Monday, January 17, 2011

The week in teaching

Not a whole lot to mention about last week's jobs. I started off with middle school math (at the far middle school, for a teacher and students I'd worked with before) on Monday, middle school social studies (same school) on Tuesday (gave them packets, let them get to work), and middle school science (the other, closer middle school) on Wednesday, where they put seeds on wet paper towels, and they're going to make some observations, I bet. Thursday and Friday proved to be the interesting days. First off, the job was listed as being math at the high school, for both days. Of course I'll snag that! Thursday morning, however, the roads and walks were really badly iced over. Our sloped driveway was so icy, I slid down on my way out to get the paper. (Now I know why those little shoes I wear in the house are called slippers.) Laura and I finally noticed the extremely huge bruise on my left hip this morning. I turned on the news reports, and sure enough, all of the surrounding districts, and the local Christian school, were all on two hour delays — but not the public schools in town. Huh. Oh, well. I decided my best bet would be to walk, anyway, very carefully, since the alternative was to drive on that ice. I made it, and thank goodness for those people who cleared their sidewalks the day before, but there were a few spots I nearly fell again. Once I got to school, the first thing I heard was, "We're on a two hour delay." Yeah, it would have been nice if the district had said it earlier, before so many teachers and students got there. Oh, well, at least I had nearly three hours to get ready.

And I needed that time! It turned out that, first of all, she teaches science, not math. And she'd already been out the first part of the week, with two different subs. Yup, one of a substitute teacher's worst nightmares, being the second (or in this case third) sub, and no plans in sight. So I scrambled and tried to figure out where they were and what I could cobble together, and I did all right, actually, under the circumstances. But the writing was on the wall, and I decided to plan ahead for Friday. Since the teacher had the VCR checked out, but it wasn't in the room, that wasn't a good option, so I thought I would bring my laptop to use as a DVD player and see what I could find. Fortunately, I'd already built up a good relationship with one of the other science teachers, having worked in his room a couple of times during his prep. I found him, told him what was up, and he had a couple of good DVDs on volcanoes handy, which at least kept my students quiet and somewhat entertained for the day. Showing videos is not my ideal way to teach, and I'm not wild about getting videos when I sub, but in this case I figured it was for the best. But that poor teacher is going to have a lot to figure out and get heer students caught up on when she gets back (and I do hope she's back tomorrow — but if not, I at least gave her colleague a heads up that he may want to help).

So far, no word on the job front from that last district, but the local district I'm currently subbing in has an opening at the high school for the rest of the year! That would be ideal if I could get that one. The year is just about half over (what, already?), so it's possible that something else may come up here soon.

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