Sunday, November 05, 2006

The last few weeks of teaching

Okay, darn it, I know I'm behind. After the emotional roller coaster I've been on with the new-job-whoops-just-kidding tango, do you blame me? And now that I'm back to tutoring in the evenings again, I have a lot less time during the week. So I'd better make better use of my time on weekends, right?

Besides Hallowe'en (see the last entry), here are selected highlights of the last few weeks:

  • I had a whole week of high school math for a teacher who had to get some surgery. That was fun, even if I was a little out of my element in the AP Stats class. Fortunately, they knew what they were doing, and I had the answer keys.
  • I taught primary kids for the first time in ages. I snagged a job at the brand new elementary school in the area because I wanted to see what it was like, and this guy's listing said he taught fourth grade. But this year he has first graders. Yikes! To make matters worse, traffic was a royal pain in the @#$%, and I ended up getting there only about ten minutes before the kids. I hate not having enough prep time! But once things got going, it went all right. They were nice kids and very helpful, and the staff gave me a hand when I needed it as well. But yeah, I remember now why I don't usually take classes that young any more.
  • I was the latest sub in a line for a high school science class where nobody has been able to find a qualified long-term sub while the regular teacher is on maternity leave. The rest of the science staff has been good at keeping on top of things, but it's gotten very frustrating for everyone, students and staff, and I wish I knew what could be done. If I had more science background, I'd take it like a shot. But I had to leave after only two days, as they had someone else already coming in, and I had another job lined up.
  • One of the best assignments I've ever had: Junior high English, where this day the kids spent the whole period silent reading! Needless to say, I got quite a bit of my own reading done as well. A very close second was the high school PE class I had the other day. This was on a block day, so there were only three long classes. I got called in late (perhaps another sub didn't show up), so by the time I got there the first class was working hard and steadily in the library, so I got to stay there for about an hour. The next class was weightlifting, and the students all knew what to do. The final period was his planning, and I didn't need to be there, and they let me go home early. Those days more than make up for all of those days with no plans and no planning and aggrivating kids!
  • The other day, junior high drama! I got to watch part of Casablanca with one class (too bad it was wasted on them, they were clearly not paying any attention) and watch the rest play charades. That was fun!
  • Elementary library! Surrounded by books and getting to read stories to children. Heaven! If I had it to do over again, I would seriously consider getting a library endorsement (after the whailing and screaming of having to relive my life all over again, of course).
  • And finally, a junior high math job the other day that may lead to bigger things! The job was certainly enjoyable enough, but they were so self-directed that there was really little need for me to do much math. But I found out during lunch that the school needs to hire a part-time math teacher! So I jumped onto the jobline this weekend, and found not only that job, but a leave fill-in job at the local high school for second semester! Needless to say, I went ahead and applied for both jobs, which is one thing that has been keeping me busy this weekend. Wish me luck!

Nothing lined up yet this week, and because of Veteran's Day, it's going to be a short week. Since the holiday itself is on Saturday, school is out on Friday. One of the districts I work in also has a teacher work day on Thursday, but the other one is open, so I should be able to get a job there.

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