Friday was the last day of a three day, pre-arranged assignment for a teacher I really like in a class I really like. The first two days it was actually fun to be there. The teacher had laid out detailed plans with books and materials logically arranged. Since I was to be there for three consecutive days, I even had the advantage of reviewing the next day’s plan before I left the classroom.
Friday, I arrived for my last day of this assignment to a school office in chaos. Thirty percent (10) of the teachers were out and they were scrambling to find subs to fill the last minute sick calls. I was SO glad I already had a class that I knew I was prepared for, a class I knew I wouldn’t have any problems with and that was “fun” to be with.
That was before the principal tracked me down while I was on morning yard duty.
“We’re having problems lining up enough subs for all the teachers that are out today. I’m trying to shift people around and I need you to sub for Ms. N in 6th today. I’ll cover your 5th grade class for the first hour until the sub I lined up for your class gets here.”
My questioning look must have conveyed my wounded confusion.
If you have a sub coming in an hour late and you are going to cover the first hour why does that involve me moving from a great 5th grade class to a 6th grade class where I know there are no plans, is a class known to be the same or worse than the one I previously described as the “day I quit” while she gets MY primo class?
As explained by prince, this sub normally only works K-3rd graders and was reluctant to agree to work with 6th graders. In desperation the prince promised he’d arrange it so she would not have to deal with “big scary kids”.
His solution was to give ME the “big scary kids” and hand over my fun class because: “You’re a guy and I know you can handle them”. As it turned out “handle” is a synonym for “survive”.
Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be flexible…
I was at the school and met with the teacher of my aborted three day assignment. She related that the Friday I was switched to 6th, her kids had the school psychologist for the first part of the morning, a sub for the rest of the morning and a different sub for the afternoon! She described her kids’ reactions of that day as “disorienting” at best.
In reality, I thought the school psychologist should have taken my 6th graders for the whole day. She probably could have written a couple of books on “abhorrent childhood behavior” from that one experience alone.