Another one

Humorous, but contemplative as well…

A teacher asks….

(Author unknown)

After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective teacher said:
‘Let me see if I’ve got this right.
‘You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning.
‘You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride.
‘You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job.
‘You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the final exams.
‘You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Spanish or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card.
‘You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard,a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps.
‘You want me to do all this and then you tell me. . . I CAN’T PRAY?

Posted in Humor. Tags: , , . 4 Comments »

Camping humor

A new post on subbing coming eventually, but until then enjoy this find from the vast reaches of the interweb:

Camper Comments

These are actual comments left on U. S. Forest Service registration sheets and comment cards by backpackers completing wilderness camping trips:

• “A small deer came into my camp and stole my bag of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call.”

• “Escalators would help on steep uphill sections.”

• “Instead of a permit system or regulations, the Forest Service needs to reduce worldwide population growth to limit the number of visitors to wilderness.”

• “Trails need to be wider so people can walk while holding hands.”

• “Ban walking sticks in wilderness. Hikers that use walking sticks are more likely to chase animals.”

• “All the mile markers are missing this year.”

• “Found a smoldering cigarette left by a horse.”

• “Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.”

• “Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the area of these pests.”

• “Please pave the trails so they can be plowed of snow in the winter.”

• “Chair lifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them.”

• “The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.”

• “Reflectors need to be placed on trees every 50 feet so people can hike at night with flashlights.”

• “Need more signs to keep area pristine.”

• “A McDonald’s would be nice at the trail head.”

• “The places where trails do not exist are not well marked.”

• “Too many rocks in the mountains.”

Oh, the irony

Last weekend I picked up a job in hometown district for first grade.  In fact, it was the school nearest my home.  Later, a job in supersized district appears for a resource teacher (they call it by a different name, but that’s what the job is- for those students who need the extra boost).  It was of course much further so why would I want to change over to this one?  Yet, for some reason I did.  Probably because I hadn’t worked in that district for a month thanks to them canceling most of the jobs I’ve taken in recent days.  Yes, the expected one included.  That actually lasted an entire week believe it or not.  I guess no one bothered to check and see that a mere 90-day (noncertified) sub had their three-week assignment.  We’re the ones who get the unwanted/last minute scraps at the table.  Did you know 120-day (certified) subs in this state can work more than 120 days?  They have to get a waiver from the state to do it, but for some reason they get it.  There was one year the state said no, but with some finagling they managed to get it back for the next year.  For the end of that one year, jobs were easier for me to come by.  So back to the story, I did change the job.  1st grade is a little below my comfort zone anyway, as I have mentioned.  So Monday I arrived and guess what?  They told me I was needed in first grade at the start of the day because another sub was going to be late!  Sigh.  It happened to take away my only break that day outside of a 45-minute lunch (the teacher didn’t have any students for nearly the first hour, after that it was one group of students to the next.  Actually, they offered to let me stay in first grade and bump the other sub to my assignment.  After having worked in this class for the last hour I thanked them for the offer but moved on.  And, the other teacher worked with older kids.

The first grade irony continued on Wednesday.  I subbed for elementary PE where we played hockey tag all day, a combination of the two games in the name.   The “it” players are armed with hockey sticks and they try to hit other players with yarn balls.  Depending on the rules the players hit could be out or become “it” as the stick is handed over.  The morning was all 4th-6th grades, most of whom knew what they were doing.  The afternoon had four groups, one 4th grade, one 2nd grade, and two 1st grade.  So, back to first grade for another hour 😉  Not only that, but one of the classes, probably the roughest group all day, was a class I had subbed in for a couple of days last year.  Several older students had asked if they could help me during their lunch, and this was the class they would have helped with had I said yes.  I should have said yes.  Oh, well.

In case you’re wondering, Tuesday was pretty much a repeat of IT in hometown district, same school as last week.  The 6th graders were working on house floor plans instead of enlarging cartoons, and the 7th and 8th graders were still doing modules like last time.  Nothing much to say.

