Friday, September 30, 2022

Coming Attractions

Tuesday was my last day in the chemistry class. I was asked to cover an extra period. (This is typical, so I didn't think too much of it.)

But, as luck would have it, I was asked to cover Mrs. B's Success Seminar. And I was most curious to see what the class is like.

Starting the following Monday (this week's Monday as you're reading this), Mrs. B is taking four weeks off, and guess who agreed to cover? 

And... I kind of regret my choice.

The success seminar class was created to help students be successful academically, emotionally, and socially. So, basically students who are in danger of ending up at the continuation high school were selected for this new class. 

It's a good idea. But it means that I'll have way more blog fodder for the next month. 

As I found out covering fourth period. 

While we were waiting for security to open the door for us, Louise bellowed loudly. "Mrs. B said she'd be out next week. I guess we're starting early."

And then when we got into class, Louise loudly complained about the school, the day, and just life in general. I tried to calm her down.

"Louise," I began.

"How do you know my name?!"

I skipped over my usual response, seating chart, as that didn't convey that while I was reminded of her name via the seating chart, I did remember her telling me her name elsewhere. "Ceramics," I said.

And then there was Austin. Yes, Austin from Wednesday's post. He made sure to make an impression, sitting in not his assigned seat and loudly refusing to go to his assigned seat. And then he had three different reasons he had to leave class. 

The rest of the students weren't much better, many of them refusing to do the assignment. What was the assignment? They were setting goals for the next two weeks.

It's going to be a long month.

Although, I sincerely hope that period four was just the difficult period. And that things will go better when I'm not scrambling to figure out the lesson plans on the fly while covering an extra period. 

Mrs. B returned before the end of the period. She was not happy at the behavior of the class. 

Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 29, 2022


Wednesday. Twelfth grade government. 

As the students walked in, some walked back out to recheck. Were they in the wrong room? Where was their teacher? 

"What? Didn't Mrs. M let you know she'd be out today?" I asked innocently. 

No. This was the first they were hearing about it.

But I was just kidding with them, which I let them know immediately. 

When I went to bed Tuesday night, I had no job lined up for the morning. I kind of thought I'd get a day off. I was somewhat looking forward to it.

But at 4:30 AM, my phone alerted. (I had woken up a short time before this, so it didn't wake me.) I knew that particular ding was for the sub app. I opened it up, and sure enough, there was an assignment for the morning. I took it.

Mrs. M had to take her husband to the ER. (She didn't specify for what, and I didn't ask.) This is the very definition of last minute family emergency, so of course the students were taken unawares. 

It happens. 

But for the rest of the day, the students arriving went something like this: 

Student: "What? We have a sub?"

Me: "Surprise!"

(They had an interesting assignment. They were to take a political quiz to see how their beliefs align with the political parties. If you're so inclined, you can try it here. I did, and I was completely unsurprised with my results.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Escape Artist

It was the second week of the chemistry class. Eighth period, the end of the period. 

Several students had lined up near the door as they had all put their chairs on their desks. (The janitors ask us to do this so they can sweep up the room. Someone keeps tracking dirt in, so the sweeping up is appreciated.) 

I watch the door as sometimes students like to slip out. And the previous week, I had had someone pull that, but I hadn't caught them. 

This time, I did. Austin. 

I reported him to the office. The discipline office "had a talk" with him, and I was told if it happened again, the consequences would change. 

I'd been keeping an eye on Austin ever since, but he didn't try to leave class early again.

On my last day in the chemistry class, Austin asked to use the restroom. 

I did not think too much of this. I scanned his student number ID bar code into the app on my phone and hit "restroom pass". 

Some time later, a different student asked to go. I do a one-student-at-a-time thing. (The restroom is close. It shouldn't take them more than five minutes, and if it will, I'll give them more time.) And that's when I noticed Austin had been gone a while.

I don't usually note the time when a student leaves, but with the app it was easy enough to look up. Austin had been gone thirty minutes. 


