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monday, december 6, 2004

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holidailies 2004

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some days on this subbing job, i just feel so lost. today i'm sure some of it had to do with being sick and still fighting the same damn cold from 2 weeks ago - only now i sound like i gargled with rocks. the sucker just won't die.

but some of it is more than that. i've mentioned before that each class and each school is different. while this is generally true, within a school there can also be some differences between teams, though usually those differences aren't very extreme. if the teams in a school are generally friendly and supportive of their subs, then most teams in the school are that way to varying degrees, although finding an "unfriendly" team can happen.

which leads to something of an aside.

when i was in school in cali, there was something of a block schedule from middle school on up. you went to your classes all over campus similar to college. to my knowledge, my girls had this same experience. all the classes were the same length of time (about 55 minutes). out here it is a little different. there are two types of classes - academic and connections. the academic classes are social studies, math, science, and language arts (whatever happened to calling it english?); the connections classes are the electives - art, computer science, home ec., etc. the teams consist of a teacher from each of the academic classes, with all four classes instructing the same kids and located right next to each other in the same hallway (so each hall has blocks of 4 or more teams). these classes are about 55 minutes. all the students in a particular grade go to connections at the same time and connections classes are about an hour and a half. now this is for middle school. high school is pretty similar to the high schools in cali.

end aside.

anyway, in a school where one team is friendly and supportive, you'll generally find most the teams are friendly and supportive. these are the teams where the other members come in to meet you, introduce themselves, and offer their help. they sit with you at lunch and make an effort to include in the conversation. they ask how the day is going and don't hesitate to step in and help with difficult students. i never feel lost with these teams because i have at least one (if not three) person i can go to if i have a question, someone to sit with at and talk to at lunch, and someone to go to if i have a situation and need help. these teams make me feel welcome and any feelings of being lost, alone, or overwhelmed quickly fade away.

the teams i have trouble with don't say a word to me. no one introduces themselves, there's no sense of support or help in a time of need. you get the feeling you're on your own. the only thing worse is being on your own with another team member who is also a sub. this happened to me last friday - 2 subs and a resource teacher. no one else on the hall so much as poked a head out to say hi. i can't even begin to convey the chaos that resulted from that combination! the only saving grace was that the kids themselves, while not angels, were okay. i had to be pretty firm, but they weren't snotty little brats either.

today was my first experience with a connections class - art. i don't know if connections teachers have teams - no one said a word to me, i ate my lunch all by myself. it was pretty lonely and i felt lost most of the day - lost, sick, and alone. most the classes went passably well. not the best, but not the worst. the last class though? i ended up sending 2 kids out with a teacher or with an administrator, 2 more kids in "isolation," and had to resist decking another kid with one hell of a snotty attitude. and these were middle schoolers. most middle schoolers don't give me half the trouble this class did. this morning, the lady who schedules subs asked me to take a home ec class tomorrow. this afternoon, she asked if i would take the art class for another 2 days instead.

i said no.

someone told me working would help me meet people and maybe make friends, but its not really working out that way. maybe if i work a regular, full time position, but right now i'm just lost.

on another side note, a good one, actually, one of the teachers told the woman who handles the subs at my son's school that she loved what i did with her class. there's a school i'm not so lost at and am looking forward to going to on wednesday and thursday.

site of the moment:

ring/clique/fl of the moment:
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word of the moment: definitive

serving to supply a final answer, solution, or evaluation and to end an unsettled unresolved condition; fixed and unalterable in opinion or judgment; most authoritative, reliable, and complete usually with the implication of final and perfected completeness or precision -- used of research, scholarship, or criticism especially of a biographical or historical study or of a text or edition of a literary work or author; serving to define or specify precisely; distinguishing; exact, express, and clearly defined; real, actual, and positive; definite; complete; fully developed; final; issued as a regular stamp for the country or territory in which it is to be used


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