Welcome to Starbucks, may I take your order?


Massage the teacher = bad.  Just remember that, m’kay?  In reference to a previous post we learned that while paper passer, messenger, and librarian are good jobs for teachers to give their students, massaging the teacher doesn’t quite fly.  However, apparently not all service jobs are a problem.  From the title I think you can guess what unusual job I ran across today.  Coffee.  That is, making and serving coffee to several teachers in the school.  That’s right, this teacher is training her students up for the type of job they can only hope to achieve should the economy not pick back up.  Another 733 points today- sigh.  There’s more to this story though.  Apparently today was something like clothes mismatch day.  Some students traded a shoe to have mismatched shoes.  One boy had a sandal on one foot, a gym shoe on the other.  Other students turned shirts inside out or wore them backwards.  It was quite funny to see hoodies with the hood in front, like they were made for people who get carsick… 😮

So one student was wearing an apron.  A forest green apron.  I walked up to him in the morning and joked with him, “could I have a grande latte, please?”  I had noticed the coffee job by this time by the way, so it wasn’t coincidence much like I would like to say it was.  There were two girls assigned to this.  As a non-coffee drinker I don’t have much experience making coffee and I guess they didn’t either as we tried to set the older-type coffee maker up.  Guess who did know what he was doing and came over to help?  Mr. forest green apron of course.  That was the coincidence and what I found funny.  I left it to him and the girls and started with the lesson.

Let me tell you that this had to have been the noisiest group I ever worked with.  Sixth grade and social.  This sort of group should have been in a middle school still trying to learn the new system back at the bottom of the food-chain.  Some people disagree and say that sixth graders in elementary school is better for them.  I was in a sixth grade middle school class myself, so I guess it’s just what I’m used to.  When I first got there today I found out they had a sub yesterday.  I read some of the notes she left about their behavior.  Great…  It could have been worse though.  There is bad behavior and annoying behavior, and chatty behavior falls into the latter category.  The ELL class I mentioned several posts ago would be the bad behavior, as would some of the BD classes I have subbed for.  Talking I didn’t mind so much, except when I or someone I have called on is trying to talk of course.  They turned out to be good kids, just chatty.

And I will be with this class again tomorrow (a two-day assignment, yay!), so more on this in another post.

Help me make the music of the…

Hmm. Mr. Webber’s Phantom of the Opera line doesn’t quite work since this was during the day. How about, “The hills are alive, with the sound of music…” Yep, that works better. If you haven’t guessed by now the position I subbed for today was music. Elementary music. Like most specials jobs in the district I was in, it was a traveling job, but fortunately this time I went to the right school first. The first two classes were great. They were fourth graders and they were really focused. As they were in a unit about stage productions/musicals, they got to watch a video with scenes with a couple of famous dancers if you thought of Billy Elliot, you are dead wrong. In fact, he’s not even real. Did you know there is actually a musical based on this movie by the way?. Nope, not Michael Flatley. At least he’s real, but you are thinking too modern! Go way back to the 1930s-1950s to get this one. Okay, you have them- Fred Astaire and Gene Autry… No wait, not the kind of dancing that involves bullets at your feet- Gene Kelly of course.

Anyway, they saw scenes from a few shows including Ziegfeld Follies, Royal Wedding, and, of course, Singin’ in the Rain. In Royal Wedding, There was a strange scene where Astaire danced not only on the floor, but on the walls and ceiling as well! If you go to the Royal Wedding link and check out the trivia for it you can find out how they did it. These days they would just use computers of course. The kids really enjoyed that scene, as well as Kelly getting wet in Singin’ in the Rain.

I wish I could say that the fifth graders at the other school did as well with this video, but I can’t. There were technical difficulties (the LMC gave me a DVD player that was broken- it wouldn’t play the disc) and the first class just talked and talked, even after I finally got another player and started the movie. The second class was a little better, but still excitable during some scenes. The third class did much better, though not quite up to the fourth graders.

Finally, I had lunch then four afternoon classes with younger grades. No video for them, but instead the second graders worked on a show they were doing- we just went through all their songs on CD. I noticed this show involves the fifth grade as well. At first I wondered why the teacher didn’t have me do this plan with that grade, but remembering how the first two classes went I quickly shelved that question. First grade had yet a different lesson, which we only got partway through, but that was expected by the teacher. Well, that’s it for now.

Unexciting day

There’s not really much for me to say today. I was with 3rd grade, which is about the bottom of my comfort zone. I have done lower grades, even preschool, but 3rd-7th is what I prefer. The day actually started out not looking so good with a lot of chit-chat while the kids did their morning work. Fortunately they improved throughout the day. Right after morning work was silent reading time and I have to admit they did very well. When we got to math I had the pleasure of teaching a lesson I had a chance to teach twice before, believe it or not, in the previous weeks so in a way it was like teaching the second or third class in a middle school after getting the “practice” time with the first class. Not much to say about reading and writing. Another teacher came in to do a couple of writing assessments, which wasn’t planned, so I only taught part of the original lesson. Reading was one of the “just give them this independent work” times where no lesson was involved.

Specials, read “break time for subs” are sort of a hit or miss thing with elementary school- some days you may have two, other days none. Today there was one at the end of the day, giving a little time for me to write some notes so I wouldn’t have to stay a half-hour after the kids leave as I occasionally have to do. Rather than the kids going out as to music or gym, a social worker came in with a lesson. This unfortunately meant that I still couldn’t leave the room, but at least it gave me that note-writing time. All-in-all the day wasn’t too bad.

Interesting coincidence- the team name of the school I was at was the wildcats. The middle school, actually junior high as that district still uses that term though they run the schools like middle schools (there is a difference), where I will be tomorrow has the same team name. Nothing big, just interesting.