I called the office and reported the cut. They called security. 

Austin returned a short time thereafter.

I really, really like the hall pass app. It's such an amazing tool. (I had to ask for access, and I'm really glad I did.)

Now, if only Austin would do his schoolwork. But that's a battle for another day. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022


What if? It's the basis of many stories. We ask. We ponder. We wonder.

On Tuesdays I throw one out there. What if? It may be speculative. It may stem from something I see. It may be something I pull from the news.

Make of it what you will. If a for instance is not specified, interpret that instance as you wish. And if the idea turns into a story, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉 

What if you discovered that your diet was making you cranky? (In this instance, by "diet" I mean what you feed yourself, not a calorie-restricting regimen.)

Friday, September 23, 2022

The Boyfriend

On my second day covering Mrs. D's chemistry classes, Adrian approached me before sixth period. He didn't have an eighth period, and he didn't want to leave campus early, so could he hang out in the back of the class during my eighth period? 

I didn't see the harm in it. 

And on that first day, it was fine. Adrian sat in the back of the room and kept quiet. 

But I didn't realize two things. One: Adrian took my permission to mean he could hang out every eighth period. And two: Adrian's girlfriend was in period eight. 

When I start covering a class, I don't necessarily remember every student. It takes me a couple days (at minimum) to catch on to certain things. So, it took me over a week to realize that Adrian was the ingredient causing period eight to be a problem. 

(We're on a block schedule, so I only saw period eight every other day.)

First, he took another student's seat so he could sit next to the girlfriend. Once I caught on to that, the girlfriend went to sit next to him in the back. 

I mean, they were doing work. I heard them talking, and they were actually discussing the assignment. 

But, they were also all over each other. They weren't making out or anything, but it was clear they are a couple. And while it was all PG, it was still distracting, and neither were getting very much done.

Well, Adrian had overstayed his welcome. I told him not to come to period eight anymore.

That's what I get for being nice. The next student that wonders why I won't let them hang out in class can ask Adrian all about it.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Out of Sync

The school has started doing video announcements in the morning. 

Every morning, in the second class of the day, a couple of students from the student government read through the various things everyone at school should know. It's club meetings and sports events and spirit weeks. Stuff like that. They've been doing morning announcements every morning for the entire time I've worked for the district.

(We had morning announcements when I was in school, too.) 

During the virtual school year, they made video announcements that were pre-taped. Since going back to in-person, it was back to announcements over the PA. 

But this year, they've started doing them on camera. As of last week, they have a two day a week schedule. 

What that means for me is that I have to connect to the school's YouTube channel and play the video on the in class projector. 

Alas, this proved to be a problem. 

(I couldn't figure out how to mirror the screen of a Chromebook to the projector. It turned out that the step I'd been missing was having the Chromebook already plugged into the projector and the projector turned on. I was trying to set things up before connecting everything. Sigh.) 

Because I couldn't figure out how to project the announcements, I did the next best thing. I sent the students the link to the video and had them watch it on their individual computers. 

Great solution. There was one problem...

Not all of their videos were entirely in sync. So, when they played the audio...

It was quite an interesting effect, to hear the same thing on 20-odd computers just milliseconds off. 

Well, now that I know what I was doing wrong, we won't be having that issue again. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022


It was the Sunday before my third and final week in the chemistry class. I received an email from Mrs. D. She was going to need two more days before returning to class. 

Okay, then. 

Before we got the new (to us) substitute scheduling app, what would happen next was I would talk to the sub caller, and we would confirm that I was covering the chemistry class for two more days. But the app made this next bit a bit trickier. 

Because instead of talking to a human, Mrs. D needed to input her absence into the app, and then I needed to claim those days. 

Ideally, the teacher should be able to put in a request for the teacher that they want. I think it's possible. But again, we're new to the app, and no one has figured out how to do that. 

So, things got left to chance. 

