Tag Archives: teaching

Friday Fun – Let the Good Times Roll

Hilary at Feeling Beachie says it is time for some Friday Fun!  I’m in.  I’m all about the good time.   After you read, I’m sure you will agree.

Just today I had more fun than one individual should be allowed by law.  In fact, when word of my day spreads, I’m sure there will be an investigation.  You can’t go willy-nilly  living your life in such a wildin your face manner without expecting to pay the piper.  I mean, what would become of society.  We’re already in a world of hurt, state of utter mayhem, so please, after you read, keep it under wraps…please?  And thank you.

Okay, okay, I’ll stop baiting you and just get on with it.  I’m sorry I cannot give out my personal information such as address and phone numbers so you could come cavorting but like I said, we don’t need any authorities involved.  Okay, enough teasing…here goes.  Hold on to your hat!

Well, TWICE, yes I said TWICE this week I was the substitute librarian at the school.  I got to use the cool checker inner thingy.  LOVE that thing!  And I got to read to little people.  I even got a round of applause.  Yay me!  Not too bad, if I do say so myself.  They loved my dramatic interpretation of “Arthur’s Big Valentine”.    Eat your heart out, Shakespeare!

So today, with Johnny in tow, I make my grand entrance into the school.  All ready to use the checker inner thingy, sip some coffee, practice the Dewey Decimal System,  then make a dash and get Johnny to his school.  Like I said, too much fun, is just that…too much.  And just as I expected the authorities got all involved.  Yep, that’s right…The Vice Principal.  Not the total Big Guns, but big enough to know the party was over.  Cause she was waiting to inform me, that NO, I was not going to sip coffee and recite the Dewey Decimal System.  And forget about the checker inner thingy.

She told me to pack it up, cause, I was going to… say it isn’t so… to TEACH MIDDLE SCHOOL GRAMMAR.  Like I was tolding you say it ain’t so!  Just like that, without warning, I was sacrificed to the Middle School Wing where all I could see for miles (well, maybe feet) were a whole lot of kids a whole lot taller than ME!

That’s okay, though, I walk small but carry a mean stick.

And after a short time it was pretty clear that not much has changed in the Middle School classroom since I was on the other side of the desk, a few too many years ago to mention.  Yep, the game, pull one over on the sub is still alive and well.

Problem for them, I KNOW ALL THEIR NAMES.  My kid is in their class and  I know their parents phone numbers!  So, WHY, would they think I would not notice if they all sat in a different seat.  I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but I can read a seating chart!  Geesh, some credit please!  Or like I told them…and I thought you were smart kids.

Oh yeah, and kids, if what you claimed were the teachers rules, NOBODY would hate Middle School…EVER!  Despite the social torture… with that kind of resort classroom environment, everyone would be so darn happy, having so much fun, there wouldn’t be time to mentally torture your peers!

Heck, maybe I would have even liked Middle School and even my Dear ol Dad said he never wanted me back in Middle School.  Guess I was just that delightful.  But I digress…

And another piece of exciting news…again…don’t tell the fun police…IT’S OFFICIAL… After today, I have officially subbed in every grade in the school.  From pre-school to 8th grade.  Now that’s a solid resume, right there.  But, alas, you know what they say, Jack of all trades, master of none.  Guess the party’s over.

But not until I get to the Four Friday Fill In…

This week’s statements:
1. Sometimes I _____ that is why______
2. All I ___________ for ______________ is ____________.
3. I _____________ therefore ____________.
4. McDonalds’ is _______________ and ______________.

What I have to say about all of this fun

1.  Sometimes I can’t get enough of a good time that is why I substitute teach.

2.  All I ever wanted for myself is to enjoy what I do all day.

3.  I am a twisted individual therefore I have a twisted idea of what is an enjoyable day.

4.  McDonalds’ is a perfect example of a horrible meal and I am in their drive thru on a regular basis.  Not proud, it’s just the facts.  And remember, I said I’m all about a good time.

So, with that in mind…HAVE A DRINK ON ME and LET THE GOOD TIME’S ROLL!  McDonald’s diet cokes for everyone!!!!

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Naked truth – Friday Fun

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It’s Friday!!  And you know what that means?  Well, for some of you free and easy types it might mean HAPPY HOUR!  For me, weeellll, it’s kind of just an extension of M,T,W and Thurs, except I don’t have to do the homework drill and I rarely cook.  Also, there is usually several back to back episodes of Lock-Up, so I got that going for me.

