Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Resolutions - Subbing Edition

Ah, New Year's Resolutions. I try to make (and keep) them annually and some good things have come of them. This year I have personal resolutions, but I also have professional ones. (The good thing about teaching resolutions is that you only have to keep them until June :D)

1. Get a real teaching job.
2. Don't be content with "well, the room didn't burn down" as much.
3. Use my breaks more productively - read, stretch, network, draw.
4. Try new classroom management techniques.
5. Look for opportunities to really teach instead of babysit and go for them!

Any for you?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Even Steven?

Hmmmm, so the 7th graders from Hades broke even on the +/- chart. Still, I recommended to the teacher in the notes that she NOT give them a reward or party. Here's why:

1) They lost points on the really basic stuff: being quiet for directions, staying in their seat for directions, etc.

2) The obnoxiousness was spread evenly around the room, I think there was maybe one kid I didn't have to call out on a major issue in the whole group. I would feel bad if there were 5 or 6 great kids or if it was just the boys being bad or whatever, but everyone had their moment of awful.

Thank goodness I get high schoolers the rest of the week!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Had my first teacher's union substitute committee meeting today! How lefty of me! Issues discussed:

-The sub management system keeps hanging up on people instead of assigning them sub jobs.
-Schools are very inconsistent about what info they give you and how (ex: are the roll sheets given to you when you walk in, or left in the classroom?) and it needs to be more uniform and helpful.
-A rising trend in lunches and prep periods not being scheduled.

Also, I somehow wound up as a write-in candidate for substitute representative. Oops!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The score

+ :0
- :7

They actually had 2 + points, but I caught a kid trying to add more and so erased them all. I was pretty pissy at this point.

In related news, a discussion has started on a friend's facebook about the fact that two substitutes have walked off the job this week at her school. Questions raised: are there days that the money is just not worth it? Are there consequences for subs for this? Is there any responsibility of the admin to make sure it does not reach that point?


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why do I agree to this?

So today, and for the next three days, I'm back in the classroom mentioned here, the one where the same group of seventh graders come by three times, for math, social studies, and a horrible space of time called SSR/leadership/study hall, in which nothing in the title gets done. I honestly don't know why I agreed to this, except that this teacher has been very good to me and my pocketbook in the past and I want to maintain that relationship. Also, as I work on my math endorsement, I want to keep her as a friend/mentor/reference. So, I take on her horrible seventh graders.
Today I actually instituted the "marks on the board" system, that aged piece of classroom management that modern educators rail against. Mine is set up in a = / - T-Chart and if by the end of the day Tuesday they have more on the + side, they get a treat when the teacher comes back. They get negative points if they are still talking at the end of a "5, 4, 3, 2, 1" countdown or if they are doing naughty things with the rulers, and positive points for doing well with the countdown, cleaning up, or all finishing the assignment on time.
Score so far ... 7/7. This roughly translates to "you weren't so awful that Ms. GT is going home to cure her migraine with a bottle of Jack and a bullet, but there is room for improvement."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Long Day!

7 periods.
No prep.

Soooo glad I got to pee during my lunch break!