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Friday, April 03, 2015

April Fools...

It didn't occur to me the significance of the date until I entered the school office to see an aide worker's desk covered in tin foil.

The office informed me that the entire 6th grade had subs today while the teachers were out for some kind of training. That explained the 4-5 faces in the teachers' lounge that I didn't recognized. With door key and attendance sheet in hand, I went to the pool of 6th graders hanging out by their classroom doors.

As I approached the pod several 6th grade students recognized me and started interrogating me for which teacher I was subbing for. So, of course, I couldn't resist a bit of fun for the holiday.

"Actually, I'm subbing ALL the 6th grade classes today. The school couldn't find enough subs so they asked me if I would sub all four classes. We'll open all the pod doors and have one giant 6th grade today!"

I was sure they wouldn't bite but to my surprise, the news spread like wildfire. Now I had a crowd of excited 6th graders pelting me with:

"For real?"
"That's awesome!"
"What are we gonna do first?"

Don't they realize what day it is? I guess not. One girl was so excited that she wanted to go in early to help out. That's when I decided, I better let them in on the joke.

I told her she had to wait until I filled out the top part of my status report before I unlocked the door.

Name: Mr. Homework
Grade : 6
Date: .....

me: "Darn! I get confused sometimes. I forgot the date today?"
girl: "It's Wednesday, April 1st"

I let it hang in the air a bit and when it didn't seem I was going to write that down, her eyes went large and she started laughing.

When her friends wanted to know what was so funny, all she said was "April Fools!"

Yep. Got'em all!

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.