Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An Art Teacher (Long Term 1)

Well, it's official.  They gave me keys and everything.  For at least the next six weeks I will be the art teacher at a small, semi-rural middle/high school.  As things become routine, I imagine my blog posts will diminish in frequency.
The teacher I'm subbing for called me last night, and we spent nearly an hour on the phone going over her classes, and talking about the weeks to come.  I mentioned some of my biggest concerns in my previous post.  She was able to clear up a lot of them, though I'm really not looking forward to putting the gnomes in the kiln at some point.  I had to move them today, and put them in a safer storage area (than on the main counter in the room)  Several of them fell apart when I picked them up - oops.

My middle school students are working on a project that needs a lot of construction paper.  I got out a large selection, but several times I allowed kids to go into the storage room to get other colors.  Towards the end of the day, when I had a real chance to go back and check out the room, I found that it was trashed.  I guess I learned a lesson.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Secondary Art Teacher

I walked into school today expecting the usual boring art class lesson plans of: "The kids should continue working on their projects, they know what they're doing."
Instead, when I walked into the office I was greeted by the principal with, "oh, Mr. C, what are you doing for the next two months?"

Long story short, I may have an unexpected long-term job coming up.  Right now I'm scheduled tomorrow (Friday) through all of next week.  Past that, things are still up in the air.
I spent some time tonight talking to an art teacher friend of mine, getting some advice and also reading up on state visual art content expectations.  I'm certified in social studies and English... I can't draw my way out of a paper bag.

With all that being said, the high school students just finished sculpting lawn gnomes out of clay.  They were sitting on a shelf in the room, and some of the kids did a really good job on them.  The gnomes still need to be fired and then painted.  I have no idea how to work a kiln.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Third Grade Teacher

It has been a while since I've covered a single elementary class.

Today's 3rd graders managed to be excessively loud AND reasonably productive, all at the same time.

Early in the day, after I had explained to the kids that I was leaving their teacher a note, and that it already contained several references to their excessive volume, one kid managed to sneak me a slip of paper while my back was turned.  It contained a "World's Best Teacher" award, and it was signed, "The Kid in the Black Gap Shirt."
I thought that was pretty insightful, seeing as if he had signed his name, I wouldn't have known who it was from.
Also, this was only two hours into class, I think they award may have been a bit premature.

I got to cover a recess.  At one point, while watching the kids on the snow hill, one girl got to the top and screamed, "NO ONE CAN JUDGE WOMEN!"  I have no idea why she said this, but it was met with cheers from the other girls on the snow hill.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A High School Special Education Teacher

A group of about 15 Freshmen sat in near total silence for all of a 75 minute study hall.  I never through I'd complain about kids behaving, but I nearly went stir-crazy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Senior English Teacher (Day 2) and a Gym Teacher

I was the same English teacher as I was on Monday.  This would have been day three, except there was a snow day yesterday.  I don't think I will be subbing for her again tomorrow.  I am in the same building, though, covering meetings.  I'm pretty sure that if that teacher is gone again, my assignment will be changed.

I covered for a gym teacher the last hour of the day.  He had the kids playing an interesting variant of dodgeball. They call the game, "Medic Ball."  It plays out just like dodgeball, except if you get hit, you have to sit down.  One player is designated as the "medic," and gets to carry around a little scooter that can be used as a shield.  The medic can't pick up or use balls, but his job is to run the scooter to anyone sitting down, and pull them back to the team's wall, at which point the person is back in the game.  You can win by either getting an entire team to sit down, OR by hitting the medic.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Senior English Teacher

I covered today for a senior English/journalism teacher that I've subbed for a handful of times in the past.

This time, there was a student teacher, and this was her second week in the classroom.  She was obviously flustered, since her Master Teacher had been gone Thursday and Friday of last week, in addition to today.
I guess the teacher is really sick, because I'm in the class again the next two days, and possibly even a third.

