Thursday, November 29, 2018

Not Math


I was covering an English class that day. Two periods of tenth grade and three periods of twelfth grade. At some point during second period I got a call. Could I cover a third period? I never say no to that.

I was told what room. I vaguely knew the place. I was pretty sure the teacher taught math. I may have subbed for her in the past. Although, I haven't covered her class this year.

When I arrived, the teacher was in the room. Apparently she was on campus all day at meetings, but she had forgotten something that third period was going to need for class, so she was hurriedly getting that ready.

Because no one told me what class it was, I asked the question, wondering if she taught algebra or geometry. "What class is this?"

"Mandarin."

I was not expecting that answer.

It was the Friday before Thanksgiving break. Their assignment was to write ten sentences about their plans for the week. I explained the assignment. Then my usual follow up was not going to work, so instead I told the truth.

"Normally now I'd say, 'If you need any help, let me know, I can help.' But unfortunately, I can't help you with this."

They laughed.

I roamed the class. One girl was stumped. She informed me that she was doing nothing over Thanksgiving break.

"So, do you plan on sleeping all day? Watching TV? Playing video games? Those are things..."

Apparently I was wrong. I could help. Of course, she was on her own for the translation.

(The teacher does teach math. And Mandarin. She teaches three periods of math and two periods of Mandarin. I just happened to luck out. Judging by the teacher's accent, I assume that she is an immigrant from China.)

17 comments:

  1. Wow, that would be a surprise! I would love to have had the students read their sentences out loud. Would have been interesting to hear the language.

    betty

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  2. Ok that is a surprise. I'm glad you rose to the occasion

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    Replies
    1. There are days I don't know what class I'm going to cover. It's fun. It's like buying a mystery box. You're never sure what you're going to get.

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  3. That's funny. While working for a Japanese based corporation I bought Rosetta Stone software and was doing okay but fell away from the effort. Eventually there didn't seem much point since I'm not going anywhere at this rate. ~sigh~ But I'd rather be retired than jet setting about. Heh... Be well!

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    Replies
    1. Too bad. But if you're not going to get to use it, what's the point, right?

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  4. That's so funny. It feels like something from a sitcom. Looks like you managed to handle yourself anyway.

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  5. You knew how to handle this and make it work. Mandarin, of all things.

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    Replies
    1. Certain classes, the teacher expects the sub to know nothing. Mandarin... Yeah, she was prepared for them to work on their own.

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  6. lol! Nothing like surprises to keep us on our toes.

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  7. Replies
    1. They've had the Mandarin class for a few years now. It's not a full day for the teacher, but there's enough interest for a couple periods.

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  8. That's hilarious. You seem to have handled it well.

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    Replies
    1. Once I knew it was Mandarin, I knew it was going to be one of those classes I don't know more than they do.

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  9. I got trouble with chinese letters. Look like "worms" for me...lol..hehehe.

    Have a great day

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  10. That was a heck of a "mystery box". Having said that, I used to work with a man who had fallen in love with the Japanese language; so much so that he went to Japan and worked as a 1st grade teacher's aide for a year. He ended up leaving my employer and took a job that used Japanese. I would have loved to see that class with its "normal" teacher.

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    Replies
    1. She greeted them before she left. She said hello and they responded. At least, I assume it was some sort of hello. I don't speak Mandarin.

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