Saturday, March 03, 2007

The week in teaching

Wow, what a weird week, even for me. Monday, a friend of mine who teaches elementary PE asked for me. This was the first day back after midwinter break, and I guess she has been really sick, since she was out the week before break as well! The original plan was that I would take her classes through Wednesday, and see what happens after that. It went well, except for my own health. Yup, Tuesday was the day I caught it full force, and decided it wasn't worth the effort. So I cancelled the job, e-mailed my friend to apologize, and spent the rest of the morning sleeping. My wife also insisted that I not go in to tutor, either, which was probably a wise move. Fortunately, the day's rest seems to have been enough, even though I'm still not quite up to 100% yet. Since the PE job was originally scheduled to go through Wednesday, but I'd cancelled it all, I was free on Wednesday to teach for a junior high school science teacher I've been in for a few times this year. Soon after I got there, the snow started to fall! No, not again! We've had enough this year! Oh, well. Things were fine at the tutoring center, however, so I went in — except it had picked up and gotten thick again during the evening, and so for the third time this year I had a horrendous drive home among a bunch of people who don't really seem to know (or learn!) how to drive in snow. At least this time it only took me about forty minutes to get home.

Now, Thursday was the really weird day. I knew there would be some schedule changes because of the weather, so as soon as I got up I headed toward my computer to check the reports. But before I could get to any reports, I got a call to sub in the local district. Great, science at the nearby high school, call the teacher, fine. Then I immediately got a call from my other district offering me another job. I told their machine I wasn't available, however, as I already had a job. Then I finally got online to see what was up — and the local district was completely closed! So, I'd accepted a job that no longer existed. (I did call the teacher anyway, just to say, "Yeah, I took it," and we had a bit of a laugh over the situation.) Oh, well, no problem. The other district was open, but late, so I got on their website to see what was not only available, but close, as I didn't want to go too far in the snow. Sure enough, one of the elementary schools had both a music and PE position. I thought about the PE job, but realized I still wasn't quite up to it, so I took the music job instead. Good choice! All I had to do was show the first three segments of Fantasia 2000 to each class! Plus, I didn't have any students until 10:30, and an hour and a half break in the middle of the day for lunch! Surprisingly, nobody took the PE job (I guess a lot of people were not willing to drive in the snow), so since school started an hour and a half late, the PE teacher came in himself. It was a short day, he figured he could handle it. By the time school got out, most of the snow was gone, or at least a lot slushier, so driving was fine.

Thursday night, Laura kept getting lots of offers for half day jobs for yeaterday, but she knows I like full day jobs, and kept turning them down. Finally, I got a full day offer — French, of all things, at the local high school. Well, I don't know French, but I do know enough Spanish to get by, and I've done other languages before, so I decided to not worry, Good thing, as this teacher also taught a section of Spanish. More importantly, he knew that I probably wouldn't speak French, and set things up real nice so that most of the classes had some vocabulary activities that didn't require me to speak the language. Piece of cake! And both my health and the weather had improved enough that I was able to walk, getting some badly needed exercise in.

The coming week is already shaping up. I have high school PE on Tuesday and junior high math (in two different schools) on Thursday and Friday. But the really interesting event comes Tuesday afternoon. I'm finally taking advantage of my university's career center to get the inside scoop on jobs, and it's already paying off. One local district is having interest interviews that day, and I managed to get one of the last two openings. Sure, it's preliminary, and all I need to bring is my résumé (which I will be updating tomorrow, not that it should need a lot), but it's a start! So I also need to get on the stick and get letters from teachers, perhaps talk to a principal or two...

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