I asked Mrs. D to let me know when she added the absence to the app. Now, remember, she's in India (with a 12 1/2 hour time difference). I got the email she had added the absence at 11 PM. But it wasn't in the system. 

Uh oh. 

The next day, I asked at the school. The secretary checked, but it wasn't in the system. Luckily, we were in a window of time when both Mrs. D and I were awake, so I emailed Mrs. D. After some back and forth, she managed to get the absence into the system.

But, of course, the totally foreseeable thing happened. Another sub claimed the job. Snatched it right out from under me. 

I did not know it had ended up in the system yet. I was in class. The secretary called me to let me know. 

She has the right access to boot someone out of a job. So, she did. And told me to grab it. 

It was the start of third period, and the morning announcements were going on, so the class barely noticed me on the phone. I grabbed my cell phone, opened the app, and snatched that gig right back. 

(The secretary called the other sub to let him know why he was kicked off the job. Nothing personal.)

I know the secretary can just assign me to the job. And in future, I'm sure that's how things will be handled. But while we learn to navigate the app, I'm sure these things will continue to happen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Not Even a Gerbil

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements. 😉

What if we didn't have pets? That is, what if it was not normal to take creatures that aren't human into your home and have them become a part of your family? 

Monday, September 19, 2022


Last week I discussed my intention to start a couple scarves over. I took this pink one:

And I made it a ball of yarn in about a half hour: 

However, the brown one: 

Yeah, this one is taking a bit longer.

I started it first. And at this point, it still looks like: 

Ripping something out usually just entails pulling out the stitches. And it goes pretty quickly. But this yarn kind of felted in on itself, so every so often, the pull to unravel a stitch became a rip. I think it's in a dozen pieces at this point. 


I've been attempting to unravel this over several TV shows. I've watched Midnight at the Pera Palace, The Food that Built America, and Stargirl. There were probably some other shows in there as well. 

Will I have made any more progress by next week? Unlikely. So, if there's no post next Monday, you'll know why.

Friday, September 16, 2022

The Mommy Option

(This is a continuation from yesterday's post.)

Mrs. D got back to me right away (relatively). India is 12 and a half hours ahead of us in California, so her email reply sent at 10 PM my time is quick. 

Mrs. D's suggestion: email Colton's mother.

Okay, then.

I took some time composing the email. Mrs. D suggested forwarding what I had sent to her, but I thought it would be better to just state the facts for Colton's mom. Where I told Mrs. D I didn't know what to do, I asked Colton's mom if she could assist me. 

I sent off the email at 11:13 AM. I got a response at 11:35 AM. 

Colton's mom? Not happy at all.

She forwarded the email to Colton's football coach and also the school's athletic director (who is also a teacher who I have subbed for a few times in the past). The game they had that night Colton would not be playing in. 

The email was sent during fourth period. At the passing into sixth period, Colton appeared at my door. He needed to speak to me. 

"Did you email my mom?"

He prefaced his discussion with, "You're just mad I outsmarted you," and then insisted that my yelling at him was the worse offense. He insisted I needed to tell his mom that I yelled. I figured it was implied, and he was welcome to share his side of the sandwich incident with his mother. 

Sixth period had started, so we eventually ended the conversation, Colton not getting what he wanted. 

I let his mother know he had been by to discuss the situation with me and he'd be telling her his side. Her reply: "Fine. He doesn't get to play in next week's game, either."

So, it was with some trepidation that I went into Friday. But I didn't have to see Colton until fifth period, and Colton's mom had given me her phone number, so if things got ugly, I'd call her with Colton there. 

And then Colton was waiting for me before third period... apologize. 

Colton had talked to his mother and gotten an "attitude adjustment". He now realized that the consequence he received was due to his actions. He had been hangry (which, considering how long it is from snack to lunch, I completely understand), and he had been out of line.

I appreciated how he came to me not on class time, and he seemed sincerely sorry. 

And so, it's over. 

