Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Gym/Special Ed Teacher (Days 3 & 4)

I've had a mini long-term subbing job this past week.

The past two days my 7th grade gym class has played a variation of capture the flag.  I wouldn't have made them play it today, except they BEGGED that we play it again.  Part of the game's mechanics involved large (3'x5') padded mats on the floor, which served as "safe zones."  Because they were padded, kids liked to dive onto them head first.  This resulted in a LOT of head-to-head collisions.  Luckily there were no serious injuries.

Most of the classes I had were high school resource rooms.  Today was the last day before winter break, and no one was giving home work.  The kids pretty much just played games on the computer while I read.

I spent the day telling countering "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Winter Solstice."
The kids were confused.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Gym/Special Ed Teacher (Day 2)

We played kick ball in 7th grade gym class today.  It wasn't even "regular," boring kick ball, it was 5-base kick ball.  We also used a GIANT rubber ball.  It was all those kids could do to get it airborne.  Two of the girls were really tiny, and I had to suppress a laugh whenever they ran at the ball and caught it, nearly knocking them over in the process.

The following conversation took place in one of the special ed classes (actually, it is more of a resource room, a quiet, calmer place for some kids to come work on stuff for other classes).

Student:  What's 30/40?
Mr. C: Oh, come on.  You can do that one in your head.  It's three-fourths, or .75
Student:  Sure, you can do it.  You know there's a reason we're in this room...
Mr. C: ..... *shakes head*
(Time passes)
Student: Oh! 30 starts with a 3 and 40 starts with a 4!  That IS easy!
Mr. C: Yup.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Gym/Special Ed Teacher

Seventh graders are weird.  I played dodge ball with a class today, and after a girl got out, rather than run off to the side, she decided to spin in helicopter circles across the gym.

One boy told me that he has a metal plate in his head, and that it hurts when he sticks magnets to it.  I told him to stop sticking magnets to his head.  He agreed that it would be a good idea.
He then went on to tell me that the reason the plate is there, is because he got his head caught in one of those bouncy playground toys that sit atop a giant spring.  Later a teacher told me that this isn't true, and that the kid likes to make up stories.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I covered IEP meetings today.  It was similar to another job I wrote about, about a month ago (more or less, I haven't actually looked it up).
I ended up with about two and a half hours of down time in the middle of the day, plus several 15-20 blocks throughout the day.

Most of the teachers didn't even know they had a meeting until I showed up.

I covered for a science teacher who was conducting a cool experiment with middle school students.  They were filling glass bottles with varying amounts of water and comparing the pitch made by tapping them.

Monday, December 12, 2011

An English Teacher

I had some very interesting lesson plans, which the teacher left written on the whiteboard for everyone to see.  Rather than describe them, I just wrote them down.  

Here are the highlights.  

Dear Classes,
These notes are for you.  Do not deviate from the plans.  Also, enjoy working hard while I am not (working hard, that is).
                      With cold, unfeeling and remorseless love,
                                 [Teacher's name]

 Eng. 9B
Students Will:
A) Do everything 9A is doing
B) Try not to be your lame selves

Students Will:
A) Do work, son!
B) Obey, [student name]
C) Try not to behave like complete animals

Guided Academics
Students Will:
A) Behave: Or else!
B) Stay seated, silent, and composed
C) Try to not be the ridiculous middle-school students you are

Friday, December 9, 2011

A High School Science Teacher and a High School History Teacher

I covered some meetings today for a history teacher, then a science teacher.

We got to watch a couple episodes of I,Caveman today.  It was pretty neat.

Also, I forgot to add this yesterday...

A skeleton, locked firmly in the closet.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A High School Social Studies Teacher.

I subbed today for a high school social studies teacher.

My 4th period class was out in one of the portable classrooms behind the school.  I'm glad I made sure to get there early, because the heat hadn't been on all day and it was freezing in there.  His lesson plans also strongly implied that the rest of my classes for the day were out there.  Since the building did not have bells, and its clock wasn't synced to the building clocks it took a couple extra minutes for me to realize "oh, hey... no kids are showing up."  I was a couple minutes late for my next class.  Oops.

Apparently one of the teachers at this school told the kids that I am mixed-martial arts instructor, and that there are a handful of states I'm not allowed to teach in because my hands are considered "deadly weapons."  I picked up on what they were talking about just in time to act very humble and say, "I can't really talk about this."
Sadly, the teacher was gone today so I couldn't ask him about it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Senior English Teacher

I subbed for a senior English teacher today.

The school was having some tech issues this morning, and could not get online to access emails.  The teacher I was subbing for had emailed in her lesson plans, with the idea that the office would print them off to me.  Instead,  the office had to call her and ask her to email them to me, where I could then read them on my phone.  It really wasn't a big deal, but it did mean that I had to be looking at my phone off and on all day.
I'm sure at some point someone important walked by and saw me, then put me on the school's blacklist.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

An Elementary Music Teacher

I subbed today for an elementary music teacher.

I was in a building for the first time today.  They actually gave me the code to get into the staff restroom.  I've never felt so welcome.  No, seriously.  This is a big deal.

Also, I got to watch The King and I, nearly all the way through.  It was surprisingly good.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A 6th Grade English Teacher

I subbed for a sixth grade English teacher today.

Kids think it's hilarious whenever I can't find the flag when it comes time to Pledge Allegiance.

Student: Is banana good when mixed with asparagus?
Mr. C.: I have no idea, never tried it.  Next question?

You know a school is in serious trouble when, over the course of the same summer, they lose both their in-school detention teacher AND their librarian.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A High School English Teacher

I subbed for a high school English teacher today.

The lesson plans, while much longer than necessary, only had the kids "finish their notebooks, then free-read.  They should be absolutely silent."
I understand that this must have been a very sudden and unexpected absence, but that is still not much for me to work with, especially when one class has 30 students, and another has 40.
Yeah, 40 students in one tiny, ultra-cramped English classroom.  I would truly like to know how he keeps order.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A 7th Grade Math Teacher

I subbed today for a seventh day math teacher.

I'm not sure if the kids were really good today, or if they were so bad that I got numb to it really quickly.  Each class period had at least one kid that I really had to keep pressure on, in order to keep everything under control.

Why is it that a kid will go out of his way to provoke the other kid who has known severe anger issues?

So, my final class period of the day was also my prep period.  In every school I've ever worked at, this means that I get to go home early, unless they need me to cover somewhere else.  So, after I finished up in the classroom (finishing a note, straightening up, etc) I headed down to the office to turn in my key and ask if they needed anything else from me.  She seemed rather indignant that I would even ASK about heading home early.  She even said, "you're contracted until 3, right?  I'm pretty sure that means you need to stay."  While that may read innocent, there was some attitude behind in.  As I've mentioned in past posts, I've worked in a lot of schools over the past few years, and this is the first time I've ever encountered this.
Also, don't misunderstand my intentions here.  I'm not complaining that I had to stick around a few extra minutes.  I mean, I just closed the classroom door and played Angry Birds on my phone.  I just don't get why they have to be rude about it.