I did officially work today I subbed in second grade (more on that another time, stay tuned.).  So, I guess that entitles me to a little bit of the vino.  Or after teaching the phrase, “Clothe the Naked.”   A lot of vino.  Like I said last week, I don’t have a wimpy bone in my body.  That lesson proved it.

My point, really, is that today is Four Friday Fill In Fun  with Hilary at Feeling Beachie.  I had an epiphany while I was subbing today (and playing Hangman) and my mind was wondering (it does that) that this is a little like HangMan for Bloggers.  I’m in!

This week’s statements:

1. When I __ I ___
2. It is pretty funny that ____
3. It may be strange but ___
4. How ______ made me ______.

Where do I begin?

1.  When I substitute teach, I always learn what NOT to do.  For example, and trust me on this, NEVER, ever, ever, ask a class a question that contains the word NAKED.  Trust me, just don’t.

2.  It is pretty funny that I when I was in 20’s, I couldn’t do a push up or run more than a mile.  Now I’m, let’s just say about double that and I can do push-ups and run 13 miles.

3.  It may be strange but I put my ice cream in the microwave before I eat it.  And I prefer to eat ice-cream alone.

4.  How I passive aggressive The Big Brother’s second grade teacher was to him made me a better teacher.  I always try to remember, “you may be making me crazy, but you are SOMEBODIES baby.”  I try to always respect that.

Number three makes me sound crazy but if you saw, you would prefer I eat ice cream alone to.

Happy Friday.  Have a drink on me!

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Cape, please…

super sub teacherCareer woman…that’s me!  I have an illustrious career as a SUBSTITUTE TEACHER.  In the Catholic School, no less, so you KNOW I am making some pretty big bank.  Making bank–makes me sound pretty cool, huh?  Except the fact that I just used the word cool, pretty much clues you into the fact that I–am NOT!  I am okay with that…really.  I gave up that ghostlong time ago.  That…and any clothing item with the word skinny included.

Why, Substitute teaching?  Weelll, I kind of like it.  You’re like a Super Hero.  Coming in and saving the day, and the school, from potential chaos and collapse when Mrs. Regular Teacher has a sudden emergency.  You get to slap on your temporary I.D., sensible shoes, practical outfit, hop into your Super Hero Mini-Van and you are off to save the day.  Oh yeah, and shape and model young minds.  That took it a little far, huh?

Actually, I have learned A LOT substitute teaching.  Like,  I can think on my feet like nobodies business.  For example, the day the music teacher left lesson plans that called for an I-Pad.  Uh, problem, not an I-Pad to be found.  Solution…talent show.  Those kids are NOT shy.  Just have to remember next time to set better ground rules.  No hand springs or jokes that begin with…”So, these 2 guys went into a bar.”  But impressive talent.  Note to self, get The Brothers piano lessons.

And those notes the teachers leave to tell me who is line leader, etc.  Totally, not necessary.   I sub a lot in first grade and kindergarten.  Those kiddos are power-hungry and control freaks.  They give me that info before we walk through the door.

Lesson number TWO… I wish I would have paid better attention in math class.  Although I can think on my feet, it stinks when I have to use it to cover up that potentially 80% of the room knows way more than I do.

Oh yeah, and if anybody wants my opinion, technology is over-rated.  The smart board, weelll, turns out that stands for you have to be really smart to use it in the first place.  I had a student try to comfort me with the fact that, “It’s okay, my Mom had to go to a 2-day class to learn to use it.”  Thanks, kid.  I say, BRING BACK THE CHALK BOARD!  Those kids LOVE jobs.  If they think line leader is where it is at, they haven’t lived until they have cleaned erasers.

Also, the chalk board never requires a new bulb or a password that I can never remember.  Plus I have to admit, I love writing on a chalkboard.

Catholic school or not, those kids are a rough crowd.  You screw up once, and they are ALL OVER YOU!!  THAT’S NOT HOW MRS. REGULAR TEACHER DOES IT!!  “Yeah, well, do you see her here?”  Actually, that is just my inside voice.

They are pretty cool to.  Like the day an entire 3rd grade class took pity as we banded together to help Mrs. Substitute Teacher figure out the smart board.  Or in kindergarten someone usually throws you a bone and declares their feelings of utter joy that you are their teacher that day with a big gluey hug.   Weelll, just as long as I don’t screw up their schedule.

