contained an episode of Dexter's Laboratory.  I THINK it might have been the pilot, but I'm not exactly sure.  I did a quick search of YouTube and couldn't find it.  What chilled me right to the bone was that a few kids had actually never heard of the show.

Lastly, I've got a new picture of myself.  This may just be the best one yet.  When you see it, the girl wasn't trying to make fun of me.  She'd actually drawn several pictures of her classmates in the exact same "pose," for lack of a better word.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Geometry/Science Teacher

I subbed today for the same teacher as yesterday.

A group of students began telling me some horror stories about other subs they've had.  These stories ranged from examples of unabashed racism to sexual harassment.
Knowing teenagers, I'm sure there was at least some exaggeration to their stories, though if they were only half true they were still pretty outrageous.
While I know that I have never done anything even remotely similar to what these kids described, it did still make me worry about how a tasteless joke or misheard word could quickly escalate into a career destroying  rumor.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

A High School Science/Geometry Teacher

I subbed today for a high school science/geometry teacher.

I got another lesson plan saying, "students are working on a project.  They know what to do."  What made this one different is that it ended with, "if they finish early, they can just do homework or whatever."  Today was the first day back from Thanksgiving break, and it was second period.  They didn't have any homework.

Geometry student: "So, do you actually know how to do this stuff or are you just kinda here?"
Mr. C: "....[insert explanation on how to find the interior angles of a triangle].  Get it?"
Geometry student: "oh, yeah, thanks."

During the last class period we were watching an episode of a documentary series on the universe.  Somewhere during the middle of it a kid comes up to me and hands me his phone with some puzzle game on the screen.
Kid: "Can you beat this level for me?"
Mr. C: "What?  Are you serious?"
Kid: "...yes?"
Mr. C: "No, and I'm going to just hang on to this until the end of class."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A High School English Teacher

Frankly, class was boring, and nothing interesting happened during the day.  Obviously I like it when students are showing some maturity, and acting like adults, but it makes it tough to get material for this blog.

Instead, enjoy this little before school gem...

Walking into the building today, I over heard a mother yelling at her middle school age son for licking the frost off the outside of their car window.  The kid was complaining that it tasted like dirt.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Middle School English Teacher

I subbed today for a middle school English teacher.

Every class period had to go down to the computer lab at the start of class, in order to take some sort of reading test.  We were scheduled to use the main lab, which contains 30 brand new iMacs.  The kids were excited because for nearly all of them, today was their first chance to use the lab; it was mine too.  The teacher left in his notes that this should only take about 30 minutes, that ended up being a gross underestimate.  The first class period had it especially bad, because on top of the kids not knowing how to run the Mac OS, I had to discover the hard way that I needed a teacher with a master key to turn on the power to the computers to even get them running.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Middle School Band Teacher

I subbed today for a middle school band teacher, but only for half a day.

All three of the classes watched the same video production of a live concert put on by the Marsalis Brothers.  I'm pretty sure I enjoyed it way more than the kids.

I had the volume up pretty high, and some of the bass notes were slightly vibrating the walls in the back of the classroom.  There are a couple storage rooms in the back, one of which holds all the percussion instruments.  I wasn't sure what it was at first, but between classes I discovered that there were a couple snare drums up against a well.  The vibrations from the TV were making snares vibrate, so at times while the kids were watching the concert, it sounded like someone was in the back room playing the drums.  Maybe I shouldn't have told the kids that it was just a ghost getting some rehearsal time in.  They didn't REALLY believe me, but some of them were clearly uncomfortable keeping their backs to the room.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

An American History Teacher

I subbed for an American History teacher today.

I got to watch a very interesting video about George Washington.  The dude was 6'3", 180 lbs.  He must have been ripped.

The school's varsity football team is going to state finals on Saturday, so they don't have school tomorrow to celebrate.  I think their priorities are clear.

