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Friday, February 18, 2005

No Calls Before The Holiday...

All the district schools are off next week for President’s Day Holiday and, evidentially, there were no calls on this last day of school. Unless something interesting happens, I’ll take this next week off from the blog as well.

Good Night!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

An Audio Lesson Plan...

The call this morning was from a school in my favored district (ie: pays more). Ok, this looks likes a winner assignment!

That was until the automated system got to the additional voice message info from the teacher.

“…Oh, Hi! I got really sick and dizzy last night, so I don’t have a lesson plan for you. The office will have a “default plan” you can work from.

The kids need to split for math group today with two other classes. They should know what they are supposed to do. ( I key in on the word “SHOULD” ). Just ask one of the other teachers what lesson they should be doing today.

In the back off the room under the brown cabinet, is where I have all the overhead overlays for all the vocabulary. See if you can find the ones ………”

This goes on for a few more minutes of her telling me where stuff is in the room, which teachers I’m supposed to talk to, what to do if I run out of stuff.

Of course, I’m NOT writing ANY of this down because I’m staring out the window at all the rain pounding down in the back yard while having flashbacks back to that rainy day in October.

I casually click the “do not accept” option and hang up.

One hour later and another call later, I’m off to a 4th grade class that doesn’t promise doom before I get there.

P.S. Good plans, good kids. Worth the $10/day cut in pay.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Meow Isn’t a Sentence?...

Still borderline with the flu bug in spite of the five calls for assignments this morning. I’ll probably be “ok” for work tomorrow. No personal, in class blog post today.

Instead, one of my wife’s friends told her of this exchange between her grandson and his Kindergarten teacher this week.

The activity was to draw a picture and use the word “me” in a simple sentence.

The teacher reviewed Aiden’s work that pictured a cat with the word “Meow” in carefully printed letters.

Kteach: Aiden, where is your sentence with the word “me”?

Aiden: Right there! “ME-OW”

Kteach: But Aiden, “meow” is not a complete sentence.

Aiden: It is to the cat!

Score: Aiden 1, Kteach 0…

Monday, February 14, 2005

Guess Who Evidentially Didn’t Wipe Good Enough…

I wasn’t looking forward to working today. I suspected there might be a high probability of a class party for Valentines Day and I didn’t want a repeat of the Kindergarten Christmas party last Dec.

As it turned out, I needn’t have been concerned. I came down with some kind of bug yesterday and couldn’t have gone in anyway.

I guess I didn’t wipe good enough on Friday.

(That last sentence sounds pretty odd out of context…)

Friday, February 11, 2005

Very Late Call…

I got the call at 11:00am for this 6th grade class. The teacher was coming down with the flu and couldn’t finish the day. The office handed me a handful of alcohol wipes with the advice to wipe everything down including the phone and anything she might have touched in the classroom.

All I had to do was give the science test after lunch and send them out for P.E. as the last period of the day. It was a pretty easy end to a pretty bad week.

Is anyone else out there?

As far as I know there is only one other person who frequently reads this blog. I know because Gary will phone me if I haven't updated it after he knows I've been at school.

So if there is anyone else out there, please use the comment link below this post to give me an idea how large/small my regular audience is/isn't.

Alias's and Anonymous comments to protect the guilty accepted.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Took The Day Off…

I turned down three calls today and went to the park this afternoon to read instead.

Maybe tomorrow…

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Letter…

This has not been a good week for me. This blog entry will be presented in reverse order starting with a letter I received after class from one 5th grade girl.

Transcribed, verbatim, un-edited for grammar and spelling but parenthesis comments added for clarification.


“Dear Mr. Perry.

I am sorry for the behaveor of this class. I am not happy about the essay but the class does disurve it some with Mrs. K (the principal of the school) coming. I not proud of breaking the record (fastest ever class to get extra HOMEWORK) but I am happy that it was my class because in the beging it was ok because summer just ended but now there is no exuse it is getting out of control. I haven’t learned alot this year because it so loud and hard to hear the teacher. I understand if you never come back to subsitute but I am very happy you subsituted today because this class needs a strikt teacher. I just wanted to tell you to exuse my class but it is ok to be the meanest you can ever be! I am so sorry L (she had penciled in a frowny face). Wish me luck on my 500 or more essay.

your I guess Sub Student,

LP (name edited to initials)


-- 02:30 pm--

Principal gives a very intense lecture for the next 10 minutes. She has heard from other students and teachers in the school about the essay. She’s not impressed with the essay subject but asks me if I would object to changing it from a class wide assignment to just these seven boys. I agree.

She instructs the boys to write it down and tells them that the essay is not due on Monday as indicated, but due tomorrow morning. It’s also supposed to be delivered to her office where she promised to count each and every word.


One of the fearless lads says, “Can I have my GameBoy back now?”

I thought Mrs. “K” was going to pop a vein right then and there.

“You brought a WHAT to my school? Well, now it’s mine until your parents want to come pick it up!”

-- 02:17pm --

“Lost” behavior report is magically discovered at the bottom of the trash can.

Mrs. “K” scans the report and calls out seven boys to remain in class while the rest are excused from class to wait outside for the final bell.

-- 02:15 pm --

Principal visits the class. She apologizes to me. She launches into an awe inspiring lecture on classroom behavior, embarrassing the school. She demands to see the “behavior log”.

It seems that today’s log is missing from the clip board.