Colton behaved... well, he's still Colton. But he wasn't directly challenging me on anything during class time, so we're cool. 

Perhaps he'll learn not to react when he first gets bad news. (He must have just heard about the email right when he came to see me the first time.) 

And I need to remember the mommy option when things go sideways with a student. 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Sandwich Incident

Fifth period. Yup, them again

I met Colton for the first time last year while I was covering the geography class. He's a very charismatic kid, which isn't a compliment from someone in my line of work. He was in the difficult class for Mrs. O, too. And he contributed to the chaos there. But I didn't ever write about him specifically as he never did anything that rose to the level of interesting for the blog

On the first day of my covering Mrs. D's classes, I read through her syllabus. She had a no food in class rule, so I made sure to enforce that. Generally, that means when I catch someone eating, I tell them to put the food away. They know the rule, so they look chagrined at being caught, "sneak" a last bite, and put the food away.

Wednesday. Colton has been skirting the no food rule since I got to the class, but we've been playing the game, so when I saw him with a food container, I didn't worry. I'd keep an eye out, tell him to put the food away, and he could eat whatever was in the container at lunch, which was directly after fifth period.

If only.

At the bell, I still had students roaming to their desks. Colton was one of them. He had a sandwich in his hand.

"Put the food away," I bellowed.

"Where do you want me to put it?" Colton asked.

That container? Gone. 

I didn't realize that at first. He brought food in. When I say to put food away, I would think he would realize he should put the food back in the container it came in. But he was making him having thrown out the container my problem. 

And so, now the rest of the class was riveted by the drama. 

(From experience, I knew telling him to throw out the food would have shot this conflict into the stratosphere. They get very defensive of their food. "You can't touch my food.")

In the end, he got to eat his sandwich, but not until after the whole class got to witness our argument. 

But now I had a problem. I've still got a week to go with this class, and I can't have Colton bringing food in every day. And if he can eat in class, the rest of the kiddos will, and that just leads to a mess. 

How do I deal with this? 

That's when it occurred to me that maybe Mrs. D would have an idea. So, I emailed her.

She's in India. I looked it up to find that the time difference is 12 and a half hours. So, I wasn't going to get a response right away, but at least I'd have something by the next time I had Colton in class. (We're on a block schedule, so I see each class every other day.) 

Colton again got no work done in class. (He took offense when I pointed out that his grade would drop when Mrs. D input the three weeks' work into the gradebook, and he might not be allowed to continue to play football.) This was definitely an issue I needed to deal with as soon as I could.

(Conclusion tomorrow.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Substitute Training

They don't train substitute teachers. We kind of get thrown into the classroom after a quick orientation after being hired. It's a very learn-on-the-job kind of gig. 

As the classrooms acquire new tech, we subs have to kind of figure things out as we go. Luckily, the teachers need us to use things from time to time, and they'll clue us in on how to use them. 

Tuesday. It was the teacher's first class of the day. The students got out their Chromebooks and logged on as I figured out where the roll sheet was. The phone rang. 

Mr. J was out due to some family emergency, and he was calling to let me know what the class was doing. But more importantly, he needed me to reset the Chromebooks. 

He explained that it was something he does every year. The students were doing a light simulation activity, but it wouldn't load due to cookies and such. Every year he does a hard reboot on the computers so that the loading issue doesn't occur, but due to the family emergency, he hadn't gotten around to it.

So, I got to learn how to do a hard reboot on a Chromebook. Yay. New skill. 

(By the way, it's holding down three keys at once: escape, refresh, and power. That opens the screen that allows you to command the computer to reboot.) 

After getting one computer rebooted, I hung up with Mr. J and informed the class of 8th graders why I had been on the phone so long. (They're always a little shocked that I was talking to their teacher. I think if they had known that, they wouldn't have been as loud while we were talking.) And then it was time for them to repeat what I had just done.