Today I took my life in my own hands and ventured into a complete new substitute teacher category…Pre-School.  They may look cute enough.  But they are the toughest of the tough.  I stood with a big, pre-school teacher smile, complete with sweet, peppy voice when one-by-one, I was greeted with, “Who are YOU?”  And their voice was not so sweet.  I was banished from “center” after “center” as I tried to find my place.  I was not wanted in the “kitchen”.  For the tea party I was admonished when I tried to “enjoy” my plastic cookie.  “It’s not time to eat yet, I’ll call you when it is.”

On I go to the lego table where I am flat-out told that “no, he did NOT like what I built.  And ripped it from my hands to show me the right way to do it.  I didn’t tell him, nobody likes a know it all!

Then I move to the sensory table.  Those kiddos were mesmerized by the corn meal flowing through their fingers…they didn’t even pay me the time of day!  I had had enough rejection, I moved on.

You want to know what you DON’T KNOW, go to pre-school.  For instance, I was so excited when the felt board was pulled out.  I remember thinking those were the BEST.  I did not hesitate to jump right in with Little “Joe” for some bonding and felt snowman making.  This was my place, I’ll be welcomed here!  I thought…WRONG.  Turns out, according to “Joe”  I actually stink at making felt snowman, and mine were immediately discarded.  Just because he made a felt snowman gerbil, he thought he was all that.

I felt badly though.  Turns out this snowman gerbil was made to pay homage to his Dear Departed gerbil who had moved on to a better place.  “I’m sorry”, I said, when he shared this sad tale with me.  “That’s okay, it wasn’t YOUR fault.”  Thanks, kid.

Snack time…NOW we’re talking.  I could pass that subject any time, any day, any grade.  WRONG…so excited that I received a personal invite to sit with the girls.  I happily pull out my orange.  “That’s your snack?”, they said, noses curled.  WOW!  I want my Mommy!

The best part of Substitute Teaching in a school with a crucifix in every room.  Instant behavior modification.  Just look at the kid, point at the cross and stick out your lower lip and declare, “would HE want you to behave this way.”  So, I guess, the biggest lesson I have learned…if you can’t beat em, join em….EXTRA RECESS?…anyone?anyone?

In the meantime, I will just press my cape.

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That’s the Facts

“There’s a time you got to go and show 
You’re growin’ now you know about 
The Facts of Life, the Facts of Life. 

When the world never seems 
to be livin up to your dreams 
And suddenly you’re finding out 
the Facts of Life are all about you, you. “

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/

I feel the need to follow-up on what I will now refer to as “The pants incident.”  Dear reader,  if you are lost please refer to my previous post, entitled, most appropriately, “Keep your pants on……literally.”

So………………this morning I send Johnny off to school feeling pretty confident that all pants will remain in their proper position.  One, because The Captain and I gave extensive speeches last night on keeping your privates, well, private.  I thought we did some pretty darn good parenting.  However, I have to humbly admit that what Johnny probably heard was much like Charlie Brown  when he was lectured.  So……let’s just say what his primary motivation for proper pants placement…………..you guessed it……………the stop in your tracks fear of spending the rest of the school year sentenced to the daily wearing of church pants.  Yep, I believe that little behavior modification was the supreme motivator.  Mom and Dad can go away for the school day………church pants………not so much.

Johnny kept this information fresh in his mind.  Yeeeeaaaaah, Mom…………………only one glitch……………I seem to have missed a very important notice that came home from school.  The one informing me that beginning TODAY, Johnny’s class would begin discussing………….say it isn’t so……………….. THE FACTS OF LIFE!!! (que music).

Yes, he is at that age……..much to my chagrin,  and as much as I prefer to……………I know I must keep my head out of the sand and Mom up.  Oh……….and pay better attention to the papers coming home.

I got to school to pick him up…………….he was standing at the door with his teacher…………not a good sign……ever!  Guess the “Facts of Life” was about as big a hit as algebra.  My Johnny is a literal man.  You do not tell him one day to keep it all private and then the next expect him to remain calm when what he is to keep covered is now PLASTERED ALL OVER A POWER POINT.  From all reports not a pretty scene.  Can you blame him?  Guess it’s hard for all to focus when Johnny is bellowing what all the other boys are  thinking, “GET ME OUT OF HERE, I DON’T LIKE THIS, I’M UNCOMFORTABLE.”  

