Seventh grade English. They were reading The Hobbit.
The day's assignment was for them to finish reading chapter eight and answer comprehension questions.
I explained the assignment to first period.
"But we listen to the book..."
Sigh. Of course they do.
The great thing about listening to literature is that they get to hear words they're not familiar with. Many are struggling readers. They might not even try without the help.
But leaving a sub the audio is tricky.
It used to be that there'd be a CD, and I'd play that on a boombox. Nowadays, all of the classrooms have installed speakers that one connects a computer to. The audio is a digital file.
The teacher can leave that all for a sub, but that means leaving their laptops and/or their login information. Sometimes it's really not worth the trouble.
So, knowing all this, I informed the class they were going to be doing things differently that day. And it's not a bad thing to have them change things up once in a while.
However, middle schoolers hate change.
Before I had a chance to give my "you can read it to yourselves today" speech, my co-teacher spoke up.
It was one of those lovely co-caught classes where a number of the students are special ed, so there's a general ed teacher as well as a special ed teacher working together. Both teachers were out, so we two subs were supervising the class. This is a very good thing as many times those classes can be more challenging behavior-wise, especially when there's a sub (or two).
The co-teacher said he could try to find the book on YouTube. I figured, why not?
After dealing with some technical issues, he did manage to find it. He got it all connected and going...
"But that's not what we've been listening to. He's not doing the voices..."
Seventh graders... We just can't win.