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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lemon Yellow Pee…

I don’t know if this happens to anyone else, but being around lots of kids in a classroom sometimes seems to fine tune the subconscious brain’s alert system into high gear at the weirdest times.

In the last class of 2nd graders I taught this week, I thought I heard:

“Lemon Yellow Pee…”

ATTENTION, ATTENTION, ALERT, LOCATE, ISOLATE…until the small sing song voice continued:

“…Q, R, S, T, U, V…”

Emergency alert canceled…

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Final Tally: 2010-2011

No calls on this final day before the summer break. My last day was yesterday for a late morning, half day 2nd grade assignment to close out the school year.

Final totals:
This year 2010/2011 I worked 87 of 180 days in the classroom.
Last year 2009/2010 I worked 80 of 180 days in the classroom.

It seems that my doubts about not having as much work this year because of teacher layoffs and the changes to the resulting assignment rules did not come about.

Now, I DID add subbing at the middle schools as part of “willing to do” preferences. It turns out that it isn’t all that different from elementary and in some cases, much easier.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Reindeer Games …

The phone rang at oh-six-dark-hundred this morning and that could only mean one thing.

Fumbling in the dark, I answered and accepted a half day subbing assignment starting at noon, then happily went back to sleep until 09:00am.

My three hour assignment commenced at the start of lunch for the 3rd grade class. That meant a quiet 40min paperback reading period for me. A book to read in any spare moment is one of the subbing essentials I carry in my backpack.

The lesson plan for the remainder of the day was very light. With only four days until summer break the day was shortened even more by a final hour break for the whole school to attend the annual, end of year “Teachers .vs. 6th Graders” kick-ball/baseball game.

That cut my “in class” assignment to little more than a single hour. What could be easier?

At the appointed time, I had the class pick up their chairs and haul them out to the ball field as every other class was doing. My class quickly disappeared into the mix of other classes lining the field. The teachers not playing in the game were monitoring the boundaries to thwart anyone from wandering off school property or onto the playing field during the game.

The teams gathered on the sidelines and it was immediately apparent that something was wrong. There were only seven teachers on the field. The teachers were outnumbered by a factor of almost 4-to-1.

There was an announcement calling for one or two more teacher “volunteers” to play that went unheeded. All the male staff, including the principal, were already on the field. Some of last year’s female players were on the sidelines in various stages of pregnancy or injury.

Now, substitute teachers are kinda like Rudolphs. We usually aren’t invited to play in any reindeer games with the rest of the herd and I’m happy with that arrangement. I have about 20yrs “advantage” over the oldest of the teacher players. Sitting on the sidelines enjoying the warm sun is AOK by me. But, it wasn’t to be.

I was gently coerced and eventually agreed to play the catcher position to minimize any “running” participation in the game. The teachers then drafted one of the sixth graders to act as pitcher and fill out the rest of the team.

The rules of the game seemed to be a bit free form and biased in favor of 6th graders. The rules are:

Three outs and done for the teachers. The 6th graders get one pass through all of their players and at least three outs before switching sides.

Teachers had eight playing positions including me as catcher.
The 6th graders had twelve outfielders (four in each field), two on every infield position and the rest sprinkled throughout the rest of field.

The game was tied nine each when time was almost gone but the teachers had “last ups”. The principle suggested ending it in a draw, but the guy teachers overruled him to play out the rest of the inning.

Teachers prevailed -- 10-9.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Winding Down...

After a week off for a short vacation in Las Vegas and only nine school days left in the school term before summer, I was doubtful about getting much work in the classroom.

I was wrong.

I missed three calls Tuesday night (I’m not at home Tues nights before 9:00pm) but did get a history class assignment at the middle school for Wednesday and two 1st/2nd grade combo-classes for the rest of the week.

The “history” assignment was pretty much a do nothing day. It seemed like half of the entire school was gone on the “Honors Fun Field Trip” to the beach. I was told that “honors” is considered grades “B” or better.

The left behinders were assigned to write a class/teacher evaluation followed by movies for the remainder of the period. The only thing “history related” about the movies was when they were last viewed in theaters.

Very low stress assignment for me but pretty boring for everyone else involved.