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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

There Ought to Be a Law...Kendamas

I saw this posted in the middle school classroom I taught today. YES!!!

You can't have toy guns on campus.
You can't draw a picture of a gun in class.
You can't do "finger" guns in class or on the school grounds....but

YOU CAN fling a wooden, tennis sized ball on a string and bean someone in the head with one of these things!

More than once I've experienced a near miss when a kid lost control of his Kendama in the classroom or on the playground. 

A while back I was covering a middle-school multimedia class that had video equipment and a green room for the students to make their own commercials and display them on wall sized HD flat screens. 

The class was pretty much done near the end of the period. The lesson plan indicated that any spare time was to be used to finish any incomplete work, have quiet discussions, read or...let them play with their Kendama's.

The last option ended when one kid lost control of his and missed what must be a very expensive wall sized flat screen by no more than an inch.

Monday, September 07, 2015

When It Rains, It Pours...

While we Californians wait for the real stuff, (we're still collecting shower water in buckets to flush the toilets and water the plants). Subbing jobs, on the other hand, are coming in like rain barrels of assignments.

The year I decided I wanted to cut back to only 2-3 days a week, the district raised our daily per diem by $15 to $135/day.  

Assignment requests started BEFORE the first day of school and I'm still getting requests for assignments out into the first three months of 2016.

Last week, we were out for the evening and returned home to find ten missed calls from the automated sub system.

I was talking to one of the teachers this last week to discover what's going on. She told me that new (Common Core?) training that entire grade levels are required to take this year are happening during class time.

The school administration essentially told the teachers that they are experiencing a shortage of returning subs this year and that they (the teachers) would be responsible to arrange for their own substitute during these training periods, as the district will be too busy to handle the load.

Makes me wonder how far doubling the substitute teacher per diem might go into solving the backlog of assignments. I might even consider going in 3-4 days a week.