Sunday, September 24, 2006

This week in teaching

I had a pleasant week. Monday I taught junior high math for a teacher I filled in for a few times last year. She told me that, when she told her students that I was subbing for her, the ones she'd also had last year were happy. I quipped that it was probably because they thought they could get away with a lot with me. She told me no, it was because I knew what I was doing. After the scars of my contracted job a few years ago, that was woonderful to hear!

The rest of the week I was in for a junior high teacher just up the road. Tuesday I introduced an experiment and got things set up, and helped them get through a lot of other little things they had to deal with. The next morning, it was getting late enough and it looked like I wasn't going to get a job when the teacher called and asked if I was still available, as she still had the same problem to deal with at home, but was in to at least get things ready and teach her first two classes, but she could sure use me for the afternoon. So I took the half day. She also asked if I was available on Friday, which I was. Wow, consistency! I don't get that too often. She was able to come in and start the experiment on Thursday, at least — good thing, since I had tickets to see the matinée of Wicked that day anyway. Since it was the first big experiment of the year, neither one of us was terribly comfortable with me conducting things, so Wednesday I got to show a video, then Friday I helped with a little follow-up to the first part of the experiment, then showed more of the video. Seeing the same kids two or three times in a week paid off, as Friday was one of the smoothest teaching days I've had in a long time. They knew me and what to expect, I knew them, and they just did a terrific job following directions, answering questions, and getting stuff done. Yes, I gushed to the teacher in my end of the day report. Since the school is only a mile or so from home, I walked, and had a pleasant chat with another student (not one I'd had that week) who was going the same way. Then I ran into one of the student I had had, who asked why I was walking and was just very friendly. These are the kinds of days that remind me why I do this job. So next week I'll bet there will be some disaster that makes me consider a career change...

Speaking of next week, I already have three jobs lined up. I guess the start-of-the-year doldrums are over. Monday is elementary PE, filling in for a friend I've worked with before. I'll have to rush to get to my evening job in time, but I can do it. Thursday is a high school math job. Then Friday I start a week of high school math for a teacher going in for surgery, so at least the start of October is well covered. I'm a little worried, since this teacher covers AP Statistics, and stats was never one of my strong points, but I suspect it will go all right.

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