The first half of school year 2010/11 is done and I’m surprised to report that my initial reservations about the unavailability of work didn’t come to pass. The frequency of assignments is about the same but I’m pretty much working at only 20% of the schools in the district instead of the usual 85%.
I wasn’t expecting to work the last Friday before Christmas break so the call from one of the two elusive 15% of schools I never get calls from was a double surprise. I of course took the 6th grade assignment.
The two schools that represent the “elusive 15%” are two of the higher performing schools in the district (API scores of 950+ each). They rarely have teacher absences and when they do occur, I’ve been told, they arrange for their own preferred substitutes. They rarely had to access the “random substitute” line.
Since the office rarely had to deal with the substitute line, they never instituted a priority list of preferred substitutes for the system to work from when the list of fired teachers was exhausted. I was lucky enough to be the random pick that day.
In the classroom, the teacher’s lesson plan was addressed to “Dana”. That told me that either this school HAD found away to get around the new calling rules or that “Dana” was a RIF’ed teacher that she had somehow arranged to have work for her today.
While going over the lesson plan, the teacher in the room across the hall walked in to introduce herself and ask if I had everything I needed. It took a few seconds to realize that we both recognized each other.
“Hey, Aren’t you the guy the kids call Mr. Homework?”
I had worked for her a number of times when she was at a different school several years ago. After exchanging several brief exchanges of “what happened to old acquaintances”, she left to get ready for her own class.
The rest of my day went well, the kids were well behaved, and their teacher came in just before the end of day bell. She introduced herself to me and asked how my day went. I handed her my end of day report which she read silently while the kids watched intently.
“Well, according this report it looks like you guys did really well! Merry Christmas and you’re dismissed!”
As I was leaving, the teacher I met before school today came over to ask how things went. I told her it went well. She told me that she had gone and talked with the office secretary to put in a good for me and get me placed on their priority substitute short list.
Does this mean I’ll get more work at this school the 2nd half of the school year and possibility next? Only time will tell if the unintended consequence of the limited access rule to assignments will turn into an unintended benefit for me next year.
I hope it does.