I feel a little sorry for the student teachers from the local colleges.  They are not allowed to sub for their Master Teacher, which means they get a "baby sitter" instead.  When I did my student teaching, it was required that I register as a sub with the local ISD, so that I didn't need a babysitter.  I even got paid for most of the days my Master Teacher was out of the classroom.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A High School English/Speech Teacher

The teacher had given a student specific instructions to film the speeches due to be given today.  Of course, that student decided to skip class, and I ended up filming.  I know how to work a camcorder, but I'm still a bit worried that I might not have "done it properly."  Oh well.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Science Teacher and a Social Studies Teacher

I covered some meetings today.
I was a science teacher in the morning, and a social studies teacher in the afternoon.

There is nothing like getting paid to watch Mythbusters.

The social studies teacher had the students playing bingo as a vocab review, using Skittles for markers.  A few minutes before the end of class, one student went around picking up all the Skittles everyone had dropped throughout the day, and came up with a small handful.  I knew his intention was to eat them, and part of me wanted to stop him.  However, I figured he's a high school student; if he wants to eat floor-Skittles, that's his business.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Gym/Weight Lifting Teacher

Today was a perfect example of the flaws in the sub-placement system I work with, some of which I mentioned yesterday.
I got the call for today's job at 4am this morning.  The (automated) system says the teacher's name, but it wasn't one that I recognized, even though I'm in that school quite often.  When I wake up again a couple hours later, I get online to check out the job.  It's at this point that I read the teacher's note, "this position requires a person well versed in Lifting and Training and capable of managing 38 semi-independent teenagers."
The second part is easy enough, but I don't know anything about "Lifting and Training."  (On a side note, I love that he capitalized those two words.)  I suppose this is partly my fault, for not getting up at 4am to check the job boards.  If I had, I would have seen that the same school had two other openings today, both of which ended up not being filled.  I would have much rather been the band teacher, for whom I had to cover for an hour.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Amused by the System

As I've mentioned in previous updates, the way the subbing systems work (or at least the two I work for) is that teachers either call or log-in to an automated system, and enter the info for the job they need covered.  If you do it online, teachers can add in special notes.
Every so often I'll see a job posting with a note saying, "No sub needed, job filled internally."  
So... 1) Why do they bother posting it to the job board?  Depending on your setting, some people may be getting CALLED as early as 4am because the job is posted to a particular school on their list.  And, B) what would they do if I accepted the job and showed up ready to work?

Friday, January 6, 2012

An 8th Grade English Teacher

Mr. C.: ...alright, so that's the plan.  Any question before we head down to the media center?
Student 1: Can I get my book from my locker on the way down?
Mr. C.:  Yep, just be sure to make it quick.  Anyone else?
Student 2: Can I dance?
Mr. C.:  If you want to, but you'll have to leave your friends behind.
Student 2: ...wha..?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A High School Math Teacher

Kids can be so weird.  I looked up from helping a girl with her assignment, only to see two other girls exhaling at each other's faces.  They were trying to smell each other's breath.  I guess they were chewing cotton candy flavored gum

Later on...
Mr. C.: Hey, you two aren't cheating off each other, are you?
Student 1: No, I'm helping him, we're partners.
Student 2: Well, not really partners, we just happen to be sitting next to each other... and talking... and working...
Student 1: Wow, thanks for making it weird.
Mr. C.: ...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Spanish/World History History Teacher.

I got to watch an episode of American Family today, along with the first 40 minutes of In the Time of the Butterflies; both staring Edward James Olmos.  American Family was pretty good, especially after the 3rd time and I realized the a large portion of the episode was a flash back.  Prior to that realization I was really confused why the baby and the 8 year old boy both had the same name and the same mother.

I also covered for an 8th grade computer teacher.  The kids had to do an "internet scavenger hunt."  They were given various websites, and had to answer questions on the sites.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Well, the first thing most of these little angels did was go to Answers.com instead, and just type in the question.  When I told them, "no, that isn't how we're doing this.  Part of this assignment is that you learn how to do your own research online," they acted as if I had just kicked their puppy.  When the whining finally stopped, I caught several kids just typing the questions into Google.  As if I'm not going to know that that is the exact same thing.
I'm going to sound like an old man here, but when I was their age, and I wanted to find out how many rooms were in the White House, I had to look it up in a book!