Monthly Archives: September, 2016

Teaching Notes

Thoughts I had during the day.

8AM I considered asking UberEats to deliver a coffee to the third floor of the charter high school  I was subbing for that day…only to go down a level and order “acceptable” coffee for $.55  during my break.  I had weighed my finances. I mentally upgraded the teaching lounge coffee to “acceptable” and made small talk with a Phys. Ed teacher. My salad from home was dry.

Fourth Period:

At what point do teachers become desensitized? I taught a 17 year old mother of two long division and got her to smile. I suggested she watch “Homeless to Harvard” sometime for inspiration. A troubled ninth grader actually managed to solve a few problems without throwing a fit. A sweet natured tenth grader fetched me water and I helped a sullen sophomore believe in himself. My teachers inspired me to teach. One even ultimately adopted a student. I can see myself one day adopting an adolescent.

Fifth Period. Three curious boys ask about how much I make. I give them a ballpark figure but tell them with an M.A and with more hard work, I would be making more. “My uncle makes bank!” one of them tells me. They ask me how much I could expect to make after ten years of teaching. I give them the highest figure I can. “Damn!” they  respond. Another asks why I don’t hand out candy. “Because there might be diabetics.” “But miss, we’re all diabetic!” one of them complains. From a purely observational point of view of the higher than average BMI, I would not be the least bit surprised. One of them complains about how Michelle Obama ruined their lunches and now their lunches have no taste. Well…I have nothing to say there.

One of my more humorous moments in teaching came from my first time subbing at a middle school. Those kids are fun but hard work. Key word: Classroom Management.  A security officer had the best classroom management skills. As soon as he entered a classroom, the kids were silent. I was teaching the kids what a “strong claim” was and how to use “evidence” to back it up. I had them write down 5 claims about anything as long as they used evidence. I used the good-natured security officer as an example. Sample claim: “Mr. ___ is cool.” I said that was an opinion. But I wanted them to back it up with evidence anyways. The girl responded, “Because he has a cool mustache.” The class giggled. I then asked how they knew whether he was a security officer. One responded “By what he’s wearing…” I asked for them to be more detailed. “By his…badge?” Cue positive reinforcement. Another student then said “Well then how do we know he’s really a security officer and not a phony?” I opened that up for discussion. Another student said “Well you need evidence to back that up.” Another said “Maybe he bought his uniform off of Ebay!” Then, pandemonium. Even Mr. ___ with his thin mustache found humor in the very idea of himself going through the trouble of buying a work uniform just to work around 12 year olds all day.

My grandfather would be a great teacher. He took the liberty of writing out a 3 page lesson plan just on black holes, Einstein, and physics 101 for the kids tomorrow. Now if only I could get a wig, dress and anti-aging makeup for every time he did this.






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