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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Out of Context…

This year’s restriction by the school district not allowing teachers to request favored subs in their classrooms has had the unintended benefit that I’ve had a few more calls from the middle school. My personal inclination and schedule didn’t mesh with my taking any last minute, middle school P.E. assignments, but when an 8th grade science assignment came up, I accepted.

While I haven’t encountered any of these kids for the last two or three years, still about a third of them in each of the five periods remembered me from their elementary school days.

The teacher had seating charts with photos for each period that made taking roll five times a lot quicker than wasting time calling names. It was a bit social (ie: noisy conversation) at times but as long as they did the work I didn’t mind.

It was a good day and I realized that teaching the same subject to five different classes is much easier than teaching five different subjects to one class. By the time the 2nd or 3rd period shows up, I have ready answers to anticipated questions from the previous periods.

Switching topics, my wife and I have attended the same small church for more than 25yrs. In that time we’ve observed many changes. It is most noticeable in the changes the kids go through from infant to functioning adult.

Evidently one of these, now a 7th grade teenager, attends the middle school I was at last Friday. As she didn’t attend any of the elementary schools that I work, she only recognizes me in the context of “church”. When her mother approached me Sunday morning to ask if I was at her daughter's school on Friday, I was amused.

Her daughter had come home and related that she thought she had seen someone who looked exactly like me walking across the campus on the way to the teachers' lounge. She wasn’t sure if it was me or not. And if it was, why would I be at her school on a Friday afternoon?

I guess it can be a bit freaky to encounter someone “out of context” on a weekday.


Liz A. said...

You'll be an old pro at middle school in no time. See, it wasn't so bad...

Boffa said...

I'm curious if you had any noticible difference in discipline problems between elementary and middle school.

As many others agree, I find middle students to be pretty rowdy compared to elementary.

Of course it also depends on the school. The fact that you subbed for those students in the elementary school also helps a lot. And you're an active member of the community. I'm not sure how many other students encounter you outside of school, but they remember that. It shows there's a good chance you may return, which they respond to.

Anonymous said...

I live (and sub) where you do. I can't tell you how often I accepted a NON-PE position in a middle school, dressed appropriately, and then got the old switcheroo. And often some very sore feet and a sunburn to boot.

KauaiMark said...


I think I'd need a larger sample of classes at middle school to answer that. I've only had 1 1/2 assignments. Ask again after I've done 10 or more.


KauaiMark said...


That's why I can get away with tennis shoes for "all occasions" ( school anyway).

Otherwise, my wife Claudette has veto power on what I choose to wear when we go out. ;)