Teacher’s suggestion……………..modified Facts of Life………….wonder what that leaves out.

Walking to the car…………..Johnny trailing behind pleading, “I can’t take that class, I can’t talk about puberty, I’M NOT EVEN A TEENAGER!!!  Good point, Johnny, Good point…………………now, let’s go find some sand………….. I feel the need to bury my head.

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Keep your pants on…LITERALLY

Mommy’s Brave Face

Today I will be writing under the heading, “Never a dull moment” or better………… perhaps…………….., “The Once Again Futile Attempt to fly under the proverbial radar.”  Yeeeepppp……………………..I think that sums it up.  But Blessed are the Brief, so I will sum it up like this………………DRINK PLEASE!!

I get it, I know…………..Life is not easy and No One ever said it was, Life is not fair either and yeah, yeah………..I know…………..Sweet Darlin, no one ever promised you a rose garden.  I think roses aren’t actually necessary,  and at this point I would settle for some garden variety marigolds or even some of those pretty little white “flowers” we used to make “necklaces” out of when we were little.  But I digress…………………..

Anywhooo………………… with all of this knowledge of  ease and fairness, I ask you Dear Reader…………………can’t some things be easy, even a given……….like getting your kids to do the basics…………………you know, homework, brush their teeth, KEEP THEIR PANTS ON AT SCHOOL!!!!!!!

As I have said before, Johnny has been in school for a LOOOONNNNG time.  About 8 years now.  I like to think we got this down.  We know the ropes, when I tell him, “have a good day”, I suppose I should not have neglected to mention……………….AND KEEP YOUR PANTS PROPERLY FASTENED AROUND YOUR WAIST!!!!!!!!!!!  If you have a child that instinctively does this……………..GOD BLESS YOU, cause if you, like me, can’t always take the basics for granted, you are either laughing at me or crying with me, cause you know of the fun I speak.  I have said it before, I say it again………….Autism is the gift that keeps giving………one surprise after another.  It is not for the faint of heart, that is for sure, no matter your place on the spectrum.

What behavior modification technique did I utilize to reinforce the desired behavior.  Weeellllll, I dug deep into my vast wealth of behavior modification and came up with the following pearls of behavior wisdom……………………”JOHNNY! if you do that again in school you will have to wear church clothes with buttons, hooks and belts EVERY DAY!!!”

Yep, I did it, I went with scare tactics.  Sometimes operating on fear gets sold short.

Johnny’s response – Got it.

Me – Good.  And like I never met Johnny before……………… I just had to do it, ask that one question that I know better than asking………………..why Johnny?

Johnny – Cause my brain sometimes tells me to do dumb things……….(he looks at my glaring face, recalls the closet full of khaki pants and belts and re-considers)………….but I think now my mind just told my brain that we have learned our lesson.  Good Team Work, Johnny, Good Team Work.

Now Johnny, do Mommy a favor………………have your mind tell your brain to give your Mommy a break…………. or a drink…………all under the radar, of course.

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Fuzzy Math

Fuzzy Math…………. yeah that’s what it is

Thirty days have September, April, June and November.  Or something like that.  My confidence in my basics has been shaken.  I feel like going back to the doors of ol Cookson Elementary and demanding to speak to whoever deemed me proficient and punched my exit ticket.  Thus leading to about ten additional years of academia delusions.

You know…………the years when I would boast of all my success.  I was all like listen to me…………….I can add……………1+1 is 3, 2+2 is 5.  After that, I would really pull out the stops……………….Oh yeah, I can count………wait………….I can count to.  And when it came time to find x, I didn’t leave a stone unturned.  I knocked on every door to find that little bugger.  Turns out, x was off with y somewhere looking for an angle or something.  I never got the chance to shock the masses with these academic gifts.   Being so in awe of my math facts they left, possibly to go home and ponder the wonder of my abilities.

Weeeellllllllllll, at least that is what I am beginning to think happened…….

Dear reader, this, in fact, is what I must confess……….I failed to do “the math.”   Here I was tooting my horn, waving my blogging flag.  Believing this could be my moment, my month.   The month I amass “potentially” thousands of new readers.  You know how?  Well, like I have been saying all month………….”I am participating in NaBloPoMo, an event on Blogher in which I write THIRTY Posts in THIRTY DAYS!!!!”  Great idea, I’m in, what an AMAZING opportunity………………am I right?

