Today I was in to cover an 8th grade English class. The 8th graders had their promotion today.
First, some background:
Layer one: the school was on block schedule for finals. They had periods 1, 3, & 5 yesterday. Today was periods 2, 4, & 6 for two hours each.
Layer two: the 8th graders did their finals already. They had to know if they could participate in the promotion before today.
Layer three: 8th graders who didn't promote had to go to class.
I knew all this going in. So, I was not surprised to find a lesson plan consisting of showing movies. I was also not surprised to have very small classes. The 8th graders who did promote got "signed out" of school by their parents after the ceremony. (Read: I got stuck with the students who did not pass the 8th grade.)
The promotion ceremony took place during the first block (2nd period). Someone had gone to the trouble of coming up with a supervision plan. Half the 8th grade teachers were at the promotion while the other half remained in their classes to watch the 8th graders who were not promoting. Those teachers at the promotion were assigned buddy teachers to send their non-promoting kids to.
It was a good plan. Unfortunately, somebody forgot about the sub.
Right before the period started Ms. M. showed up. She was told that she was supposed to watch the kids in the English class. I was there, so she went back to her classroom. (Oh, by the way, all the kids in the 2nd period English class promoted. That was the advanced English class.)
I was supposed to get 11 students from Ms. R's class. There was a note on Ms. R's door stating which students went where. (Four of her students were supposed to go to Ms. M's class.) But this confused them (clearly demonstrating why they weren't promoting).
Four students showed up to my class. Only two of them were on my list. The other two said that Ms. M. had something like seven students in her class.
It always amazes me how these things get so messed up. No matter how well planned, once students are introduced, something always goes wrong.
As for me, I roll with it. I took who came. I kept a list of who I had in class. And I showed the movie.