Today is the first day of winter break for the elementary schools around here. Like the regular teachers, I'm ready to knock off even though I have six assignments lined up for Jan/Feb already.
The flood of assignments did extend right up until the final days before the two week Christmas/New Year's vacation.
I had assignments 3-4 days/week in Nov. and 5 days/week the first two weeks of December.
The unusual flood did turn out to be "teacher training" for the government mandated "Common Core" standards or insurance re-verification for 2014. About half were full day assignments and the rest were roving and double 1/2 days.
The roving assignments are the easiest. I only had to "monitor" what they were already doing until the teacher returned. These assignments lasted only 15-30minutes each. The teachers knew their "assigned time" so they were able to anticipate the absence.
The "double half/day" assignments tended to be busy work this late in the year and did not need much in the way of actual instruction from me.
The only class that I actually did have to teach something was in 5th grade math on "computing averages". After going through the book exercises and doing a few examples on the board, the teacher returns to inform me that "computing averages" is no longer required so they don't have to teach it at this level.
I was curious, so I accessed the "Common Core" web site to find out at what grade level students would learn what "a mathematical average" was and how to compute one.
I intended to search for the word "average" or "averaging" to find at what grade level it would be covered. What I learned is that the people who designed the "Common Core" site need to take a few courses in web architecture themselves. Who builds a web site with over 700 pages of information and doesn't include a "key word" search feature?
Probably the same geniuses that did the Affordable Care Act web site.