Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Classic Substitute Teacher Viral Video

I know nearly everyone has seen this, but I still love it. 

I keep hoping that a student will tell me his name is A-A-Ron. And think I have no idea what he's talking about. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

12th Grade Government

My brother is currently a senior at the high school I attended, the same high school that I have mainly been subbing at.

When I was called to sub for this particular teacher, I accepted the job even though I knew that my brother (who is your standard, means-well-but-is-terribly-unfocused hooligan) was in this teacher's class. And even with the alternating schedule, my brother had this class today, while I was subbing.

Also... today is his 18th birthday. What luck.

I decided to let the students know straight out that I was Kevin's older sister. This also allowed me to enlist their help in singing Happy Birthday to him as soon as he walked into class (late). And I had some balloons for him. He was surprised, but I think he enjoyed it. And he ...mostly followed my instructions. It was a bit of a rowdy day because they were working on group posters, so I let him get away with more than I would have if it had been a bookwork day. And he gave me the second half of a small cake his friend brought him. Which I ate in class. So obviously, I felt really professional.

Not only did I have my brother in class today, but I had several of his friends (who have seen me at home in my pajamas and no makeup, more than once... Awkward.), people I recognized from growing up, and siblings of people I went to high school with.

I have been a substitute teacher for my brother's American Government class. Weird.

Favorite Unusual Names: 
Chibuzo (I asked him and apparently it's a Nigerian name)

Monday, January 13, 2014

High School Computers

Today I subbed for a computer teacher and 3 different courses:

Introduction to Microsoft Office
Introduction to Business
Computer Keyboarding

The classes were remarkably quiet, typing away at their assignments for nearly the entire period.

At one point near the end of the day, a student approached me because his "screen was messed up". I went to check and found the image on the monitor was flipped upside down. I'm not remarkably tech savy, but when he mentioned that he had been typing when the change happened, I looked up keyboard shortcuts for flipping a screen. CTRL+ALT+Arrow. Thank you Google!

Favorite Unusual Names: 
Oluwatoni (pronounced the way its spelled, apparently)

Friday, January 10, 2014

10th Grade World History Days 3 and 4

The teacher I subbed for on Tuesday and Wednesday decided to stay at the hospital with his mom for the rest of the week, and asked me to continue subbing for his classes.

We talked on the phone to discuss what the students had accomplished, and what they could work on next. It was cool, because the teacher looked to me to help him decide what they should be doing.

I liked continuing with the same students again and that I already had a feel for how the classes functioned and who the students I needed to watch were. I was also able to be more personable because I started to get to know them.

Additionally, the school had me sub during the history teacher's prep period for a leadership class. This is a class I was a part of in high school, and the teacher has been a mentor to me since then. So it was very interesting to walk into that classroom and be in charge. Though, I'm glad I am familiar with the class, it would have been downright overwhelming if not... there are 70 students in it!

Kids Say the Darndest Things: 

Discussing an assignment for an English class
Student 1: We had to write a summary of the book, and all I wrote was the plot to White Chicks.
Student 2: What'd she [the teacher] say?
Student 1: Nothing. She just stamped it.

Student: Hey, Ms. Teacher Lady? Do you know who Pearl Jam is?
Me: More or less. They're a band from the 90s.
Student: *Talking to another student* See? I told you!

New Slang I Learned: "Turn Up" or "Turnt Up"
Basically, getting or being drunk/high and crazy.
The leadership class had a brief discussion about how it was important to act as role models, even on the internet, and posting pictures from New Year's holding up a bottle and tagging in with #TurnUp, was not appropriate (even if it was just a bottle of Martinelli's).

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

10th Grade World History Day 2

Today, I continued subbing for the same teacher, doing the same lesson plan, with different students. I did have a period of advanced photography thrown into the mix, which was incredibly easy as the teacher's aide passed out the cameras and the students went off to take pictures.

I have discovered a new favorite aspect of substituting... listening to students' conversations when they aren't focused on their work (before redirecting them back to the task, of course).

Here are some gems from today:

"You know, I don't get those Russian names, because sometimes on Instagram those weird Russian people follow you."

"Dude, pugs are ugly. Their eyes fall out. My stepmom works at a vet. She sends me pictures of that sh**"

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Favorite Unusual Names of the Day:
Kaiyyah (pronounced Kia, like the car)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

10th Grade World History

Today was my first day subbing at the high school I graduated from just 4.5 years ago.

Upon arriving to school for my second day of subbing, I briefly freaked out when I could not find lesson plans from the teacher in the paperwork from the secretary or in the classroom. Luckily the teacher had 1st period prep, so I talked to the secretary, and she said to wait for him to call or email. When I checked back, he had just called to say he was on his way in to explain his lesson plans to me.

We chatted for a bit and he shared a lot of his life story to, essentially, tell me it's been a very tough year for his family and now his mom is in the hospital with congestive heart failure 3 hours away and he was leaving to be with her.

The class was to be preparing skits to demonstrate lives of various social classes in Russia around the time of the Russian revolutions in the early 1900s. Because the next period would be starting soon, he decided to begin class himself so that I could see exactly what he wanted explained to the students and what they needed to be doing.

It was very helpful, especially being a new sub, to see him interacting with his students and to know exactly what behavior he expected from them while I was gone, how to manage his class, and how to explain the project. He made my job very easy today!

After he left, I had this conversation with a student...

Student: Hey, do you remember me?
Me: No, sorry...
Student: I've been to your house! You took me and your brother and your friend with the crazy hair to the amusement park that one time.
Me: Oh, you're my brother's friend? I'm sorry, I don't actually remember that...
Student: I can't believe you don't remember me.

The hazards of subbing at a school that my younger brother still attends...

Monday, January 6, 2014

High School French

Last night I received my first call from the high school district's SubCaller, asking me if I could sub for a French teacher!

I hadn't expected to work on the first day back to school, and I assumed that the elementary/middle school district would be employing me more than the high school district, so I rushed around that evening to get ready. 

Today I walked into the office 20 minutes early, trying to be confident. The secretary gave me the paperwork I would need and explained that it was a full, 8 period day (the high schools in this district generally have days with periods 1-4 alternating with days of periods 5-8) and I would be running around a lot because the French teacher did not have her own classroom. While she got the (7!) keys I would need, I looked over the lesson plans. The regular teacher had provided me with excellent, extensive plans... for her French 2, 3, and 4 classes, periods 5-8. I asked the secretary about periods 1-4 and she didn't have any insight for me, but did tell me that periods 1-4 were French 1.

The teacher must have forgotten that it was a full day, so I had to improvise. She had included a movie, in case the students had finished their work before the period had ended, so the French 1 students watched the movie and were told to take notes on it. The other classes went as planned, but I shortened their workload to reflect the shorter periods. 

I didn't have too much trouble keeping the students quiet and on task. I was surprised and thankful that none of them commented that I looked too young to be a teacher, or asked me how old I am! 

Overall, it was an excellent first day as a substitute teacher. I think I can actually do this! 

Favorite Unusual Name of the Day: Die'Zhaun (pronounced  like DeShawn)