Thursday, October 15, 2009


At the high school I've been subbing at I turn in attendance using their student numbers instead of names. Not sure why. When I was in school we had Jason A Smith and Jason B Smith and we never had any problems.

I took attendance and a good fifteen minutes I heard some commotion over whether someone was marked absent.
"Did you mark me absent?!"
"I don't know, who are you?"
"Did you call my name?"
"Again, I don't know. Who are you?"
"Jose. You have to say it HO-Ssay!"
Laughing, I reply, "Ok HO-SSay, are you here?"
"Yeah I'm here!"
"Ok, What's your number?" I"m pretty sure I clarified after that with 'student number.'
Innocently he asks, "Why? Are you going to call me?"
"Your student number!" a giggling class replies.
"Oh!" He gave me his student number....followed by his phone number.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Make Your Day program

In my previous life as a visiting teacher (not much changes, does it?) I had seen classrooms use Make Your Day discipline system. I didn't like it.

Basically, the program says you chose how your day goes and that no one has the right to interrupt another's learning or safety. There are various steps that the students move through. At Step 1, the teacher walks up to the disruptive student, tells them they have chosen step 1 for X behavior. The student goes and sits in a chair and FACES THE WALL! After less than 5 minutes, the teacher walks up to the student, without touching or looking at them, asks the student if they know how they chose step 1. Then the student is asked if they are ready to return to their desk.

If the student is unable to sit and face the wall for five minutes, they move to step 2 where they STAND FACING THE WALL! I don't know what the next step or two is but the final one is a call home and parent pick up.

At the end of class, the teacher has to take five minutes out of instruction time to go through the class list and have all the students state how many points they earned out of 45. If they say less than 45, they must state why. For example, "43 for being off task." Students are pretty honest here. They have to have some average for the week. I don't know what the consequence is if they don't.

Today was my first day implementing the program. I was in middle school language arts and social studies classes. Most of my students were great, but those that weren't really weren't. And let me tell you, the Make Your Day program did not work. I had two students 7th period who really needed to get the Hell out of my classroom. How many times do you send a kid to sit facing a wall? I spent so much time sending those kids to step 1 and telling them to ignore each other that I neglected other students who needed my help and were asking for attention appropriately.

Currently, not a fan of this system.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Second sub job

On Thursday, I became an official subistute (according to my name badge) in my second district. Friday, I had my first job in that a high school science class.

I had a couple anxiety dreams about fights breaking out. As I looked at the schedule in the office I panicked when I saw that I had biology and the dreaded chemistry. I received a D in chemistry in high school. I was relieved when the teacher had left two movies for me to show.

The kids were great! It's so much easier to shoot a look at a high schooler and have them know exactly what behavior they need to adjust than to walk over and discuss behavior with a second grader. I can get them to stop talking by telling them they can flirt at lunch. How embarrassing to be accused of flirting! I can get a different flirter to stop picking on a girl by asking him to be a gentleman and pick up the paper he flicked onto the ground. It's fantastic!

At the end of the day, I did find some paper airplanes in the front of the room. Whatever. They did the assignment. What harm are a couple of paper airplanes?

Monday is middle school!