Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fare Thee Well, '10-'11

Well, unlike last year, the end of the 2010-2011 school year was busy busy busy. Not only did I make good on my promise to work the last day of school (AM assignment with Life Skills at OHS!), I actually worked every school day in June.

This summer, I am working events for a small local business, vending at fairs and whatnot, volunteering, teaching a 2-week arts-focused day camp, and being a good little housewife as my fiancee and I move into the house we just bought - I'll be in charge of unpacking and organizing our stuff, decorating, and spending his hard earned money on furniture and other feminine frippery.

What will the next school year bring? Well, hopefully a *real* teaching job. But with budget cuts all around and deep cuts in the arts, it's not looking good. If I am back and subbing next year, I have a couple of potential family leaves to cover for. Also, my main district is moving to a new substitute phone system that will put more emphasis on license area and teacher requests and less on seniority. I have also been invited by our union group to join the substitute bargaining committee, duking it out with the big boys at the district office. Whatever happens next, it's sure to be exciting!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Almost there!

My school district is out next Tuesday. Mentally, I had prepared to be "done" earlier this month, thinking "oh, jobs will be really slim in June, who hires a sub the last week of school?"

Answer: everyone, apparently. I have worked every single school day in June, and I'm booked tomorrow, Monday, and hopefully the last day of school (had a teacher ask me but it's not in the online system yet.)

Over here on the west coast it has been unseasonably cold and cloudy, which makes it feel like the school year will go on forever. But the signs of the end of school are there: packed up boxes in classrooms, test study guides, libraries and textbook rooms in disarray, hyper kids. On days like yesterday, when I had 7th graders all day at AK-8, this is a Good Thing. "Nearly done!" I think to myself, with relief. But days like today, with some of my favorite freshmen at OHS, I get a little wistful and the rays of sun are a Sad Thing. It is especially hard as a sub because while I care about them very much, the kids don't really know me and won't miss me too much. Also, since I am applying like mad to any available jobs, I may not work for the district next year and therefore probably won't see them again.


Thursday, June 2, 2011


Normally when I get a call for OK-8 I flat-out turn it down. I did a day or two there as a rookie and with the volume of my business now, have the privilege of never going back. It's one of those urban schools where the kids are loud and unruly and bring so many issues to the classroom that it makes for a nightmarish day. However, as the school year winds down I'm hearing out any job offer because I know I'll regret passing up money. So I listened to the job offer - afternoon only? dance class? Hell yeah!! Sleep in and then go to dance class? Sure, why not?
I figured that we'd probably watch a movie but just in case, I grabbed my dance bag (my hobby is bellydancing, the bag had loose yoga pants, CDs, and some "extras" like my veil and finger cymbals.)
When I arrived, it turned out we WERE dancing and using the auditorium as a classroom so I spent my prep time figuring out the sound system (the best I could do was put my CDs in the DVD player and play them through the TV. The first group arrived, a mix of 1st and 2nd graders. The procedure was to make them run in a giant circle for 5 minutes to warm up, then lay on the floor for 3-4 minutes to calm down and focus, then play "freeze dance." The running went well. The laying down? Not so much. I made them listen to a calm song twice and maybe got 10 seconds of consecutive quiet. Then we played freeze dance and I pulled out my practice veil and let kids take turns spinning with it, which they enjoyed. Unfortunately I had the discipline problem of one kid biting four others ... oh well. This is why I refuse to try and teach them math.
The lesson plan repeated for the 3rd and 4th grade group. They got pooped a little faster then the little ones, but still didn't want to leave when I had to send them back. At the end of the afternoon I stunk of sweat- mine and theirs - and I should probably apologize to my veil. But I think it was a success.