Friday, February 17, 2006

La Pine

Today I was a Special Education teacher. They had me sit in a room with several other Special Education teachers and Educational Assistants and help high school students who needed help. Although I have a fine job, I don't work on Fridays for that outfit so I have signed-up to substitute teach for this school district. Doing whatever it is that needs to be done.
This past tuesday I received a phone call from a female computer asking me if I was interested in working the abovementioned job. Seeing as I'd like to eventually be in the school system where I would have the option of getting the summers to me and my family, I figured I should expose myself as much as possible. Then those who I have exposed myself to can decide for themselves if I'm worth it or not. Be careful how you express things. That was an early lesson I learned.
So there I am, waiting for the chime - I guess nowadays they chime and don't ring, must be some high-falooting psychological/political espionage reasoning they have - chatting with adults and students, drinking coffee and having a fine time. The day begins with a trot as a handful of students slanter in and prepare to look like they are working. This is the case for perhaps a third of the kids. The other half are extremely disinterested in anything worthwhile. It became apparent through observation and being told this, but if they have nothing to do, they can read a newspaper or a magazine. Whatever happened to military school and corporal punishment? Sometimes I get the feeling that we are teaching kids how to do less and less and expect little of themselves because we don't really understand what our own issues and boundries and capabilities are as teachers/parents/substitute teachers/grown-ups/post-20's folk.
As the day and hours of the day proceeded I met some very interesting individuals and had some wonderful conversations about spirits, leaders, colors, bones, feet, and most things purple.
One of the day's hours I had a class of 10 for Remedial Math. Remedial, nice word. On other days they work out of a text book. Today they had a blue worksheet to complete. This was not done before, the worksheet thing. Three of the kids where very self-disruptive and disruptable. They really didn't really know. They understood what I said when I told them what I hate about my job. They also mistook their rights as students for those of another century and civilization. Whatever that means, but that's what it seemed like - remember, those civilizations and centuries don't have to be in the past. Some learned how to add three digit numbers, others how to determine the number of seconds in a 1/4 hour. It's all good I guess. I'm still undecided I guess. It's all about guessing right and knowing where the luck will fall.
As the time went into the bigger numbers and back to the little numbers I got more into the swing of where I was. No different to from where I have come. The main difference being that you can't do nothin' if they're stoned. The Office Manager liked me, I liked her and the locale. Looks like they will give me a call when another teacher wants a long weekend.

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