Silence and the Truth

The last time I wrote, I forgot about a big detail from Friday.  I have been subbing for a few years now and I must either have been in elementary schools on this particular day, or in districts that don’t support it.  The day I’m referring to is the day of silence.  This is a day where non-heterosexual students, and those who support them, make vows of silence (which many don’t keep outside of the classroom by the way) as a response to the bullying many receive.  Being what and who I am, I cannot support their lifestyle of course, but neither do I support people bullying them.  As such I do support their right to make this particular point.  However, in doing so it does bring to the forefront their lifestyle for everyone to see and discuss during schooltime, so naturally I support the counterpoint that follows on the next school day- the Day of Truth.  The truth being that this lifestyle is dangerous, particularly for males, and it is counter to God’s Word.  As such, some Christians started this day in response, though I understand many schools that support the DoS do not support the DoT even though it is completely run by students and so doesn’t fall under separation of church and state.  This year there were some who promoted a Christian walkout on Friday, but I think this person has a better Christian response:

I propose instead of walking out, that evangelical kids pledge to do better, to do things differently.

Last year, on the Day of Silence, Campus Crusade for Christ Regional Director, Michael Frey and I promoted the idea that students in high school and college take the Golden Rule Pledge (LINK). In response to silent peers advocating for safety and respect, we hope evangelical kids will agree and pledge to treat others the way they want to be treated in return. Over 30 schools took part last year, and we hope this year we can build more bridges instead of walls.

Click this link to go to Dr. Warren Throckmorton’s blog to read the whole thing.  Anyway, the school I was at supported the DoS in a big way, even giving students packs of notes they could hand to teachers in each class they were in.  I really didn’t do much about it, though as I said I (silently) supported their right to do this, and at the same time I treated it as a small blessing- fewer students talking in class 😛 . Unfortunately Monday I was in an elementary school in supersized district so I have no idea if the Day of Truth meant anything at Friday’s school.

Friday

Well, that Thursday entry was less than exciting I think.  Hopefully this will be an improvement- 8th grade.  In near-city district.  At the end of the year.  When another job popped up in a different district I was tempted to dump this one for it, but in the end I didn’t have any issues thanks to required worksheets to be filled out while watching a movie.  It was a social studies class, but she also taught one literacy class- I think all teachers teach one class outside their specialty to save on paying for another teacher since the numbers allowed for this.  Obviously, if this would cause the class sizes to be 35+ they would probably pay for an additional teacher.

So I arrived in the morning to handwritten plans, a videotape, a few stacks of papers, and two machines I could play the tape in- one a TV on a cart, the other a projector with a combo DVD player/VCR.  Being the tech person I am, I chose the projector, but first I had to hook everything up.  I plugged the projector and DVD player in and connected them with the supplied A/V cable.  Well, finished connecting- for some reason some connections were already there while others were not- interesting.  I had time to test it out, so I did.  Eww, was that it for volume?  I turned the projector volume to max but then it just sounded bad.  Hmm.  Wait, there is an additional speaker on the bottom of the cart, but how to plug the video into the projector and the audio into the speaker?  The cable was such that it couldn’t be split.  What was this?  A second audio cable!  Only- no.  It had a mini-end to plug the computer (also on the cart) into the speaker, but neither the speaker nor the player had a place to plug in the mini end, but all was not lost- the projector had an audio output and it was a mini- problem solved.  The player went to the projector, the projector to the speaker.  Done.  The only issue I had all day with this setup was the speaker A/C plug kept coming loose, but fortunately not during the video.

So in the end four classes saw the video ( a very unexciting one about Congress), the one literacy class had a quiz and a reading assignment from their books, and the tutorial (study hall) was… very small.  Only a handful of students apparently had tutorial with this teacher.  I caught up on some book-reading during this time.  Then I was done with an off period.  Or not.  The office called me and had me watch over a group of kids in the gym where they had some free-time (it was an LD class, but I saw a few friends from the BD/ED class there as well with another teacher).

So that was my week in review, in five posts.  How was yours? 🙂

Thursday

Back to the school I subbed in for art last week, about four doors past in fact in 4th and 5th grade row.  It was another day with no break for specials, not even computer lab like Tuesday.  The morning consisted of a large language arts block with a reading from their Treasures reading book and some guided reading.  I made an error in the guided reading- I was supposed to have the second group read their books while the first group read and discussed their book with me.  I read this note as I was passing out the books after the first group finished- whoops.  So we read the book together.  Well, in the end neither group got to the next part so I left them on even footing.  That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. 🙂

Following language arts we had time for social studies before lunch.  They are using a book called History Alive! and we learned about the Bill of Rights.  In reading earlier the students read out of the book, but this time I was told to read to them so I did.  They ended the morning with working on review sheets for the chapter which they would finish for homework.  Lunchtime.

