Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Subbing is not for the faint of heart.

Yesterday I was subbing in this middle school. Apparently, many teachers were out on some sort of conference, and the kids were going berserk. There was an announcement early in the day stating that any kid getting kicked out of class would be suspended for the rest of the week. The previous day I had subbed in the same classroom, and I only attempted to kick one kid out. He walked out of the classroom, and a monitor never came to escort him anywhere. The monitor showed up 24 hours after the fact, looking for him. When I said that he never showed up to class that day, the monitor said something about that student threatening to beat someone up. Maybe I'm glad he didn't show.

At the very end of the day, I kept an eye on the clock. When I sub art classes, I like to give 5 minutes for cleanup. There was 6 minutes to go. A janitor peeked in and said "it's chair time, isn't it?" because she wanted the student to put their stools up before they left. I tried to say 'no, no, not for another minute' but it was too late, the kids already put their stools up, and refused to keep working, because, after all, they'd already cleaned up. A minute may not seem like a big deal to you, but a full sixty seconds of trying to make sure students aren't sneaking out into the hallway, beating each other up, or doing any other terrible thing that I see them get into when they're not otherwise occupied is rather stressful. The janitor recognized her mistake and apologized profusely. After the bell rang, she came in and apologized some more. "Yea...people do this to me a lot," I told her flatly. Several days prior, a T.A. called clean up 3-4 minutes earlier than I had intended. When I explained that I was waiting for a certain time, and that I was going to let the students leave at the time specified on the teacher's plans, she had said, yea yea it takes them a long time to clean up. Then she excused herself and slid out the door as the entire class stared at me expectantly for a full 4 minutes. Jerk.

So this janitor must be trying to make up for the grief she caused me, because she starts complimenting my classroom management. I would take this as just an attempt to make up, but then she told me that 5 of the subs there that day had (threatened? requested?) wanted to leave soon after they'd arrived. (There had been almost 20 subs there that day).

"It sounds like they don't have any cajones," I reply.

And it does seem that they're lacking in that department. Seriously? If you can't handle the heat, get out of the middle school.

Someone tell me why I don't have a real job yet?

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