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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Death and TAKSes

As the saying goes, I had always heard that those two things were constant in life. I never really realized precisely what that meant until I started teaching in the Dallas public school system. Now I can see exactly how they go hand in hand.
I am stressing out about this test next Tuesday, and you know how I can tell? Because my left eyeball is twitching more than a frog's legs under an applied electric current. Eyeballs are pretty much not supposed to do that. And it's not very pleasant, either.
Today in tutoring, I asked one of my girls,W, how many minutes were in one hour. She stared at me with a blank expression. So I asked her to turn her attention to the clock hanging on the wall, and count by fives on all of the numbers all the way around the clock. She counted 5, 10, 15, etc. all the way up to 60. Then I asked her again, how many minutes are in one hour. She thought about it for a few seconds, and then replied, "One?" Now, not only is my eyeball in danger, but my forehead has a huge red welt from me pounding it against the wall.
And speaking of pain and illness, I actually had a request in one of my earlier postings to discuss substitutes. To be honest, I don't have a lot of substitute stories, because I just haven't taken that many days off. I find that it's really more of a hassle, as you have to prepare all of these lessons and activities for someone else to do, and then worry about what sort of mess you're going to come back to the next day. However, among the substitute tales that I DO have:

-- One time this year, when I was at an in-school training session, I stopped by my room to pick up some papers, and noticed that the sub had a space heater running behind my desk. It was not a particularly cold day, and there is not particularly a lot of space behind my desk to heat. The next day, I also discovered that she had consumed all of the cough drops that I had in my desk. This did not earn her any points with me, as I was going through a nasty cold at the time.

-- Last year, I came back from a day off only to have all of the kids clamoring around me, asking me if my brother was going to come back anytime soon. Apparently, they all thought that this sub looked exactly like me. None of the teachers shared this opinion, but the kids were convinced. Of course, they also seem convinced that I am married to one of the other third-grade teachers, even though she has a picture of her husband on display on her desk.

-- Last year, one of my kids actually stole some money from one of the substitutes. This lady was somewhat up there in terms of years, and she didn't make the best decision by leaving her purse, wide open, laying on a desk near the door. G, my little thief, decided to grab a wad of bills that he had been eyeballing. I actually got called out of my training session to go and interrogate him, to find out the whereabouts of the purloined cash. I was pretty pleased with my skills as a "Closer" that day, as I finally managed to break him and get a confession. Turns out, "grab the money and run" was pretty much the entirety of his plan. He hadn't thought anything out beyond that point. During the course of his running, he realized that he had no idea what he wanted to do next, so he just ran into the nearest bathroom, and threw the money down behind one of the toilets. What he didn't realize, and what made things much more serious, was that hidden in there amongst the one dollar bills that he had snatched, was a Benjamin. And it's all about the Benjamins, baby. The substitute had a $100 bill in her wad of cash. To make a long story short(er), we finally recovered the money, it was returned to its rightful (if careless) owner, and G enjoyed a term at the local alternative school.

If you've got any funny substitute stories, now is the time to share them! Leave a comment -- the best one will win my undying admiration!


Former TX teacher said...

LOVE it!!! I hope you get many stories to share!! =) You mentioned that you got called out of a mtg and had to go and interrogate the little goober! I remember have to go back to school and ream out my entire POD of 5th graders...why???? Because the sub couldnt' handle them and they were out of control...The AP called me and said..PLEASE come back and talk to the kids...."they won't listen to me!" uhhhh...what is an assist prince for??? I came back...and reamed them out...However, I wish I could go back and revisit that time in my life and tell the their parents...not a teacher at a mtg...HELLO!!!!

Thanks for putting up your stories..I hope more will write..Have a wonderful Easter!!

happychyck said...

I came back after a planned absence one day, and the students told me the sub couldn't figure out what to do. I'd left the directions for the students on the board, but they couldn't get the work out of the sub. According to my helpful student she kept saying, "I don't know what you're suppose to do." The students kept telling her it was on the board and that they needed the handout. After more questioning we established that she had come in and put her stuff right on top of it on my desk. Now, if you were subbing for a class, wouldn'ty you look for instructions and handouts ON THE TEACHER'S DESK? Duh! Maybe if she would have lifted her stuff up! So, my students did nothing on a day when they wanted to do something.

Subs like that give teachers and adults a bad name. Thanks.