I was almost out the door, resigned to another workless day this week when the sub-line called at for a 3rd grade assignment. The catch is that it was a 2 ½ day assignment for the rest of today, tomorrow and a half day Monday.
The fact that they were calling an hour after the start of class today usually means the teacher suddenly had to leave. But suddenly leave for the next four and a half days?
Anyway, I get to the school at to find three very detailed lesson plans laid out on the desk labeled “Thurs”, “Fri” and “Monday”. Not something one would expect from a teacher who suddenly took ill.
Well, the story goes that this teacher had scheduled this time off, let her kids know there would be a sub for the duration, said goodbye to her friends and fellow teachers and flew out of town Wednesday night to attend a wedding.
But she FORGOT to inform the office or the sub line of the need to get someone for her class.
Thursday , the kids show up and no one is there to teach.
What a day this is promises to be. The top of the lesson plan indicated that I should be firm with the kids and hand out “referrals” as needed. Referrals are the classroom equivalent of traffic speeding tickets in the real world.
Taking heed of the teachers warning, I explain the extra essay “HOMEWORK” deal.
I also told them that every class I taught had at least some letters. “No one has broken the record of not getting any letters at all and only one class has ever gotten ALL the letters”.
They seemed enthused to try and be the first class to beat the record. The morning went well and I sent them off to recess without even an “H” on the board.
One of the boys came in after recess complaining that he had to go to the nurse because he had bruises on his arm. I had him roll up his sleeve to show me.
Sure enough, his whole left arm from elbow to shoulder had red bruises.
I asked him how that happened. He said that all the girls spent the whole recess chasing him around the field and pinching him because he wasn’t wearing green for St. Patty’s day.
I loudly commented that the only reason the girls pinched him so much really meant that the girls really, really liked him. That got the expected response from kids this age of “Ehhhheeewwww!” I was hoping that would save the kid from further torment at the lunch recess.
I gave him the universal, cure-all wet paper towel and had him go back to his seat.
Near the end of the day, the kid with the pinch welts raises his hand and announces quite loudly, “Mr. Perry? You aren’t wearing any green either!”
A couple of the boys in the front row slowly and start walking toward me with evil little grins.
“Back to your seats!” I say while pointing to my teal blue shirt while claiming than, in reality, “kind of GREEN counts!”
BTW, the class made it the whole day without any “HOMEWORK” letters. I told them that they had achieved a new record and they cheered.
I also told them that two days in a row would be an even BIGGER accomplishment. Am I expecting too much?