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Thursday, March 10, 2005

A Royal Pain...

The winter rains have finally taken a break only to be replaced with early summer.

It’s only 08:00am and it’s already mid-70’s when I opened the door to a blast of heat in my 3rd grade classroom. The heater is on full and the temperature must have been charging past 80F.

This should be a simple enough situation to deal with. I’ll just switch it off and leave the door open or switch it to A/C till class starts. I discover that there are NO controls on the thermostat! No off switch, no temperature adjustment knob, nothing!

I called the office asking how I turn off the heater and she told me that a technician has to do it and will be sent out.

With the door propped open, I begin the search for my detailed lesson plan.

There isn’t one. Damn! Suckered again!

There ARE two notes from another sub that had this class Tuesday and Wednesday. Her notes seemed to indicate she encountered the same situation but forged ahead listing the assignments and homework SHE had them do. This sub is obviously a seasoned, experienced ex-teacher who knows what to do on a “no-plan” day.

Unfortunately, I’m still too raw and inexperienced to duplicate the process. I NEED crib notes! Had this been indicated on the sub caller’s “additional info”, I would probably have passed on this class.

I DID find a teacher “general plan” for the month that indicated a spelling test and a math work sheet scheduled for today. Nothing else was marked on the plan for today. I added “silent reading” and “journal writing” fill out a pretty sparse day.

The kids arrive and promptly notify me that I have “something” on my back. In attempting to figure out what I had backed into, another kid points and says, “It’s on the front of your shirt too!”

I’m sweating through my shirt at 08:30am. Damn that heater! When’s that tech coming!

As if on cue, the guy arrives and plugs his laptop computer into a data port on the bottom of the high tech thermostat to turn the heater off and the A/C on.

“Isn’t that a little overly complicated for a simple thermostat control?” I ask. He looks at me and comments “Yep...” as he exits out the door.

During attendance I come to the name “Duchess” (this is a public blog so this is not her actual “parent should be shot” name but a close enough equivalent). She’s the cute blond hair, blue eyed, freckled faced kid standing on her chair furiously waving her hand announcing “HERE!” in response.

I can already tell it’s gonna be one of those days.

I go through the “HOMEWORK” rule even though I already know it’s a bluff. This is the last day of a short week and with a minimal lesson plan, I can’t fault the kids for this one.

Duchess is coloring her nails with crayons.

The morning goes pretty good. Silent reading and journal writing is going well.

Duchess can’t seem to find a book to read and she seems to have “lost” her journal.

I grab a random book from the class library and sit with her to see if she can’t or won’t do the work. She effortlessly reads the two whole pages I selected at random so I know it’s not “can’t”.

I spend 50% of the rest of my time till the first recess just trying to get her to stay in one place and at least pretend to write a journal entry on note paper.

After recess we spend time on the spelling test.

Duchess can’t seem to remember the word to be spelled at any given moment. Pencil broke, needs another. Got a new pencil but lost her spelling paper.

Math assignment is pretty much the same. While most of the rest of the kids can read the board for the page numbers in the math book, Duchess doesn’t seem to know what page she’s supposed to do. When I point to the board, she can’t seem to find her math book. When I hand her the book from the pile of books on her desk, her pencil is broken again.

The rest of the day ends pretty much the same.

The hard life of a royal pain…

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