I picked up today's job yesterday.  The way it works is, teachers can post leave requests online, and any sub who is online at the time can pick it up (or the system calls subs, but it is all automated).  The system is set up so that once you've got a job for any given day, you will not be offered, or even be able to see other jobs.  Imagine my surprise when I got a call this morning from the system, offering me Kindergarten job for today.  It turns out that the automated system lost ALL the data on jobs posted/accepted yesterday.
When I got to school, the secretaries were scrambling to fill jobs.  I only showed up because, at the last minute, the system posted a note explaining the problem, and said that subs should report to any jobs they had previously excepted.
Clearly this automated system is better than having humans manage the subbing data.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A High School Physics Teacher

I subbed today for a high school physics teacher.

My third and fifth periods were both taking a test.  During fourth period the teacher I was subbing for (who was out hunting) called to tell me that a bunch of the kids in third period texted her to complain about the test.  They said one of the questions was too hard, so she had me tell fifth period to skip that one.
When I was in high school, I don't remember being able to get in touch with the teacher on her day off, let alone be able to beg her into to changing test questions.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A High School Social Studies Teacher

I subbed today for a high school social studies teacher.

I sub for this teacher all the time, so the kids know me pretty well, and I'm well past the phase with them where they want to test my limits.  What this means for this blog is that nothing interesting tends to happen on days that I'm in that classroom.

Today, however, I covered a 7th grade class during what would have been my prep hour.  A kid drew a picture of me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

An Art Teacher

I subbed today for an art teacher at the high school and elementary levels.

I had a student ask if I was famous, obviously I said "yes."

I colored a leaf today.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

An Elementary Special Education Teacher

I subbed today in an elementary special ed room, specifically a resource room.

It was an easy day, over all, but it wouldn't have been without some amazing parapros.  I never would have thought that a 5 year old could be so violent.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Health/Science Teacher

I subbed today for a health/science teacher.
It was my first day in a new building.  I was surprisingly nervous about working at this particular school for the first time, and not for reasons that one might expect.  Most schools (or at least the ones I usually work in) have some sort of reputation, but I had never heard anything about this school, good or bad.  They also almost never post openings for subbing jobs; the one I picked up for today was the first I'd ever seen.
They day did end up going VERY well, though.  The teacher left very detailed lesson plans, though they were spread out over three different documents, in three different locations, and I had to mentally put them together like a puzzle.

Also, are some schools now being built with Faraday Cages around/inside of them?  I suppose that could be a good idea, it would help keep kids off their cell phones.  I discovered (during my prep, thank you very much) that I had no service on my cell whatsoever; I didn't even have access to the data network.  However, once I stepped outside the building, I had nearly full bars and full 3G network access.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A High School Science Teacher

I subbed today for a high school science teacher.

I've mentioned before that I've got the same last name as a semi-famous rapper (or whatever that genre of music is called these days).  On a related note, today some kids started calling me President.  I told them that was unacceptable, because that implies that they have some sort of say in the decision making process.  I informed them that they could instead call me either, "King," "Your Highness," or "Your Majesty," or even just "sir."
By the end of the day many of them were.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Secondary Band Teacher

I subbed today for a band teacher.

Today was a good ole fashioned movie day.  I got to see an hour of each of the following, The Nutcracker ballet, That Thing You Do, and Remember the Titans.  On top of all that, I got to see the middle 40 minutes of Tarzan, three times and the middle 40 minutes of The Little Rascals.
I guess you could say that today was a very easy day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Floating Special Education Teacher

I covered meetings today for the Special Education teachers.

I was originally scheduled for 8 half hour blocks at a time, and after each block I would move to a different classroom.  Three of the half hour blocks fell during the teachers' prep hours.  This, combined with the two hour lunch break I was scheduled meant that I had three and a half hours off in the middle of the day.  Paid.
I almost feel bad about it, except I DID stop into the office to see if they needed me for anything else during that time; they didn't.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

High School Social Studies Teacher

I subbed today for a high school social studies teacher, one whom I've subbed for many times.

I ended up having to review game, which was sort of a combination of bingo and connect-four.  I discovered that it IS, in fact, a good idea to carry a bag of several multi-sided dice with you wherever you go.  You never know when you'll need to randomly generate numbers, or even letter-number combinations.

Also, when subbing, it is absolutely essential that you have your own little bottle of hand sanitizer with you wherever you go.  Just trust me on this.