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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

They Did What Now?...

Just when you think you have heard all the kinds of stupid antics kids do in school, something new comes along to prove you wrong.

It was lunchtime in the staff lounge and I had just sat down for lunch when three very agitated teachers entered:

T1:  I can't believe it.
T2:  I couldn't believe it either! What were they thinking??
T3:  They weren't thinking, that's the problem!!

While it's not polite to eavesdrop, I could not ignore the very loud, agitated discussion.

T1: I mean, in the bathroom of all places. Disgusting doesn't begin to describe it!
T2: That's what boys do. Disgusting stuff...just showing off!
T3: But they were peeing on each other!! All five of them! Peeing on each other! And laughing about it!

T2: You don't hear girls doing anything like that.
T1: Girls can't do that...can they? I don't see how it would be physically possible.

I'm guessing that school day (year?) is over for these boys and parents have been called to pick them up.

Now before you make assumptions about the social/economic makeup of the pupil population at this school, let me tell you that this is one of the three highest rated schools in the district. Over the years, I've seen kids dropped off at school in Mercedes, Lexus,Tesla, every make of electric car currently on the market and even one Lamborghini.

I would have liked to see what car the boys' parents drove over to pick them up...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Classroom Portraiture...

Was roving through different classrooms while teachers are meeting for PBL (Project Based Learning) meetings:

Look what happens when I'm more interested in the movie about the California Gold Rush days than the 4th graders are...

The teacher and I thought it was pretty good with all the classroom detail added.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Perfect Storm, Subbing Wise...

The year I decided to cut back on assignments is the year that the district says they are extremely short of subs. They blame the recovering economy for subs leaving the sub pool to return to full time, better paying jobs.

That meant that the "roving sub" status they had me on last month had me traveling and working more than I wanted so I did not re-up for the rest of the school year.

The district is "strongly suggesting" to teachers, not take any discretionary days off for the rest of the year unless they personally arrange for substitute coverage.

Judging by the number of emails I am getting, I'm pretty sure I could work almost every school day for the rest of the school year if I wanted.

Things are so dire that I have already booked an assignment for the last Friday of the school year in June.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

District Office Roving Sub...

A "roving sub" assignment implies that you won't be in one classroom the entire day. I've "roved" for several classrooms at a single school. I've "roved" two different schools the same day to work a half day at each.

It seems that 2015 is the year of "perfect storm" conditions for substitute shortages.  The number of teachers being out of the classroom has greatly increased for "Teacher Training" while the number of active substitutes teachers has not.  I know a number of substitutes purposely cutting back work availability or leaving for one reason or another.

Last week the district office contacted me to see if I would be willing to do "roving assignments for the district office". I hadn't heard of this before so I had to ask exactly what I would be doing as a "district office roving sub".

I would be pre-reserved as a "District Office Roving Sub" for any days in the week I was willing to be available. If they didn't need me, I would still get paid. 

If they did need me, the office would call after 07:40am with a list of schools and grade levels to pick from.   

As an added bonus, being pre-reserved means that the automated system will not be calling at 05:30am. My wife especially likes this feature.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Scam Almost Worked...

(Not related to school)
I got a call this afternoon from my nephew saying he was in Mexico on vacation and ran into a little problem.

I know, I know...this already sounds like a scam but the caller DID sound like my nephew and he has vacationed in Mexico several times before.

He said he was driving when the police pulled him over, tested him for alcohol and found an open bottle in the car. With my nephews past history, it was highly conceivable.

He said his lawyer, Kevin Williams from the U.S. consultant, had plea-bargained the offence down to a fine of $1980. Of course he didn't have that much and was calling to see if I would send the money Western Union or he would be jailed. He promised to pay me back when he got back to the U.S.

If he couldn't pay the fine by 04:00pm today, he'd have to spend the night in a Mexican jail cell.

Of course, my B.S. meter was pegging the max but this person's client DID sound like my nephew. I got as far as going to the bank, getting the money but on the way back home, I thought that maybe a night in a Mexican jail cell might do him some good.

It was then I started an internet search for the lawyer's name at the American consulate...and found nothing. I did fine a few interlinks for "Mexicanjail scam" and things started to click.

I didn't send the money.

I called my brother to see if he knew where our nephew currently was. He didn't and was sure this sounded like a typical scam. My brother called later with a report that our nephew was currently at home, in California, watching TV with his wife.

"Mr. Williams" called later to see when I was going to send the money....