Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A 7th Grade Special Ed Math Teacher

Most of my day today was spent as a band teacher, but it was pretty boring.
During sixth period I subbed in a 7th grade math class.  The school wasn't able to get enough subs to cover all the missing teachers today, so I got to fill in during what would have been a prep period.

As I was rushing to look over the lesson plans for that hour, I noticed a girl standing in the doorway, glaring at me.  The following conversation happened as I looked up at her.

Girl: You!  I hate you! (said with some actual venom in her voice)
Mr. C.: ....oh? Have we met...?
Girl: You got me expelled from [other school]!  That's why I had to transfer here!
Mr. C.: Oh, wow.  That does seem like something I should remember.
Girl:  You got me expelled because I threw a marker at you!  It was last year, in sixth grade!
Mr. C.: I'm sorry, I really don't remember that... are you going to throw markers at me again today?
Girl: (said with a scoff) Only if you get me mad.
Mr. C.: I guess I'll try not to do that.

She did not speak to me again the rest of the class period.  She just sat and quietly worked on her math worksheets; glaring daggers at me anytime I'd walk by.

Eventually I did remember her.  The marker thing had just been the tipping point, when I finally called down to the principal's office and asked for her to be removed.
I had no idea she had been expelled, as I had made a point never to go back to that teacher's classroom.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A 7th Grade Science Teacher

My day was off to a fun start as soon as I checked in at the main office.
It turns out that the online subbing job dispenser made an error.
I accepted my job online at about 5:30am.  I had to hit "accept" a few times, before it would push the job onto my personal job page; this happens sometimes when I click "accept" while the automated system is calling someone about the same job.  It isn't really a big deal, it just means that I have to always double check my personal page before actually leaving for an assignment, since if the person called takes the job, it will over-ride my online acceptance.
Confused yet?  Yeah, the system takes a little getting used to.
Anyway.  I get to the main office, and the secretary was surprised to see me.  Another sub had showed up a little bit earlier for the same job.  Since there was only one teacher gone that day, she hadn't double checked the arriving sub against who the system said would be coming.  So, because I was the one in the system, we went down to the classroom together.  It turned out that this other woman had accepted the job over the phone (which should have closed the post, and not allowed me to accept).  She even said that she had seen the job on her page before she left home.
In the end, I got the assignment, because it was my name in the system.  The secretary felt horrible for not catching the error earlier, and I'm of course left looking and feeling like a jerk for taking the other sub's job.
The other sub was REALLY cool about the whole thing.  I would have been livid.  The secretary and I both urged her to call the agency and ask about what happened.

Much later in the day, one of my 7th grade classes was taking turns reading a section in the textbook.  The topic involved the different way that living organisms are classified.  As you may expect, the word "organism" is shown at least every couple sentences.
One boy, while reading a section, pronounced the word as "orgasm."  Every.  Single.  Time.
I'm pretty sure it was not on purpose, and not a single kid caught onto it.  Even the parapro in the room was too distracted to hear it.
I let the kid finish his section, without correcting him.  When he was done, I pointed out to the class that proper pronunciation is always very important.  I then lead them through a quick verbal exercise on how to correctly pronounce several of the words in the section... including "organism."

Friday, September 14, 2012

An 8th Grade American History Teacher

Today we watched an episode of the History Channel's documentary series, America, the Story of Us.
I love the series, and I've used it in my own (Summer School) classroom.
However, it gets old when you see the same episode 5 times in a row.

When reading the following conversation, keep in mind that this is only the 2nd week or school, and my first time in this building this school year.

8th Grade Boy: Hey, Mr. C!  Do you remember me?
Mr. C.: Oh.  Yeah.  You're that kid.  You did that one thing, that one time.
8th Grade Boy: Yeah! *Super excited, to a friend* He remembers me!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A 7th/8th Grade Math Teacher

School started last week, but I just had my first subbing gig of the year.
I subbed for middle school math teacher.

This particular school starts middle school in the 7th grade, so in some of these classes, these kids were about a week out of elementary.
The 7th grade class had some basic book work for an assignment.  The teacher had it written on the board as something like:
Page 6 & 7
Qs 1-3, 4-24 even, 26-29, 30-38 even, and 41
That seemed pretty straight forward to me, and after some intro stuff, I pointed the assignment out to them and said, "get to work, let me know if you need any help."
After about 2 minutes I realized these kids had no idea how to even approach the work.  They understood the concepts just fine, but when it came to deciphering the problem numbers, and then putting that onto a page, they were lost.
I drew out a piece of paper on the board, and then showed them how to organize it.  After that, they blazed through the assignment.
I'm really glad that I caught why they were struggling.

The following unrelated conversation also took place,
7th Grade Boy: Guess what I might be getting!!
Mr. C.: Umm... a pony?
7th Grade Boy: No, but close!
Mr. C.: Oh... a donkey?
7th Grade Boy: No!  A laser that will shoot all the way across my house!
Mr. C.:  Oh... cool.  I see how that is close to a pony.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Security Guard

As I mentioned in a previous entry, I've taken a seasonal job working security at the football games of the local university.
The first game was a few nights back.
The gig was pretty fun.  I just had to walk a corner of the Student Section, and make sure the kids didn't get too crazy.  By and large, it was actually a lot like subbing in most high schools, with the exception that a much higher percentage of these kids were drunk.
The highlight of the night was calling for the paramedics when some girl collapsed.
Next week I've got a 4pm-4am shift working security in the dorms the night before a huge game, followed by another 12 hour shift during and after said game.  It should be a lot of fun.

On a separate note, school starts on this Tuesday.  Last year I started getting work on day 2 of the year.  Maybe this year I can get work on day one?  How fun would THAT be?