Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Subbing - High School Math

I had one job recently that was designated as "Advanced Math". It turns out that the teacher actually taught algebra 1, algebra 1 advanced, and algebra 2. OK, so today I took a job that was described as "Basic Math". Guess what this teacher teaches: Geometry and AP Calc AB and AP Calc BC. BASIC????

And the "best" part was that there were NO LESSON PLANS and little help from the other teachers, including the department head. Fortunately, it was a "block" day, with only the geometry classes.

So, the above are taken from my Facebook status postings.  Here are the rest of the details:  the sub message said that the job started at 7:30.  Since I am never sure if the time they give me is the time I am supposed to be there or the time the kids actually show up in class, I got there early:  around 7:00 am.  I checked in at the office and she gave me the map of the school, the bell schedule, the attendance lists, and his class schedule.  Unfortunately, this school doesn't give out keys, but the custodian unlocked the room very promptly.  But I couldn't find the sub plans.  I asked the teacher across the way and she checked her email: no sub plans.  I checked with another teacher, she said to check in the office (a LONG walk from the room).  So I did.  No sub plans there, either.  But, never fear, the whole math department was having a meeting in a room right next to mine and they would take care of it.  Only none of them had the plans either.  So they called the teacher.  He said that one of the assistant principals had the plans.  Only it turns out, he said a different assistant principal had them.  Only he didn't have them either.  Finally after an hour and a half, still no sub plans had been located - and the students started arriving.  

In between waiting for people to check with this and that person for the plans, I had tried to figure out where the students might be in their book.  Last week's assignments were on the board, so I tried extrapolating from that to where they would probably be.  I found a page that had a math game and a couple of puzzles, so maybe that would suffice.  Fortunately, there were two aides in the first class.  While the man went to look around to see if he could figure out what the assignment might be, I taught the students Sprouts (the game in the book).  The kids said that they were supposed to finish an assignment in the computer lab, but I had no key to the computer lab.  Across the hall to find someone who might have a key; down the hall to the department chair - she had a key.  Into the computer lab: Geometer's Sketchpad.  I have seen it before, but haven't used it.  Kids have, so they get busy: inscribing and circumscribing circles and triangles.  Fortunately, they seemed to know what they were doing.  Then when they finished, we went back to the classroom to work on the assignment the aide had found (where, I have no idea - no sub plans were ever found, that I know of).  But the rest of the hour went fine.  I could do this assignment.  Yay.

The next hour, was his planning period, so I went back to the computer lab to see if I could do their assignment by myself.  I could do most of it - so that was good.  Then kids started coming in when I thought it was lunch time.  Turns out, they had a different lunch schedule from what I expected (I have no idea why I expected it, because no one had told me which lunch schedule he had.).  At any rate, it was another geometry class, so I just did the same thing we did in the first class: Sprouts, computer lab, assignment.  

All in all, it really wasn't such a bad day.  But, I accidentally left my games notebook in the classroom.  And, they called me to come back for Thursday and Friday.  I would have said no, except, I think it is important to have kids have as few subs as possible, and I need to get my notebook, and, if there are no sub plans tomorrow and Friday, I at least am familiar with some of the routines and can possibly figure stuff out.  

Enough excitement for one day.  Now the funny part.  See next blog entry. 

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