Mrs “K”. blows her top! She tells them that she and Mr. Perry are going to step outside for 2 minutes and that log had better be returned!

-- 02:00 pm

I have physically upset kids.

One girl asks to address the class. She pleads for everyone to be good. The boys are laughing at her. I quietly tell her, it isn’t working and it isn’t her fault. She abruptly bolts for the door and vomits on the black top. A second girl is crying hysterically. I send them both with an escort to the health office.

I call the principal, Mrs “K”, for help.

-- 01:40 pm

As the day goes on, the number of words for the essay rises.

300 – 325 – 350 – 375 – 400 – 450 – 500!

-- 12:30 pm --

Awarded the final “K” to “HOMEWORK”.

This is BEFORE their 12:45pm LUNCH TIME! This is a new record. The final K isn’t supposed to be reached until sometime near the end of the day.

So far, I’ve confiscated a “GameBoy” from one kid during a math assessment test, eight rulers that have had the metal straight edge removed to be made into metal wire sculpture, several comic books being used in a tug-o-war and one plastic dog pooh.

-- 10:40 am --


Several of the girls are outside the room starting their essays. I ask them if they are sure that’s necessary at this point in time. I remind them that the essay is only necessary if we get all the way to the final “K” and that they should go play instead.

Response: “Oh yea, we’re gonna get it. No doubt!”

-- 10:30 am --

We are up to “HOME----“ and we haven’t gotten to the first recess yet.

I list on the board:

Extra homework is a 300 word creative writing essay on: “If I Were a Super Hero, My Powers Would be…”

I give them until Monday to turn it in. The regular teacher should surely be back by then?

-- 08:25am --

Meet the kids. The kids tell me that I’m the third sub in a row this week.

No returning subs. Interesting.

Once again we start the day explaining about the “HOMEWORK” and let them know that achieving this goal will get them an extra essay assignment for homework.

So far, I’ve never actually had to issue it to a class. Got real close a few times, but the kids usually hold out.

One of the girls asks if she can keep the “behavior log” sheet for the day. She tells me all I have to do is tell her the names to add and the infraction. This is evidentially the usual practice in this class.

I’m thinking that this request doesn’t bode well.

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Scary Lady…

I was called to be a “roving sub” for the day at this school. Since I hadn’t done that before, I thought I’d try it. When I got to the school, they changed it on me and gave me a 6th grade class for the day. That’s ok. I’ve had my share of 6th graders before. No problem.

Boy was I wrong.

This wasn’t the nosiest class I’ve had but it comes close. The basic problem was that I never had a constant core group of kids for this class. As soon as role was taken, all but six for language arts (LA) remained to be replaced with kids from the two other 6th grade classes.

When that section was over, it was another mix for math, and finally the “homeroom” mix for the balance of the day.

At one point, a teacher came into the class and lambasted them for the disrespect and noise they were exhibiting. She really tore into them and laid on the guilt telling them that their poor tired teacher that just had her baby had called her earlier that morning and was worried about her class and was hoping that they were behaving themselves. She went on and on for about 15mins. and the kids were wide eyed and riveted in their seats. Not a peep.

This teacher was amazing. I didn’t know teachers were still allowed to talk like that to kids anymore with all the PC, self esteem, new age theory, and parental lawsuits against anyone who dares “instruct” kids on the proper way to behave.

She was really, really scary! It was really memorable!

…But in a good way!!!

P.S. The kids went back to their old ways about 10 minutes after she left. We must be producing a thicker skinned, shorter termed memory breed of kids these days.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Wise Ass Syndrome (WAS)...

I thought I was gonna get the day off today, but a call at 09:00am for a 4th grade class came in. Seems the sub assigned to replace the teacher today got sick in class and couldn’t continue. So today, I’m the 3rd stringer coming in off the bench.

Lot’s of boys in this class and about four of them I could do without.

In addition to the four clowns, there was a boy that I found out later was said to be diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome (HAF). He was actually one of the better behaved kids.

Since I hadn’t heard of this before, I got on the internet after class and found this description:

Looking for a clue about the other four, I didn’t find anything listed under “Wise Ass Syndrome” (WAS).

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I Don’t Speak British…

Last minute morning call to this 6th grade class. The teacher’s daughter evidentially was sent home sick for the day so the lesson plan she left me contained lots of nothing to do and a lot of time to do it in. On top of that several of the kids were coughing and sneezing. Occupational hazard, I guess.

So when this kid sneezed, I said "gesundheit".

Kid: “What?”

Me: “It means good health. Some people say that when they hear someone sneeze.”

Kid: (puzzled look…)

Me: “Do you know what language that is?”

Kid: “British?”

Me: (incredulous look…)

Me: “In what country is British spoken?” (Looking for England as an answer…)

Kid: “Briton?”

Me: “And where is Briton?”

Kid: “I donno.”

Another Kid: “England! Dope!”

Kid: “Oh, yea!”

Me: “And what language do they speak in England?”

Kid: (silence…)

The other kid again: “They speak English in England. That’s why it’s called English!”

Kid: “Oh, right!”

It’s going to be a really, really long day…

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Nothin' Goin' On...

After re-reading some of these blog entries, I realized that someone might get the impression that this job rarely has a “good” day. It just makes for more interesting reading if I can report on something out of the ordinary to write about.

Unfortunately, this 3rd grade class had nothing unusual, stressful, or funny happen so… makes for a pretty boring entry.

If they were all like this, I wouldn’t have anything to write about. Would I?