Monday, March 29, 2010

Back at Work ...


Well, Spring Break was kind of a bust, partly because I leave a bunch of lame things like taxes and license renewal until I have "time off," and partly because the universe conspired against me in the form of a hefty traffic ticket and poor medication side effects.

So I went back to work today, grateful for the routine, the distraction from bureaucratic ickyness, and the paycheck.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Almost there ...

Last week of school before Spring Break! I already have a to-do list a mile long ... boring things like taxes, doctor's appointments, and job applications as well as fun things like hair beautification and a decent pedi. That's the trouble with an inconsistent work schedule - a lot of big and little things get put off!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

He was so quiet ...

... kept to himself a lot.

So this is a post about an origami lesson gone a bit awry. Middle school, the class was called "Explorations" or some other such nonsense, pretty much it is what passes for an elective in a K-8 with no art teacher. So, the math teacher I was subbing for was supposed to do art projects with a random group of 7th and 8th graders. She thought it would be easier on the sub to have them do study hall while she was away but previous experience with this group taught me otherwise. So, I busted out some copy paper and the one tupperware of lost little colored pencils and came up with an origami lesson.

Step 1: Fold a triangle across your paper and cut off the excess to make a square. (This takes them more than 5 minutes, I swear.)

Step 2: Select two or three colors and make a spring-time pattern all over your paper. (I demo with pink cherry blossoms and orange dots.) Remember! Do not draw a picture, just repeat one or two elements all over the page!!

I give them 20 minutes or so and circulate while they draw. Bunnies, lines, polka dots, leaves, flowers, birds start to appear on the papers.

Except one kid.

Who has drawn, in startling detail, a dead bird in the center of his page. He took a red colored pencil, drew the blood pool coming out from under it.

Now, I'm 99% sure that he did it just to get a rise out of me and the other kids, a small rebellion against cheerful lesson plans and limiting instructions. But 1% of me? Not so sure.

And that's the thing about substitute teaching. You see the tiniest slice of what a student is all about. You can go on your gut of "is this kid going to be a problem for the next 45 minutes?" but you really know nothing about them. All you can do is your best with a smile, and hope that someday in the future you won't be reading the newspaper and find yourself saying "but he was such a nice boy...."

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Question

"So, what's new with the job search?" "Any jobs out there?" "Have you heard anything about hiring?" While I love, love, love that so many of the teachers I work for care about me and my career, that question (especially in the stasis of February) is akin to some of my other favorites:

"So... when are you two kids getting married?"

"Have you thought about just BUYING a home?"

"Babies are so much fun ... are you next?"

I guess the answer to all of the above (except the baby one) would be "I would if I could people, but until you get a magic wand, you might stop with the frustrating questions!!"