Because the quickest way to reset 36 computers is to have the kiddos reset the computer they have in front of them (and for me to repeat on the remaining five that weren't claimed by a student). 

It was an advanced 8th grade class, so it went pretty smoothly. And the kiddos told me that they could then access the activity they were to do.

Until one girl called me over, more than half way through the period. She couldn't submit the assignment she had completed. 

We did the usual restart of the computer, but that didn't work. Would rebooting the computer again help? 

Yup, it did. 

So, now I have a new trick to pull out when the technology fails. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022


Speculative fiction has a long history of taking the issues of the day and reframing them in a new context with the hope that people will look at them in a new way. Our "unprecedented" times are bringing all sorts of old ways and old thinking back to the forefront. On Tuesdays, I present "what if?" questions. Previously, the intent was as an idea generator. It still is. But now, I ask that you really think about all the repercussions that these ideas will have. If only these were just thought exercises. 

What if our current polarization of opinions (yes, the same question as last week) was an unintended consequence of corporations only looking out for maximum profits? (Like, for example, a media corporation pushing a story that is problematic, but it's popular, so it sells ads.)

Monday, September 12, 2022

Starting Over

Last week it was too hot. I just couldn't with the yarn. But I'm kind of between projects at the moment, so it wasn't like I was neglecting anything. 

But I've been thinking about a couple scarves I have in progress. 

I think it might be time to frog and start over. 

I started "In the Meantime" a couple weeks ago. Then I realized that I had misread the stitch pattern, so I ripped out the wrong row and redid. And I didn't like it so much any more. 

I don't hate it. But I think I might like a different stitch pattern more.

Then there's the scarf I started in 2019.

Again, I don't hate it. But as long as I'm looking up crochet stitch patterns, I might as well see if I can find a way more interesting stitch pattern for this one. 

So, I found a couple. One is the cobweb stitch. The other is called the astro cluster. (Check out the links to see what they look like.) It took me a while to winnow it down to those two, but I think that's where I'm going to start.

Only now, which is which? Initially, I thought cobweb would be for the pink yarn, which is a light yarn, but bulkier than the brown. But maybe the cobweb would look better on the fairly fine brown yarn, and the astro would look better in the pink. 

I'm going to hem and haw about it a bit more. It's supposed to cool into the 80s F this week (that's in the upper 20s C), so while it might be a bit warm, I might be more inclined to do something. I can at least rip out these scarves so I'm ready to start anew.

What do you think. Cobweb for the finer yarn or the thicker? I'm open to suggestions.

Friday, September 9, 2022

Entertaining Themselves

Friday. Fifth period. 

I got a new student. And he was lost. 

It's always a bit awkward to get a new student when a sub is there. And it was worse because he had missed most of this week, so he started off behind on a packet that's meant to take them three weeks to complete. 

Understandably, he had questions. 

The assignment for this day was an interactive activity having to do with interactions between atoms. (I lucked out and found a way to access the activities, and then I found a video explaining what they were doing, so I was able to steer them in the right direction.) They were confused. Several had questions. 

So, I got busy. I got so busy it took me twenty minutes before I managed to get the roll taken, and then I was back to going from student to student, answering questions. 

Alas, not all of them were on task. Those who weren't busy asking me questions and working on the assignment were doing other things.

They were throwing wadded up paper at each other. 

Ah, sophomores...

I growled at them. I reminded them that they had work. I asked them if they were so confident of the material, would they want a major test upon Mrs. D's return? ("Not gonna lie," one girl said, "I'm ignoring the assignment.")

Things settled a bit after that. Some still were playing around, but they were making less of a mess.

Until the end of the period. 

They had left trash all over the floor. That paper they were throwing around? Yeah, they left it there.

And I wasn't having it. 

The next period was lunch. I put myself in front of the door and told them that no one was leaving until the paper got picked up. ("It wasn't me. I'm not touching it.")

The paper got picked up. (By the girls who it was being thrown at. The boys who were throwing it are going to get all of my attention next week.) 

