Wednesday, May 29, 2013

subbing 101: cover girl.

I've had the pleasure of substitute teaching this week*. So far, every day. I was rabid about getting in the subbing system so that I could sub for one specific person - one guess who - mostly because she's awesome and I know the kids in the class and the routine and the school and ... need I go on? Like most things in my life, it took longer than I thought to get into the system. But I'm finally in. And I see the kids - but not Miss Honey - on Friday. Can I contain myself? Well, there's not going to be witty sarcasm and random "Oh, hey, you'll love this!", or a prep period music party [because someone had never heard the song "Thriftshop" before - and it wasn't her]. Because that was fun. And that, that I will miss.

I got a call back from my very first assignment for a half day. But some of those kids will throw you under the bus, particularly if you left a note about them being really helpful. Funny story, and yes it has to do with being thrown under the bus. Here's the set-up [of me]. The students were supposed to be using computers for an in-class assignment. I helped pass out the laptops, settled some technical issues** and began making the rounds to make sure everyone was on task.

Beware of counters serving as barriers in the classroom. Two students who I did not see had made for seating behind this barrier like jack rabbits, and as soon as I came around the corner, in typical third grade fashion, they started acting suspicious, but not smart enough to cover up their tracks [Thank God]. One of them was using google image search to look up cosmetic ads, the other was playing educational games.  K then. We had a chat about what was approp, I moved seats to some place high vis and we moved along. And there might have been the threat of a call to the principal, the president and the teacher thrown in there. Fear of God instilled. The regular teacher had a meeting they needed to return for, so I shared what happened, and there was a quick conference call home [even better than the principal!]. Apparently, on a recent visit to a major city, the student saw a billboard advertisement for cover girl makeup. And clearly it must have left quite an impression. And yes, the parents were going to have a talk with their child. Okay! Well, at least that's all it was, but nonetheless. It was third grade, which makes me wonder at the visual and psychological differences of advertisements between an area with the population density of Pittsburgh or Cleveland and some place like Chicago, Los Angeles or New York. I mean really, I know they are different, I've been to London and Paris, and there is a lot to be said for the shock value, which I'm sure the residents don't even think of, because they are desensitized. Or maybe it's just me, but I find the objectification of women in advertisement to be sickening. So I avoid it.

If it were earlier in the school year, I might be leaving with the general notes something that says, "Great group of kids, I'd love to come back" Here's my number, call me maybe, but it's the end of the school year - all these kids are moving up so it will be a fresh face bunch the next time I walk in those doors. In fact, someone else I subbed for is changing buildings; I'm not sure if they will be with the same grade. Though I would in fact, love to come back in the fall. As today's teacher empathetically said "Got your paperwork just in time to be... unemployed." I do have a part time teaching gig this summer, but I'm still looking for more employment. And there's nothing quite like the sting of "You're just not quite what we're looking for." [Is it the master's degree?] I have my clearances. I'm a great house sitter, and I love to walk dogs. Cats also love me. So do most small children. Sayin'. What am I looking for? At this point, anything legal that I can reasonably transport myself to.

*kindly remember that all names have been changed or omitted to protect the innocent, guilty or random bystander. **Some of the events have been changed to protect innocent bystanders as well.

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