Saturday, April 30, 2005

Weird week of wonders

Despite the WASL, I managed to get work for the whole week. It all started Sunday evening with a high school math teacher calling me to ask if I could take her classes the next day, and possibly Tuesday. No problem, I said. Oh, she said, and thanks to WASL testing, she doesn't have a class until 10:40, so I wouldn't have to be there until late in the morning. Uh, yeah, not a problem! But Monday morning, my phone rang with another job for just that morning at another high school. Turns out a teacher there wanted to slough off the WASL so she could get a couple more hours sleep. Oh, well, it made for a full day for me, and the math classes were good for me (I'd worked with them before). The same teacher, as she thought she might, had to take Tuesday off as well, so that was another short day, and there wasn't another bit of WASL proctoring in the morning, so I had a relaxing morning...before hurrying out the door when I noticed just how late it was really getting! Again, a nice day of teaching and talking math with students who were interested! That doesn't happen very often.

Wednesday I snagged an elementary PE job. Woo-hoo, I got to wear shorts! This was a sudden absence, so the teacher had no plans ready. Fortunately, I've done enough PE that I have a few tricks up my sleeve, and it went well. Thursday was PE again, this time junior high, and just up the road so I could walk. It was a bright, warm, glorious spring day, and fortunately all of the classes were outside playing soccer. Also fortunatley, the other PE teacher had some sunscreen he let me use! This school, however, has been cutting PE teachers of late, so the PE department has no planning time. Yup, that nice short day on Tuesday got balanced out by a day of six periods stright through. Good thing, too, since the district isn't able to pay for substitutes taking on more than a contracted day's work. I may have to contact the union about that.

I wrapped things up with an elementary music job, and that proved to be very nice, as there were only seven classes that day. In the past, when taking on elementary PE or music, I've had as many as ten classes in a day, but these were nicely spread out and allowed for some breathng space. One of the amazing parts of this job, however, was the school secretary. This was at a school I've been to less than a dozen times in the last five years -- but she recognized me, and greeted me by name. Oh, yeah, and the custodian popped in at one point and warned me that there would be a fire drill that afternoon. It just goes to show something I learned a long, long time ago: The secretary and the custodian are the two most important people at a school. They are the ones who actually help keep things running. Be good to them.

The WASL is over now for most schools (but I think there are a few elementaries still going next week), so things should get back to normal here, whatever normal may be. I have a high school math job lined up for Friday next week, but otherwise I'm free. But, as I usually observe in this space, something will probably turn up.

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