Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Very Long Short Day

I didn't expect to work today.  It was way past the usual time when I got a call for an English class.  It wasn't until after I hung up the phone that I saw how late it was.  (It was 10 minutes before I should have been out the door to get to the school on time, and I was still in bed.)  Uh oh.

Even with rushing to get dressed et al, I still left the house 25 minutes after I should have.  With a half hour cushion...  Well, I made it to the classroom before the tardy bell, but just barely.  And that's where the fun began.

I had a room of unruly 8th graders (double uh oh) and no lesson plans.  

So, I tried to get the class settled while looking for something, anything to give them and roll sheets.  I found roll sheets.  I took roll.  I tried to call the sub secretary to see if lesson plans had been emailed, but her line was busy.  And the natives were getting restless.

Luckily, the assignment from the previous day was on the board.  They had just read a story from their literature books.  I flipped open that story, and I found a lesson on similes, metaphors, and analogies immediately following (it was linked to the story).  Score!  That would work.

I spent ten minutes explaining the assignment, and then I had them work on it.  It was then that I got a hold of the sub secretary.  The good news: it was a minimum day due to open house tonight (I did not know this when I arrived at school).  The bad news: the teacher did not email lesson plans and was unreachable.  Well, at least I had figured out something for them to do.

As the minimum day progressed, the classes got more manageable.  They were loud.  One period spent the period playing trash can basketball when I was helping other students.  In another class, two boys got into a heated discussion over a girl ("She asked me out.  I did not start it.").  And few of them did the assignment.  

Minimum day?  Bah!  It sure felt like a full day to me.

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