Saturday, March 14, 2009

Math Land

Friday was my first taste of subbing at the high school - and it could not have been more anticlimactic. I was stalking Sub Online while making dinner Thursday night (most school districts around here use an online substitute job assignment system, where teachers enter the information for the sub they need, and then substitutes select the jobs they'd like to take) when a high school job popped up. Before I even finished reading it, I jumped at the chance and committed to the job. Only after that did I read that I'd agreed to be "Roving Substitute #1"... whatever the heck that meant.

Turns out, it means the Anacortes School District paid me to be a warm body for the day. The story was that a math expert was going to be observing various math classes throughout the day. After she (Chris) finished watching the teacher, she would meet with him or her for the last 10 minutes of class in order to debrief and share her notes. I would then serve as the warm body substitute teacher for the final 10 minutes of the class (hence the uber-impressive title of "roving sub"). Kid you not - I got paid $100 to basically follow this woman around all day and then stand in a classroom with 15-20 students while they finished their homework.

It gets worse though - I didn't even need to be there for most of the day! I showed up in the office at 7am. The first period began at 7:30 so I had wanted to make sure I was early enough to figure out what was going on. I proceeded to sit in the office and gossip with the secretaries for over an hour, while the math expert was MIA (I did get the scoop on the boys basketball team that had lost their game at the state tournament the night before, as well as a round-up of the school play, a debate over whether the plant in the office could be resuscitated or should just be pitched, and the weather forecast for the weekend - rainy).

The math expert finally showed up at 8:15 explaining that her first period appointment had been canceled (couldn't she have called the office?). Second period I spent 12 minutes playing MATH-O with slackers who were more interested in winning candy than learning math. Third period was homework babysitting; fourth period she had no appointment; so I observed a different math class for shits and giggles; fifth period I spent reading in the library, and by the time I checked in with Chris at the end of fifth period, she told me she was done for the day and that I could go home!

I know I shouldn't complain about being paid to barely do any work and go home early, but it was super duper boring. I did meet many nice teachers (they were very friendly... sort of like cheerful elementary teachers but without perfectly coifed hair or sensible shoes), so hopefully in the future I'll be able to get real sub jobs there, but the day was fairly underwhelming. High school students here are very similar to the Wisconsin variety, except there seem to be more boys confident enough to wear skinny jeans :)


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