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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Searching for the words

Ugh, what a long day. I was all by myself in the gym with 200 kids during morning duty (usually there are 3 of us), tutoring after school, AND no planning period today because the third grade team had to meet with the principal. And it was truly a beating of a meeting. Some of us (yours truly) were chastised for not having our desks in the correct new arrangement (they're all facing the same way now, baby, just call me Mister Conformist). Though the principal kept saying that we had been out of compliance for the past 2 weeks. Last Friday was the first I had ever heard of this new directive. Now I'm no math teacher, but. . .oh wait, I AM a math teacher! I'm pretty sure 2 weeks haven't wedged themselves in between Friday and today.
But enough about that. Somebody left a comment on my blog the other day about teaching in junior high and seeing suspiciously similar behavior between HIS kids and MY kids. The reference to jr. high made me think back to my VERY first day of teaching. Before I joined the Dallas ISD full time, I subbed for about a month in another district. My very first assignment was a 7th grade science class. To make a long story short, I will never teach 7th grade again. To lengthen the story, I'll give you a few details.
The guy I was subbing for had 5 classes, all full of hormonally charged, raving lunatics posing in the guise of children. About 10 minutes into the first period, I was practically choking on the pheromones. Loud, boisterous, pushing and shoving -- and that was the GOOD ones!
So the lesson plan had me giving a test to all of the kids. Nice and easy, right? Any kids who finished early could read a magazine, but the note said that most of the kids should take the whole 50 minute period. As you might guess, everyone was done in that first period in about 10 minutes. The teacher had no magazines in the room, and most of the kids had not brought one, or any books for that matter, so the rest of the period pretty much resembled the pit of the New York Stock Exchange.
Thankfully, the planning period was immediately after the first period. And I was bound and determined NOT to go through that ordeal four more times. So I looked through the guy's cabinets for any kind of activities or worksheets related to the test subject -- the respiratory system. I hit upon a word search page, which seemed ideal, so I quickly ran off a passle of copies.
I was so proud of myself when I had something to offer to the early finishers in the next period. Until the giggling started. That was when I really took a good look at the word search for the first time. I had seen that the worksheet actually covered the respiratory system, the digestive system, AND the reproductive system. But I hadn't looked at the words being hunted.
The very first word on the list was "anus." Down the list, "sphinctor" reared its ugly head. I'm not sure if these words represented aspects of the digestive system or the reproductive system, but I'm praying it was the former. At any rate, I figured the science teacher would have some fun stories for when he got back the next day, AND it kept the kids quiet enough (except for the giggling and the constant whispers of "Have you found ANUS yet?"), so I continued to use the worksheets for the remainder of the day.
I'm so glad I don't have to teach health to my 3rd graders. . .


junior high teacher said...

Yep - that sounds just like junior high kids. Try reading "Romeo and Juliet" with 9th graders when this line comes up:
"Give me my long sword, ho!"
(Act I, scene i)

*sigh* :oD It becomes an oft-repeated phrase for the remainder of the semester.

Anonymous said...

your not alone.


Former TX Teacher said...

This is absoloutely hysterically funny!!! Thank you for the laugh...

Airam said...

I taught grade 7 for a month and a half and I swear I think I aged like 10 years in that time. I was their third teacher that year and I just hated them. The girls especially ... the boys were fine. The girls on the other hand ... just plain nasty.

One of the girls was nicknamed SHIM ... short for she and him. Nice, eh?