Friday, October 2, 2015

The Horror

I noticed it on Monday. My phone wouldn't connect to the school's wi-fi. I tried every password I knew. Nothing.

But, I'm the last to know about any changes to things like wi-fi, so I figured I'd ask someone for the new password when I got a chance. It wasn't like I was going to be on my phone all that much. (I check my email and Facebook before school and at lunch. And on my prep if I get one, which I didn't that day.)

Tuesday, same thing. But that day I had one of the severe special ed classes--the ones where some of the students don't really talk and where others struggle to read stories with three words on each page--and the last thing on my mind was figuring out what happened to the wi-fi.

Wednesday I was at a different school in the district. Same thing. But now I heard the rumblings. The students were complaining. They'd changed the wi-fi password on them, and now they couldn't access the system. So, it wasn't just me.

Thursday, the students told me of how another one of their teachers had tried every password he knew to try to get on the wi-fi. So, not just the students and the subs. Everyone was out.

The rumor was that something went wrong, so someone had reset the wi-fi. And in the process wiped out all the passwords. So, no one could log on to it. Naturally. (This is a school district after all. It took months before anyone figured out how to log onto the wi-fi after they installed the system.)

By Friday I just accepted that it was inaccessible.

So, the following Monday, when I got the same error message, I didn't think too much of it. But I tried using the password I always used. And it worked!

Wi-fi restored. All is right with the world.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Notes

When given the option of several teachers, I pick the teacher who has the calculus class. Because easy. These are the kiddos that don't generally give a sub any problems.

But, a school only needs a couple periods of calculus to cover all the students who want to take it. The calculus teacher usually teaches other math subjects as well. Statistics. Math analysis (a.k.a. pre-calculus). Business math...

The kiddos need to take a math class beyond geometry. Those who are more academically inclined take algebra 2. Those who aren't take business math.

So, the business math class had notes. That they could access on their phones. And suddenly, the kiddos weren't sure how to get their phones to work. Because, they all said that their phones didn't do that.

But I had an instructional aide. Miraculously, she was able to get the notes to come up on just about every phone in the room. Hmmm...

Did they all take down the notes and do the assignment? Of course not.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wrong Lunch

The day had gone pretty well. The math classes were well-behaved. I got the same question over and over. This happens sometimes. I make a note of it so the teacher knows.

Third period ended. I stood at the door waiting for fourth period to arrive. And waited. And waited.

Wait a minute!

For some reason, I thought I had B lunch. Turned out I had A lunch. Which meant that while I was waiting at the door, I was missing the first few minutes of my lunch.


Usually which lunch I have is obvious, but on this day... Ah well...

(I only get a half hour for lunch, but I ended up with enough time. And since it was an easy day, it wasn't like I was needing a full half hour of quiet anyway.)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Right the Wrong

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

Undoubtedly you've seen some iteration of the person-goes-back-in-time-to-right-a wrong story. Sometimes, they try to eliminate some evil person from the past before that person can do the very bad thing. So, let's play with that idea...

What if someone has come to our time from the future with the mission of "neutralizing" you?

Monday, September 28, 2015

For a Jolly Rancher

Earth science. The teacher had left me the PowerPoint for the new chapter, and the class was filling in their notes. They were a bit talkative, but it wasn't nearly as bad as some classes with a similar lesson plan.

A girl in the front row called me over. She whispered that she was having a female problem...

Which happens from time to time. I was expecting her to request a pass to the health office or the restroom. Either of which I would have granted. But that's not what she wanted. Turns out, the thing she needed for her "issue" was a Jolly Rancher.

Um, right...

Food (or candy) wasn't allowed in class, and I said so. I didn't see how one Jolly Rancher would alleviate her "female problems". She claimed that Ms. D let her have one before...

At this point the candy was out of its wrapper, and I didn't feel like arguing the issue. I made a note of it in my sub note.

The next day I was at the same school, and I popped in to say hi to the teacher. (We talk from time to time. She's a knitter, too.)

Ms. D was not happy about the candy incident. She busted the girl. Got on her case for lying to the sub.

I don't know why they pull these things. I guess they don't think I'll mention them? (Perhaps that's why I don't get such issues from students who have had me sub in their classes before. They know that I will say something.)

Friday, September 25, 2015


Photography class. Yes, they still have them. They still take pictures on film. And develop and print that film.

Because they had a sub, they had book work. (Liability issues.)

They're still doing prelim work before they really get to shooting pictures. The book work was review of exposure. (The teacher said she was planning on giving them a pop quiz the next week.)

The class was working really well. Some conversations, but on task. Some needed the whole period for the 30 questions. Some finished quickly...

"What am I going to do for the next half hour?"

I went to give her the 2nd just-in-case worksheet on aperture...

(The quickest way for a class to go out of control is for them to have nothing to do. Teachers fend off against this disaster by giving them long assignments. Or, they have that "extra" assignment for those who finish quickly.)

"I finished. I shouldn't get punished..."

But she wasn't being punished. She was probably going to get a bit of extra credit if anything. But that's not the way she saw it.

I explained that this was the stuff she needed to know so she could learn to take better pictures. She informed me that her pictures were pretty good already. (I rather doubt this.)

Ah well. I should know better than to try to explain anything to a teenager.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Debate

7th period math. They were just getting started on their computers when I noticed they weren't on their assigned computers. I informed them that they were to be in assigned seats.

"Why can't I sit here? All the computers are the same."

True. But teachers assign seats so students will work. Some students can't be trusted to sit next to friends. This is not what I said, however.

"You have assigned seats in this class. You need to be in your assigned seats."

"But Mr. F isn't here."

"This is still his class, so we'll abide by his rules."

And still he argued the point. I'm not sure why. I don't think I was wavering in my resolve. But I guess I seem like I'm open to debate. So, at this point I shut it down.

He reluctantly said he'd move. Said he had to shut down the computer...

Which is an old stalling tactic. Student says he's doing what was asked of him, but it's going to take a minute. I go deal with something else to give him time to comply. Five minutes later, he's still there, now entrenched, and the battle starts again. "You're serious? But you left. I'm doing well, so please let me be..."  

The phone rang. Guess who they were calling for. He was being picked up at the main office and was going home for the day.

Saved by the call.

I got off the phone and told him he was leaving. His first reaction was to argue--he thought I was sending him out of class.

After he left, I went to shut down his computer. Had he even begun to log off? Nope. He was logging on, not off.

I'm so glad I didn't have to continue to fight that battle. I would have won, but it was nice not to have to put in the effort.