Friday, February 11, 2011

Recent Substitutions

I've had a few jobs as a substitute recently, and they've almost all been interesting.  I am enjoying meeting all of these administrators and neighboring teachers and think I've been leaving good impressions.

I just got home from my first time subbing back at the district where I was a student teacher.  I subbed for Mrs. D, in fact.  Many students and staff were very happy to see me in the school again, and those who did not yet know me (most of the MS students I had, in fact) accepted me quickly.  Maybe it was because I was wearing a very colorful bow tie.  The tie itself got a lot of attention today, all positive.

In one humorous moment, I was beginning class and an introduction of myself when I noticed that in the back corner of the room a boy was leaning way back in his seat, with the hood of his sweatshirt over his eyes, allowing him to just barely see me with his head tilted back and resting on his chair, his legs sprawled, and his arms crossed.  I paused for a moment (everyone was paying good attention), looking at him, and then said "What, are you trying to intimidate me?"  There were some giggles, even from him, but then I said, "Because you just can't intimidate a guy with a bow tie."  Everyone laughed, including this boy as he sat up and removed his hood.  My joke barely makes sense (something about self-confidence, I guess?) but it worked anyway.

I also keep telling this story: During my first day substituting, a 7th grade boy asked a music question (during music class).  I answered his question and the boy next to him looked at me and said, "Are you smart?"  Quickly think of what you'd say to that.  "Yes, I'm a teacher," was tempting, but he and I have both had unintelligent teachers, I'm sure.  I said "I'll let you decide that one."  I think that was a splendidly unabashed question, and it totally caught me off guard.

At this point I'm substituting for many districts.  I also just heard from a friend about a substitute finding system that many other districts are clients of, and that he's been subbing more than me because of it.  I don't know how my college's education department thinks they're helping graduates find jobs if they haven't even informed us about this simple, popular, local opportunity.  I'm a little bit bitter, but will sign up with them next week.

I just got a call from a local independent school that I've worked with in the past asking me to apply for a very proximal long-term substitute position for their older math.  Hmm.  I think I will probably try that.  Other job opportunities: nearby short-term choral position, rumor of at least one upcoming local full-time music position, a full-time in WI, and a full-time in CA.

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