Thursday, October 22, 2009

Magical Mystery Jobs

Having your work assigned by a computer can be delightfully straight-forward ... the format is usually location-teacher-subject-day-time-special instructions. But every once in a while one of those items is just weird. For example, my first year subbing I got this message:

"RHS-Mr D.-Math-Monday-7:50-3:20. Special instructions: I'm not actually a math teacher anymore. You will be the Dean of Students for the day, check in with the main office."

Wha ... ? Usually you have to have an administrator's license for those jobs! Anyways, I was the Dean of Students for the day, I wore a snappy suit and got Spanish tutoring from kids during lunch detention.

Last week I got this message:

"AHS-Mr. S-Counselor/Student Support Specialist/Student Behavior Specialist-Friday-12:00-3:20."

Again, with the lack of licensing. Also, I didn't know much about the location, except that it was some sort of alternative program for kids who were at the end of the educational rope. At any rate, I figured that I could BS my way through any job for 3 1/2 hours, so I took the job and went. And it turned out to be really easy and enjoyable. As the counselor at this small alternative high school, he took on 3 "orientation" classes, which were pretty much about self-management and common pitfalls (drugs, etc) for this population of students. Only one of them was in the afternoon, so I helped monitor the reading room (as in, I read my own book for a couple of class periods) and then sat with the orientation group as we discussed a DVD on the brain chemistry of drug addiction. So easy and fun! (No sarcasm there. It was fun to relate science and real life, because I am a dork.)

Also, the staff was so happy that I was happy that they eagerly took my business card. A lot of substitutes have the same fuzzy misconception that I had at the beginning of the day on what AHS was all about and so they have a hard time getting dedicated teachers in there. All the more work for me!

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