Monday, March 28, 2011

Alas, poor mouse

Today I subbed at one of my regular gigs, freshman science at OHS. I knew already that 1) this was an unexpected absence and so there were no lesson plans, I would have to make it up and 2) I would have a first period prep to do so. I didn't even go to the classroom, just straight to the library to use the computers to print out two articles on earthquake preparedness (2 different lengths/reading levels) and then back to the office to photocopy and staple them. After chatting with some teachers I headed up to the room to get ready, with about 10-15 minutes to spare.

I noticed a white board propped against the teacher desk with "Mouse Names" at the top and several suggestions below. (Some of my favorites included "Khadafi," "Osama," and "Despereaux.") There must be a new pet, I thought, to add to the turtles and house plants already there. I saw the cage and headed over to look - and there he was, curled up asleep in his food bowl. I looked closer and he didn't move. I tapped the glass and he didn't move. Fearing the worst, I opened the cage and tapped his cold furry back.

Yup. Dead.

Quickly, I put the cage in the back storage room and locked it tight. When the kids came in I insisted their teacher had taken the mouse home and that's why the cage wasn't there. At lunch I called her cell and gave her a heads up so she can either find a matching grey mouse or break the news to them. I mean, that's why she gets the big bucks and I'm "just a sub."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Pat's

I celebrated by wearing the only two ceramics-room-appropriate (ie, school appropriate and they can get messy) green things I own: a jade green sweater vest and socks with little green dinosaurs all over them (plus jeans and an art apron). The teacher next door had a great idea - she was handing out green yarn to any kid who forgot it was St Patrick's Day for the price of a pinch!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The news from Japan sucks and is scary.

Charlie Sheen is getting more attention than cuts to education and attacks on public employees.

The weather here is gray gray gray and the educational forecast is just as gloomy.

This is the season when stress, rumors, and rumblings about the budget situation for the next school year raise and moods lower. The tax revenue numbers, retirement notices, and student enrollment choices haven't been tallied, so all people can go on is rumors, assumptions, and worst-case-scenario estimates.

Basically there is a gloom train that goes round and round the staff room and round and round my head.

Every March I get a little hopeful for the upcoming job market and then a lot depressed about the future out-of-work teachers in line in front of me and the lack of job openings waiting for us. Do I sub again next year? Do I jump ship and try a new career? Do I gamble on adding another endorsement? Those last two options take planning and commitments that are directly opposed to the "wait-and-see" of teaching jobs, which can open up as late as October.

I think I just need some sun to try and boost my mood!