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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

This post has flour power!

Next in the long line of January Guest Bloggers here on Learn Me Good, we have Carolyn, who writes Give Me Texas Wisdom. Carolyn is a substitute teacher, slightly lower even on the respect totem pole than full-time teachers, so God bless her.

She writes about an amusing incident during a recent high school subbing job.


As a substitute teacher, one of the best ways to pick up jobs at the school you prefer is to simply sit in the teacher lounge during lunch. Last semester I was subbing for a coach. I didn't want to eat in his smelly gym office, so I went upstairs to one of the school's two teacher workrooms. I sat down with a group of outgoing women and jumped into the conversation. (Who, me?) The next thing I know, I was offered two weeks of Medical Microbiology.

Mind you, I majored in Art... but I would rather talk lice and tapeworms with seniors at a school I like than fingerpaint with pre-K at a school I don't. So I accepted.

I'm glad I did; Microbiology was great. These kids are brilliant with unique personalities, plus they all want to go into the medical field, so they pay attention. I couldn't ask for a better class. Still, every class has their "issues." We'll call this one "Sue."

Sue is the young woman who knows she's different but hasn't figured out how that makes her exceptional. She's more mature and independent than her clingy classmates. She has no problem showing her athleticism, bragging about trysts with her boyfriend, or wearing black nail polish. Sue yells out, "YES! MY FAVORITE SUB!" when she enters my classroom. She also wants to call

me by my first name and be my best friend.

Not so much.

Well, one day in Microbiology Sue walked into the classroom with this:

That's right, the infamous "flour baby" from Home Economics. (Although now I think they call the class "Family and Consumer Sciences.") Either way, while all the other girls had attached a head, arms, and legs, and had dressed their babies in the best Cabbage Patch clothing they could find, Sue had taped on a random baby face courtesy of Google Image Search and used a Hello Kitten scarf as a diaper.

I like Sue.

And, quite frankly, I like the idea of flour babies. I'm already discussing sexually transmitted diseases in Microbiology... why not throw in the ULTIMATE consequence of unprotected teen sex? Those babies lead to some pretty mature and important discussions, with Sue fully participating.

After I got of my soap box, having babies in the classroom proved pretty hilarious. I think it was the only time I actually encouraged someone to engage in kidnapping. I KNOW it was the only time I ever muttered the words, "Yes, you can go to the bathroom- just don't drop your baby in the toilet."

I can't wait to see which subject the teacher's lounge takes me next....


My thanks to Carolyn, and I encourage everyone to check out her blog, Give Me Texas Wisdom! I could use some of that now myself!


Katie said...

At our school we have computerized infant dolls that start to cry at random intervals. The students then have to insert on of a series of keys into a slot on the doll's back. The keys are labeled with things like "change" "feed" "attention" "burp" and so on. Only one of the keys will stop the baby crying, and the student just has to try them until they get the right one. The babies have sensors that register abuse such as dropping or shaking, and will record how long the doll was left to cry.
Pretty good... but, I think if you want to discourage teen pregnancy, you should just send each kid to the grocery store equipped with a shopping list and a hungry 4 year old and an infant. As soon as the 4 year old starts demanding every sugar-filled item at his eye level, I think the message will sink in.

Mister Teacher said...

The whole "fake baby" thing creeps me out. I'm so glad we didn't have to do that when I was in high school.

Priest said...

"... don't drop your baby in the toilet ..." hehehe, that is just so twisted. I like it!

Yeah, the teacher's lounge is something I studiously avoided when taking a year to substitute teach as there was far too much spleen venting and manufactured angst for me. A little talk therapy might have been helpful for some of the negative ranters … I’m thinking a nice dose of Thorazine for some of the others. You know, slap them in a chemical straight jacket until the calm down a bit.

Excellent Guest Post, I enjoyed it immensely.

loonyhiker said...

I think the flour baby is a great way to introduce some of the responsibilities of having a baby. I think whatever it takes to wake some of these kids up.