I wasn’t too worried about this committment…………cause weekend were for FREE WRITING.  You know, I thought, I could really use those two days off to re-fresh my brain, renew my creativity, work on other projects……………….laundry perhaps.

So, off I go, writing like Hemingway.  Conquering the world of blogging, amassing readers by the day.  Then I notice something kind of funny……………the fine print.  Turns out it wasn’t weekends WRITING FREE……..DUUHHHHHHHHHH……………….FREE WRITING……………pick my topic (not my nose) that kind of thing.

I did think it was kind of funny.  Posting Day 20 with only a few days left in October.  But…………hey……………..I’ll just chalk it up to fuzzy math.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

And now, for my public plea……………….might be in need of a math tutor…………for The Brothers, of course.

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Image is Everything?

Who I “think” I am

“Image is Everything.”  Isn’t that right……………isn’t that what they say.  I don’t know, I’m like The Little Brother, I’m having  a good time in the world in my head.  Hey, what’s not to like.  Look at me.  I mean, I clearly have it going on.  Good taste, sophistication, and talent…………oh yes, let’s not forget talent.  Not to brag………… but I have been known to walk and chew gum at the same time.

What am I pondering today?  “How much thought do I put into my online image.”  The truth is……………well let me just give a little bit of my day and you can judge.

In interest of keeping up my image, I substitute teach.  I have no specialty, so to speakbut I generally stay below 6th grade.  Today, in the interest of my image, I was the Music Teacher.  And no, I have pretty much no music experience.  Well, that is, unless you count the unfortunate six years I spent playing the clarinet.

With no lesson plan to speak of, I, you might say, wong it!  I sang, and I’m NO SINGER.   Saints were crying when  they heard my rendition  of When the Saints go Marching In.  I mean there are some students whose hearing may never be right again.  No bucket, no tune, you might say.  And I danced.   I have moves like……………..weeellllll, like no one, actually.  See, I’m not much of a dancer either.  Never really graduated past standing on my Dad’s feet as he danced around (Now, HE was an excellent dancer).  Me……..not so much.

So…………………..as I reflected on my day and the thought I put into my image, online or otherwise, I was reminded of a saying.  “Don’t want to go through life with your skirt tucked into your pantyhose.”  Readers, I’m afraid I might have received these words of wisdom……………….just a bit late.

Actual Image?

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Reading, Writing………and History!

So……Johnny has been studying Colonial times and the Revolutionary War.  His mind is a steel trap when it comes to this.  Anything involving weapons, fighting, he’s in.  He also has his own tools to remember………fancy they are not…………….effecitve……… why yes.  For example, why didn’t America want to be ruled by the British King?  According to Johnny…………”Cause he was a BIG JERK!”  Now, I ask you, whatHISTORY SCHOLARis going to argue with Johnny about that.

Last week, Johnny got his test back on the Revolutionary War.      A PLUS………………That boy knew his stuff.

Flash forward TWO DAYS………………..bummer news……………he had to read an article on George Washington and answer about 5 questions.  Grade = Correct, have signed by your parents and return for a……….can hardly type it…………..C.  Well………in all fairness, I think Mommy was the only one bummed.  (It’s good to be Johnny, good tephlon coating on that boy).

Me:  Johnny, What happened here?

Johnny:  I don’t know, I think her teacher messed up and forgot the right answers.  (Students everywhere should pay him homage for this response)  Pointing to an incorrect answer, “George Washington DID help in the French and Indian War.”

Me:  Yes, BUT, the question was What TWO WARS did he fight in?

Johnny:  I GOT IT RIGHT, IT WAS THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR!!!!

Me:  Johhny, THAT was ONE War!

Johnny:  (Getting really annoyed) NOOO!  IT WAS TWO, THE TEACHER WAS…………………WRONG!!!!!!!

Me (very calm):  It was TWO.

Johnny:  Yeah!  Well………Then they should have called it the FRENCH, SLASH, INDIAN WAR! (French/Indian).

Aaaahhhhhhh……….Perhaps my new title………….”History According to John.”

Coming soon……………..Johnny was just assigned a research paper.  Looooorrrddd and Tutor Help Me!  He chose Robert E. Lee.  Sooooo………..stand by People…………….The South MIGHT rise again……………Well………..That is, if Johnny has anything to say about it….

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