The last two days in a 5th and 2nd grade were really great. The kids had a good time, I had a good time and things got done.
Even though the 2nd grade assignment was a last minute call and, of course, didn’t have a lesson plan (…the teacher was in a car accident on the way to school today), it was a pretty mellow class and we even got some math in before the minimum day dismissal bell sent them home at 12:45pm.
It was a REALLY short full payday from to which included a school assembly, two recesses and lunch!
The only real downer of the week was the annual substitute teacher in-service seminar at the district office.
I was hoping to learn some stuff related to student discipline techniques, classroom management, how to turn off the substitute system caller after I already turned down an assignment because I said I was sick (…he was too sick for that 3rd grade class today, but let’s see if he’s well enough for the kinders)
No such luck. Instead we had a presentation of the FOCAL / CTAG (Closing the Achievement Gap) students and how it relates to us. (…We didn’t find out what FOCAL was a acronym for)
For the non-academically affiliated, FOCAL and CTAG are programs supposedly implemented to focus more teacher/class attention to the under achieving and/or slacker students with the goal of getting them to kick it up a gear and buckle down to business. (…my simple minded interpretation, not theirs)
The obvious question was asked: “How does this relate to us? We’ve never seen a list of CTAG or FOCAL students on any lesson plan or what we’re supposed to do with them.”
There’s a Catch-22. For confidentially reasons, the teachers aren’t allowed to disclose kids identified for CTAG/FOCAL to the substitute teachers. We’re supposed to figure it out for ourselves and do the best we can.
Doing “the best we can with minimal info and preparation” is pretty much the job description of a “substitute teacher” anyway, so this in-service was pretty much a waste of time.
Maybe I should change the post title to: “Sub Standard Inservice...”