Thursday, November 20, 2008

I was gone Monday morning for a math department meeting and then all day Tuesday to the ISD for a math curriculum team meeting. I had the same sub both days, a very nice retired teacher from our district.

Unfortunately, it was mass chaos while she was there. Some of it, my kids knew better, but other things, were entirely within her control.

She allowed students to take attendance. I am all for giving students responsibility, but we are told over and over again that our attendance book is a legal binding document. Mine was inaccurate as only 7th graders can be expected to make it!

My prealgebra 4th hour class did not even get to go over their homework from the day before to get a chance for questions to be answered because she was too busy talking about hurricanes. Both of my prealgebra classes on their assignment she gave them answers to problems. She didn't work through problems with them, she just simply gave them answers. Several students last hour were so upset they actually starred those problems on their papers with a note.

The classroom was a mess, a disaster area, with garbage, papers, rulers, colored pencils, etc.. all over. This, I scolded my classes for. They know better than to leave our room that way.

The social studies assignment was fairly simple - directions in the teacher's addition said to have students label countries in Europe with name, and then divide them into regions - north, south, east and west according to the clues given in the chapter. She told them to just label countries and color them. A total waste of time.... No higher order thinking at all.

Several students did NOTHING while I was gone. Granted they are the ones who do little when I am there, but at least I try to get them to work. She was excited they had written names on their papers.

I am frustrated with our substitute teacher situation. I have complained and complained but it does no good.

My district expects me to attend these meetings, which are planned months in advance, but instead of securing competent subs, I get the bottom of the barrel. This means the days I am gone are a total waste of educational time. I feel like telling the kids to just not show up when I am going to be gone.

The worst part is when the kids themselves complain. I have no answer for them. How can I defend her actions? Should I?

And, today I have no voice.... laryngitis has set in and all I can do it squeak. As usual, the kids were great, rising to the occasion for the most part. I did have a few issues but none that weren't with the usual suspects. They will have to wait for another post!

No comments: