Tuesday, July 6, 2010

One of Those Days

I used to have a MySpace account.  I started my blog there.  But after I had a few too many technical difficulties, I moved the blog here.  I have since closed the MySpace account.  I hate to lose all of my blogs from that time, so from time to time I'm going to repost them here.  

I started the blog in May of 2006, so this is one of my early ones, from June 5, 2006.  

Ever had one of those days where you felt like a complete idiot?

Let's see, where to begin?

I got to school this morning, and my assignment got changed on me.  This happens sometimes.  I think I'm subbing for one teacher, but when I get to the school secretary I'm given a different assignment.  This is not the sort of thing that bothers me too much (unless I end up getting sent to a class that I would have said no to, but that doesn't really happen).  I only mention it to set up what happened next.

This teacher had a first period prep, so I was asked to cover another teacher's first period (again, nothing unusual there).  The funny thing was that I was sent to cover the first period of the teacher that I had originally been assigned to sub for.  ???  This teacher was still going to be out.  I have no idea why I was shifted, and really it makes no difference, but again, this is all set up.

One more bit to set this all up.  Keys.  This school has key issues.  When a sub covers one period of a class, this sub (me) is not given a key to the classroom, so it becomes this issue of finding someone who has a key to let the sub (me) into the room.

First period was fairly straightforward.  I had a small group because most of the class was gone on a field trip.  I passed out the assignment, broke up the group of boys that would not stop talking, and I had a fairly quiet time of it.  Then after the period was over, I waited for the next sub to come, for I know just what it's like to try to find an administrator or a security person to open the door.  He got there, and I had about two minutes to get to the class that I was to be in for the rest of the day.

I had no key.  I don't know if they just didn't assign one for this classroom (it's in an odd area) or if someone (not me--I never lose keys!) lost it.  Anyway, I had to convince a neighbor to open the door for me, and then after the bell I had to figure out what they were doing.

Usually this sort of thing is fairly straightforward.  But the lesson plans had a catch today.  If I was so-and-so we were to go do the library so that the 10th graders could finish typing their reports.  But I was not so-and-so, and it took me some time to locate my lesson plans.  (See, the library has this thing about subs taking classes there.  Long story.)  Once I did, I still got grief, for the kids wanted to go to the library.  I explained that we could not.  Arguments.  Kids getting in my face.  I got a little snippy with them.

I nipped this issue in the bud in the next two periods, and things went nominally better, but there was still one nagging thing.  The teacher said that there was to be no talking.  I could not get them to quiet.

The whole "quiet" issue is a pain.  If the teacher has very well behaved students and the students are used to working quietly, then I might have a chance.  But there's this thing I call "sub behavior".  There's a sub in the room, so the rules are different--what the teacher doesn't know won't hurt us (the students).

So, I'm already dealing with this (and feeling inadequate) when we get to fourth period.  And the lock down.

It was a sequence of bells that I had not heard before, but at least the kids knew what it was.  We closed the door.  And the kids had to know what was going on.  I called and called, and all I got was a busy signal, but eventually I learned what the school knew--it was something that had nothing directly to do with us.  So, we waited.  Luckily, we only went over 4th period by about 15 minutes, so all in all it wasn't too terrible.

But for some reason, some kids have problems with the concept of a lock down.  A lock down means stay in the classroom with the door locked, and no one goes anywhere.  The kids know this.  But still...

Student: "May I go to the bathroom?"

Me: "No."

Student: "But I really have to go."

Me: "We're on lock down."

And the rest of the day didn't go any better.  I got locked out of the room again at lunch (at some point I have to use the restroom), and I had no lesson plans for 6th period.  6th period came, and no students.  ???  I finally figured out (after the period had started) that they were in the theater (they have a performance coming up), and I learned that someone else was running the rehearsal (so my tardiness wasn't going to be an issue), but I still felt like an idiot.  I was so grateful when the day finally ended.

Tomorrow's got to be a better day.

As I've been reading through my old posts, I notice that my style has changed quite a bit.  Interesting.  

Since this time, the key issue has improved considerably at this school.  We now can get keys to the rooms that we cover for only one period.  It might have something to do with a change in principals.  Several things changed for the better when the current principal took over.  


  1. I can relate to this entire post. I've had job changes, two jobs in one day, key issues, and student problems. I even have "One of Those Days" as a title from this fall when I had a disaster-day as a sub for the computer lab.

    We're thrown into all sorts of situations and have to adapt in a snap.

  2. Of course, that's what makes the blog interesting. Now, if everything always went according to plan...


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