Friday, November 6, 2009

I don't think I could handle you at 100% health.

Last night I drank a glass of cold duck, hung around, and then went somewhere. When I got in my car, I noticed my throat was sore. By the time I got home, I had a headache to match. This is all after I'd accepted a job to sub for an elementary teacher. The thing about subbing is that, if you don't work, you don't get paid.

When I showed up this morning, they told me that I was in for a reading teacher (score!) but that one of their TAs was out, so they were going to have me cover the morning for the TA. In the ED room. Do you know what ED stands for? No, not that ED. Not that one either. Emotionally Disturbed. Great.

They promised I'd get paid just the same, but...just the same, I wouldn't have taken the job if it was two half days.

There's three ways twohalfdays can go. That's good, bad, or mediocre. (get the reference?)

So, the good would be lots of breaks in the morning, lots of breaks in the afternoon.

Mediocre would be the average amount of breaks, as in a busy morning and a slow afternoon or vice versa.

And the bad, well....did I tell you about my bad experience? Oh right. I did.

Yea. It can be no breaks and hardly a lunch, which doesn't really allow for enough time to rejuvenate if the kids are really trying.

So I go to the ED room and the teacher asks the students to introduce themselves to me. Two do so, one is hesitant, and one is like "YEA RIGHT!! I DON'T CARE!"

Soon after this warm greeting, the teacher asks me to do her a favor. She needs some things picked up from the library printer. She is about to ask me to grab it for her when she realizes it would be a great idea to make one of the students bring me. You know that one that yelled rude things in lieu of his name? Him.

He starts saying that he can do it himself, which is ridiculous, because I can do it myself, and 1. I'm allowed and trusted to walk unaccompanied and 2. I'm not a student in the ED room.

As soon as we walk out the door, he takes off running. He sprints down the hall and I just stop.

"Come on," I say quietly. I am wearing heels. If I wasn't wearing heels, I still wouldn't run. Not in school. We don't run in school.

I poke my head back in the classroom and tell the teacher "he just took off."

She doesn't seem fazed. "Oh yea, he has trouble with that." She then pokes her head out the door and politely requests that he walk with me. He is peeking around the corner.

She goes back inside and I start walking. I hear him say out loud, to no one in particular: "I wish she'd hurry the hell up."

I round the corner to find him standing there, alone.

"One. Watch your language. Two. I'm wearing cowboy boots and Three. We DO NOT run in school."

No one trained me how to work with ED kids. No one gave me tips on how to discipline them so they won't try to murder me.

He walks ahead of me for a few steps and then takes off running again. I walk, normal paced, until I reach the library. He is standing there, waiting for me, but not waiting for me. He goes over the this table where the printed papers are placed. He picks up one stack. He picks up the top paper from the second stack and glances at it, trying to figure out if that's what he's supposed to grab or not. In an attempt to not have been simply taken for a walk, I grab the rest of the stack and hold my hand out for the sheet he was holding. He wordlessly handed it over, walked out of the library, and took off running toward the classroom. I walked my normal pace back, and the classroom teacher just sort of shook her head and smiled.

As she was going over the day with me, she mentioned some sort of morning program. Some elementary schools do this, I think it's a good idea. Get all the kids together, make them talk about the announcements, sing a song, feel like a part of something. What I don't think is a good idea is the part where she mumbled something about it being my break time but I could come along with them to the program.

"Alright," I said before I could realize what I'd agreed to. I hate how some teachers assume that a sub has nothing to do on the plan periods but do their bidding. They pay YOU the big bucks to plan during those times. Me, they pay the small bucks so I can regather my thoughts or maybe work on stuff for grad school.

In the middle of my reeling at being in the morning program, I noticed something that made my head explode.

On the overhead projector were the words to a song about animals. It was something really lame with a cassette version of kids singing in painful falsetto. "I like owls, I like owls..."

When it got to the really exotic animals, grammar rules seemed to be out the window.

"I like hippo's, I like hippo's"

"I like kangaroo's, I like kangaroo's"

The hippo's what? The kangaroo's what? I hate the panicky thing people do when trying to pluralize a word they don't often pluralize that is sprinkling apostrophes where they don't belong. To illustrate how much this bothers me, I'd like to draw your attention once more to Improper Apostrophe.

Directly from there we go into the computer lab and try to type letters. One little girl complains her MS Word isn't working. When I go open up a New Word Document for her, she makes the background green and proceeds to type SILDIDFJJKJKJKJKJKJKJKJKJKJKJKJKJKJKJSDJFJFJFJFJFJIEEEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSJKJKJKJ until the page is filled.

After the computer lab, we stop at the gym. The classroom teacher looks at me, says "have fun, see you in 40 minutes," and ushers me into this tiny gym. I felt like saying "Hey, I know you have a break now, but you can come with us into the gym."

In the gym there is no where to hide, and that rude boy with the running? Yea, I'm pretty sure he was TRYING to hit me with tennis balls. Did I mention I'm sick and have a headache? I bet the first time was an accident, but he got so much pleasure out of watching me duck and cover my head that he tried for it again. Again, I was wearing cowboy boots, and I don't think I mentioned, a dress.

After the hell that was gym class was over, the gym teacher made me bring the students to the water fountain and back to the classroom. The teacher inquired as to how gym went. I informed her that almost everyone mostly followed directions, but that the gym is a dangerous place to be. This seemed like news to her. She inquired as to why, and then reproached the students with her ever present half smile that seems to make everything not-a-big-deal. She might have the patience of a saint, but I was losing my patience for her.

She then informed me in elaborate detail about taking two students to the library to do a practice test. I reminded her that I was only to be with them for another 15 minutes. She said that she would have the person coming to relieve me stop at her room so she could explain first. Great. That means even longer that I have to be working with these students.

In the end, the person to relieve me showed up 15 minutes late, and by the time I figured out the classroom I was actually supposed to be in, I was like 20 minutes late for one of my classes. I showed up to the room to find that the classroom teacher had already administered the test that I was supposed to give, and I listened to three students read me tiny books, and then worked on a puzzle.

After this there was a two hour break in my schedule. This is due to 1.plan 2.lunch and 3. a one student class in which the student moved. Without this I think I would have caused a riot.

I, of course, took the opportunity to leave, get gas, buy orange juice and cough drops, stop home, cook lunch, try to upload a video, and read more of Zeitoun.

I'm compiling a DNS list, that is Do-Not-Sub. It may be a mental list, but I doubt I'll lose it.

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