Fifth period is the class. Every teacher has one. The dreaded period. It's the class with the most misbehavior, the least attention paid to the work. 

At least with tenth graders (15 year olds), things shouldn't be as bad. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 8, 2022


Tuesday was a minimum day (so the teachers could prep for Back to School night, which I did not have to attend--yay!). 

Because it was a minimum day, there would be no lunch. Nigel was not happy. 

"Great. No lunch. So, I don't get to eat." 

I pointed out that while we weren't having a lunch period, food services was providing a "grab and go" lunch. It's a sack lunch that students can take with them when they exit the school. (Here in California, all school meals are free to students.)

"Great, now I'll get into trouble for bringing outside food home." 

I mentioned that perhaps he could eat the lunch on the way home, thereby avoiding any of those thorny issues. (I really didn't want to get into why this was a problem, although it probably merits further discussion.) 

Nigel's next complaint was mumbled, something about riding a bike or the bus, so he couldn't eat his lunch while getting home. (The bus driver doesn't allow open food containers on the bus.) 

It was at this point that other students in class chimed in, saying that Nigel was always like this. I could tell. Nigel was determined to be annoyed that we had a minimum day. He did not want to go home early. 

About then was when this whole conversation got interrupted. Another student wanted to use the restroom. 

There is a cool new app that the school is now using for restroom passes. I just got access. I stopped to let the student go. And I thought Nigel and I were done. Nope.

Now Nigel complained about the new app. Why didn't the school get the app earlier? (Not the complaint I was expecting.) I argued that the technology wasn't really right too much before now. But Nigel disagreed. 

At a certain point, you know the discussion isn't going to go anywhere. And this is where I "got busy" doing other stuff. Because there was going to be no pleasing Nigel. Whatever came up, he was going to complain about. 

I suppose it passes the time.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Not Quite All Set

On the Monday of the week I was covering ceramics, I ran into Mrs. D, the chemistry teacher. She asked if I would be interested in covering her classes for three weeks.

(Mrs. D isn't out often, but I have covered her classes in the past. In the before times and during hybrid school.) 

Mrs. D had to go to India for family issues (her daughter). She knows that I'm familiar with chemistry (as my degree is in physics), so her classes wouldn't get behind while she was out. (Although, at this point I wonder who they would be behind. The other chemistry teacher at the school has been out all week as well. I haven't heard for sure, but I suspect Covid.) 

On the prior Friday, she sent me her lesson plans. She gave me access to her Google Classroom, although her lessons were in Clever. Because I don't have Clever access, she made hard copies of the answer keys. (We had a couple discussions before she left so that I knew what we'd be doing and she could make sure I had everything I'd need.) 

So, this past Monday it began. 

And I was ready.

Yeah, famous last words...

Because that Monday, everything went sideways. 

(Okay, well not everything...) 

For some reason, I was running late. And that heat wave that we had mostly avoided the past month hit us full force. So, I get to school, and the secretary who normally checks subs in was out sick (not Covid, just a run-of-the-mill toothache). 

Alas, that school doesn't have back up people who know what they're doing, so it didn't go so smoothly getting keys and the passwords I need to take attendance. (Actually, I didn't get that password. I had to take roll via a paper roster. Annoying, but doable.) But I got my stuff, and I headed for the room.

Only to have to return to the office as the key I was given was for the wrong classroom. Sigh. 

By the time I got into the room, I was a puddle of sweat, and I had just a few minutes to get situated to start the day. 

The day? I mean, it wasn't terrible. I had the usual (for this time of year) drops and adds of students. Mrs. D had already passed out their packets, but they hadn't quite understood that she'd be out and that I was to check their work after each assignment was completed. 

It was just that all day I felt as if I was catching up from behind. 

