Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A High School Math Teacher

I had several random students walk into class today and start distracting kids while they were working.  This actually happens all the time in this district; often enough that I assume it must be "normal."  Each time I would just boot them out.
So, when someone quietly walked in (the kids all have their backs to the door) dressed in a Halloween horror mask, and long cape, I didn't care that he was putting his finger to his lips, motioning for quiet.  I just said, "alright, take the mask off and get out of here."
It turned out that it was a teacher, hoping to get a scare from the class.  He muttered something along the lines of, "at least I got the other class" as he hurried back out the door.

I felt like a total jerk, but given the day I had had, I don't think my reaction was unjustified.

The following happened in an Honors Geometry class.

While moving around the room helping kids classify angles, I noticed two of the geekier students in the back throwing papers balls at each other.
I moved back to their desks and said, in my sternest "teacher's voice," "Hey.  What do you think you're doing?"
A girl looked up at me, obviously embarrassed, and possibly slightly intimidated and replied, "we were LARPing... I just cast Magic Missile on him." 
After that, all I could do was turn and walk away.
I have to admit, in almost 5 years of subbing, I have NEVER heard that one before.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A High School Science Teacher

I spent three days this past week as a high school science teacher.  This woman has five different classes to prep for... that is pretty intense.

The Freshman Biology class spent two of the three days creating biome posters.  On the first day I went over the rubric with them.  One of the items was, "cite at least 3 sources."  I'm almost positive that the teacher only wanted them to list the book title or URL for their information.  However, I told the kids that this meant they needed to have a proper citation page for their poster, and that it should be in either MLA or APA formatting.  The kids were really unhappy about this.  Their complaints lessened once I pointed them towards CitationMachine.net, but only slightly.
I figure it is always a good thing when kids realize that properly citing information is needed beyond research papers.
I told their English teacher about this during lunch one of the days, and she loved it.

The school also had a varsity football home game on Friday.  On Thursday, one of the guys on the team asked me if I wanted to wear his away jersey the next day.
I politely turned him down.

Friday, October 19, 2012

An Awesome History Teacher

I found the following item sitting on the teacher's desk.

Poke (base) ball
He had a rubber shark with a laser pointer taped to its head hanging from the ceiling.

The kids told me he has an armory of Nerf swords locked in a cabinet.

I don't know this guy, but he is clearly awesome.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Test Proctor

I'm on a special assignment.

I have traveled about 100 miles north in order to help proctor a state-run standardized test.  Not only is the subbing agency reimbursing me for my mileage, hotel, and meals, but I'm also earning almost twice what I make at most schools for a subbing job.

The job is almost mind-numbingly easy.  There are 11 students mixed between grades three and eight.  The state requires that each grade have its own proctor.  I spent the first two hours of the day ready to escort kids to the bathroom, and the second two hours watching a single eighth grader take the test.

You may be wondering why any school would want to take part in this absurdly over-priced situation.
First, the state has very strict requirements on the administration of this test.  Second, the school I'm working with is an online charter school.  The students are basically home-schooled, except the curriculum goes through this school, and kids turn in homework online, to a teacher they've never met.   In some cases, the kids (or, I guess their parents) have driven over an hour to be at this testing site.  The school has testing sites all over the state.

I will be here for the rest of this week, and part of next week.