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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Roving Substitute Essentials…

My bag of “Substitute Teacher Essentials” or “Bag of Tricks (BOT)”, as some subs call it, weighs about 12lbs. I only have to lug it once from the car to the classroom and then back again at the end of the day.

Evidentially, the substitute call system has a hard time finding takers for the generic unstated “Vacancy” assignment. In this district, “vacancy” is synonymous for the word “roving sub”. After only one month into this New Year, I’ve already had two roving assignments with six future assignments on the books.

Roving, as opposed to aimless wandering, is simply covering for teachers that have scheduled meetings with school functionaries during school hours. It could be as few as four teachers to as many as eighteen in a single day. It’s an easy assignment but not very exciting for those who sub in hopes of gaining experience for that hopeful full time teacher position…(of which I’m not one)

Roving, obviously, requires a lot of walking around the campus from classroom to classroom. That’s when carrying that bag becomes a real burden, literally! There is also the real possibility that I could forget which classroom I left it in.

Now, when I have a “roving” assignment, the BOT stays in the car. I take only my “roving substitute essentials” which are: reading glasses, a book to read during break time, a whistle, sun glasses and a hat. You’ll need the whistle, sunglasses and hat because frequently the teacher you are covering for has the class outside at recess or doing P.E.

If you are blessed with good eyesight and hair follicle genes, you might be able to trim your list to just the remaining three essentials.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Math: Ten More, Ten Less

I subbed three 1st grade classes at the same school the first week of the new school year. The kids are starting to learn the concept of words problems and number placement in Math.

Their workbook pages were concentrating on organizing number groups of adding and subtraction by 10’s in the form: “What’s 10 more? What’s 10 less? What’s 3 more? What’s 1 less”…etc

Skipping the coloring questions #6 & #8, Take a couple of seconds and answer problems 4, 5 and 7.

(click to enlarge)

 Did you get 24, 14 and 34?

Imagine my confusion when first two kids I asked replied with: 22, 12 and 32. It was then I knew something was wrong.

The kids dutifully followed the first instruction by counting each letter in the picture where I “saw” two rows of 10 with four extra.

Did the publishers intentionally try to make this a trick question or was it a screw up in the art department that depicted the first two rows of NINE letters and one row of four?

You can vote your opinion in the comments section.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Air Swimmers

These would be great in the classroom for some downtime entertainment!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Don’t Panic…

My job assignment starts exactly 30mins before the kids enter the room. Most of that time is used to review the lesson plans, locate all the material on the plan and try to make sure that I know how to work all of the in-classroom “technology”.

This doesn’t portend a good start to my day with 5th graders when I don’t know what the definition of “shortly” means.

Also, I don’t want “access”. All I desire is the printed hard copy, please. 

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Friday, September 02, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes...

Last year’s change over to the new substitute call system seems to have changed without notice. For the first time, I was able to go online and view eight new available assignments going out as far as Feb/2012.

I took them all…

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Trying Hard to Remember…

I’ve completed two of three assignments in 1st grade this week. If tomorrow is anything like Monday and Wednesday, I’ll be glad when 3:00pm rolls around. I’m trying to remember to tell myself that these guys are just 10 days out of Kindergarten and not yet in “school mode”.

All the 1st grade teachers are on campus this week doing individual student assessments while substitute teachers are have the rest of the class for the day. My daily report for Monday listed two names that pretty much used up 85% of my voice, energy and fortitude.

Meeting with the teacher at the end of the day, she said she was not surprised they didn’t behave any better for me than they do for her.

Wednesday’s class was more of the same with twice the number unfocused still-stuck-in-kinder-mode tykes. The only calm moment realized was during the reading of the next two chapters of  “Flat Stanley”. Their teacher wasn’t surprised by her class behavior report either!