As I write this (after the first week is over), everything is pretty well situated. But that first day was a doozy. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Deliberately Divided

Speculative fiction has a long history of taking the issues of the day and reframing them in a new context with the hope that people will look at them in a new way. Our "unprecedented" times are bringing all sorts of old ways and old thinking back to the forefront. On Tuesdays, I present "what if?" questions. Previously, the intent was as an idea generator. It still is. But now, I ask that you really think about all the repercussions that these ideas will have. If only these were just thought exercises. 

What if the current polarization of opinions (we're all feeling this, right?) has been deliberately cultivated?

Monday, September 5, 2022

And Then It Was Done

It was finished last Monday the 29th in the evening. 

The finishing went easily. I was rather expecting something to go wrong. I attached the horn and tacked down the front of the mane (although that part happened Sunday night). 

I rather like how the pink horn works with the black hat and purple and light blue mane. You don't really seek the sparkly of the yarn I ordered from Denmark, but I assume under lights it should shine. 

The last bit, that I did Monday night, was to add the braids down by the ear flaps. I had been worried about this part as I was to use the hat yarn and the mane yarn, but I was just about out of mane yarn. (That is, the purple. I still had plenty of the blue.) 

In the end, through a misreading of the instructions, I ended up making the ear flap braids half the thickness from the pattern's pictures. But I rather like them this thin. And, this was all the purple I had. 

So, it's done. Now all that's left is packing this up and mailing it off. 

All the posts about this hat: 

Friday, September 2, 2022


Friday. Art. 

It was one of those boring days (so boring I brought along a project to work on) where the students do what they're supposed to do. I take roll, verify they're on task, and then I try to stay awake. 

Sixth period. Class went much like the rest of the day. 

I've started a new note system this school year. I created a Google doc where I can rate each class, list names for out of class, and leave a brief remark about anything needed. I can then email this to the teacher at the end of the day. 

So, on this day, I had completed my note, attached it to the email, and sent it off about ten minutes before the end of the period. 

The class had had an assignment in Google Classroom. (It was on line which is an element of art.) They had returned the Chromebooks to the Chromecart, and I was making sure they were all plugged in for the weekend (read: plugging them all in). That's when I heard the door. 

I turned, and sure enough, a couple students had slipped out of the classroom minutes before the end of the period. Grrrr. 

Such an event belongs in the note, but the note had been sent. 

Well, I guess the note needed an addendum. 

Rather than get a computer out or try to send it on my phone (I don't know the teacher's emails, but they pop up when I compose the email on computer; on my phone, their emails don't pop up), I grabbed a sheet of paper and wrote that out. 

I hate it when students slip out like that. (If a student must leave early, all they have to do is ask. If it's a reasonable request, I generally allow it.) It's cheating. And the teacher is definitely going to hear about it.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Back to Normal

Ninth grade math. (It's basically a bit of algebra and a bit of geometry, the easier topics of both.) 

It's early in the year, so the class had a simple review of solving for X worksheet with a coloring component. 

(To make some of these math review worksheets "fun", they make them with puzzles that can only be solved if the students work the problems correctly. It can be a riddle with the answer being a really bad pun. Or they might make a picture in a color by numbers thing. There are hundreds of these things for most math levels, and teachers generally give them out on sub days.)

I got class started and passed out the worksheets. 

I noticed a boy not doing any work. In fact, he didn't have his worksheet on his desk. I questioned him on this. 

He explained that he was waiting for his neighbor to get done. They were "working together" which he interpreted as meaning his neighbor did all the work, and then he'd copy. 

Yeah, no, I wasn't having any of that. If they wanted to work the problems together, fine. But the whole copying thing... Doesn't fly with me.

The boy didn't understand why I had a problem with this. 

I asked if the neighbor was going to be available to do the boy's test for him.

(He had some excuse, but I got distracted by something else.) 

Did he do his own work? Nope, not really. But this is how one gets one's name in my note, so his teacher knows to watch out for him.

Sadly, this sort of thing is common. They never listen to my explanation of why it's a bad idea, so it always gets referred to the teacher.