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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Half day 1st grade...

Today was supposed to be an easy day. The regular teacher needed a sub for just the morning half because she was supposed to monitor a neighboring class next door.

I was half way to the school when I realized I forgot my watch. Not a biggie. All the classrooms had clocks and the schools had bells or sirens for recess and lunch calls.

The first thing I noticed when I walked into the classroom at 07:50am was that the clock was stuck at 09:00.

This should have been a forewarning of how this half-a-day was going to progress.

The teacher’s lesson plan was annotated with her own private acronyms. The line item “SW complete BAT assignment” had me searching every book and pile of papers on the desk looking for something labeled “BAT” or with a title that might be the “BAT assignment”. I didn’t even try to find out what “SW” meant.

The teacher arrived shortly thereafter to translate this entry to mean: “Student Will complete the assignment on what they learned about bats yesterday”.

This prompted a further review by the teacher to do some additional translations of her lesson plan that evidentially her “usual sub” was trained to handle.

With the teacher in the next room and an ear cocked to hear what’s happening in my class, the day progressed to recess time. The teacher had to let me know what time that was because this school also had no bells for recess or lunch time breaks.

This school’s yard duty comes with a clipboard with yellow and pink citations to hand out for various infractions of the school yard rules.

The yellow citations are for misdemeanor offenses by kids who call other kids names like “loser”, “poo-poo head” or don’t share the balls etc.

The pink citations are for the BIGGIE felony crimes like: “issuing ethnic slurs”, using the “F-word and others in the same league”, fist fighting, etc and ……………chewing gum.

I guess the janitor unions at this school have a lot of influence.

So with my clipboard festooned with yellow and pink citations I wander the blacktop looking for evidence of wrong doing.

One little girl came up to me with a crushed plastic bottle. I pointed to the trash barrel and she left.

The second time it was a boy with a handful of papers and trash. Weird but again I pointed to the trash barrel.

I started wondering if I was supposed to exam the trash CSI style to uncover evidence for issuance of a pink or yellow citation.

The third kid clued me in that I was supposed to hand out a “green” ticket for good citizenship for each piece of trash properly disposed of.

I had no green tickets. I did offer either a yellow or pink one but got no takers.

The other yard duty person festooned with clip board, whistle and a watch was about to leave for her break before the end of recess when she noted I was short two of the required yard duty items.

In addition to a watch to know when recess is over, I also needed a whistle to command the little tikes back to the classroom. Without these, the students, evidentially would get to have the “Never ending recess of their dreams” if left to me to perform this task.
She took pity on me by saying she’d be back to call them in after her break.

(This is turning out to be the longest four hours of my life)

The post recess day progressed to lunchtime where in I escorted them to the cafeteria and bid them farewell.

Note to self: Get a watch and whistle. You never know when you’re gonna need them.

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