The afternoon began with math.  My job here was to go over the work they did for homework and turn it over to the teacher from across the hall who would come in and teach an enrichment lesson.  Kids as always enjoy coming up to the board so we did that when we could.  Unfortunately I went over by about ten minutes- why am I always so slow when it comes to teaching math?

The rest of the day was recess and speeches.  I got to listen to the kids introduce famous people, living or dead.  The teacher brought in a podium, but a few students were a bit on the short side so I had to scrounge around for a makeshift step for them using a couple of books and an overturned storage bin.  The books were underneath to prevent them from breaking the bin when they stood on it.  They seemed to have some well-written speeches which I presume were graded already, so today was more about the presentations.  What is probably the number one area needing improvement in giving speeches?  I didn’t look this up but I would guess eye contact as that is what most of them struggled with.  They tended to read right from their papers.  The first student who actually seemed to have decent eye contact ruined it by having his arms in front of his face because he had decided to rest them on the podium.  There were a few though who did a good job on eye contact though.  They also did quite well on volume.  I could easily hear and understand most of them.

That was pretty much it.  I was hoping to see a student of mine from church there as he was only two doors down but our paths never crossed.  I did mention it to him today when I saw him.  So, that brings us to…

Wednesday

Preschool in near-city district at a different school than the other times.  Tho other school had two near-identical classrooms- the teachers are truly a team there- and the students were English-speaking.  You know where I’m going with this one…  I arrived, and the principal was acting as secretary and signed me in.  Headed to the classroom and what is the first thing I see?  Everything in Spanish.  The one school got the English-speaking kids, this one got the Spanish-speaking ones.   Most did know a little English, and unlike another class I was in in another district, let’s just call it one-school district for the number of schools I was usually called to sub in toward the end of last year which is tied to the reason I didn’t re-sign up with them this year, this time I had an assistant working with me who could speak Spanish, so I didn’t have too much of a problem.  The morning and afternoon were similar in schedule to the other school.  I think they run off the same schedule as pre-k is a special progam in the district.  They had some start-of-day work, calendar time, centers (which included a lot of play centers), song time, wrap-up, and take them outside to the playground to wait for buses.  The morning was actually a little different than the afternoon.  The primary students (K-2) were preparing a musical show for Thursday night and the preschoolers were given their own bit for it by doing three songs of their own.  Two were counting songs (the duck with five chicks and one runs away, leaving four, then three, and so on, and a similar one with frogs jumping in the water- glub, glub!) and the third was a weird version of “Singing in the Rain”.  The other two had some movements the kids were given to do, but this song has them in the song ala “Hokey Pokey:”  thumbs up, shoulders back, knees together, butt out, tongue out…  All given one at a time and added on to the rest so by the end it’s a true video-moment seeing the kids doing all of that.  Those of you with kids might know the song I’m talking about.  They also practiced these songs during the song time.  For morning, the rehearsal took the place of the start-of-day work and caused centers to be shortened. even though we only stayed to do our songs and then left.

Right after calendar was read-aloud time.  In Spanish.  With a tape (whew…)- I only had to hold the book up and turn the pages.  Apparently the title was funny- I just wish I knew why, but I forgot to ask the assistant.  I read Spanish about as well as I speak it.  For my center, they worked on making ducks with construction paper.  The outlines of what to cut out were already drawn for them so they just had to cut them out and glue them on in the right spot.  I added a 3-D element by folding the beak, feet, and wings so they stuck out.  As par for course, there were things glued upside down or lopsided, or even in the wrong place.  Most did fine though.

At the end of the day, they went outside to the playground.  This was the easiest part- just watching them to make sure they didn’t get hurt.  After this, I had to strap in a bunch of students in the bus.  They put their seatbelts on, I had to tighten them.  For about ten kids each in the AM and PM.  One also had additional gear to attach him to the seat which fortunately I had seen before in the mentally impaired classrooms I’ve worked in so I knew what to do with this.

Again, thanks to the help of the assistant I survived the day.  Next up, 5th grade then 8th grade social studies.  Tomorrow.  Three posts is enough for one day, for me at least… 🙂