Monday, March 14, 2011

Not Fully Prepared

When I checked in this morning, the secretary noted that the teacher hadn't been out once this year. I wasn't sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. It turned out to be a bit of both.

The classroom looked like the teacher hadn't expected to be out. There were no lesson plans. The desk was a mess. I searched for seating charts or class rosters. Eventually, I found a class listing. It wasn't an official roster, but it would be enough to take roll from.

I didn't panic about the missing lesson plans, though. Just before class time, a neighboring teacher brought the lesson plans to me. He had received them via email. This is becoming the norm.  

So, I was a bit surprised when the students all expected to have a sub. He warned them he was going to be out, yet he hadn't left the room in a state of preparedness for me.

I've been subbing a while. I know how to roll with things. Teachers sometimes have unexpected absences. I have to make do with what's at hand. I get that. I just wonder why this teacher hadn't left things more... Yeah, it was just weird.

The day went pretty smoothly, though. Three of five classes were very well-behaved. Two classes needed a little more encouragement. Since I was dealing with 8th graders for two days (I'll be back tomorrow), I decided that I would do better if I had a seating chart, so I made one.

I've done this before. As I call roll, I write down where each student is seated. It makes taking roll take a bit longer, but it helps to have names to go with the kiddos. Usually, I don't have issues doing this.

It was fifth period. I was near the end of the list. One student answered to his name, but I had already written a name in his seat. He had answered to a name earlier. And then I couldn't be sure who he was. Which name was correct?

I'm still not sure. Once I finished the list, there were three students who didn't have names associated with their seats. Two were not on my list. One was the name that mystery boy claimed earlier.

That was my difficult group. If only I had had his seating chart and an official roster. But I did the best I could with what I had. And at least it was only one group that took advantage.

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