Sunday, October 30, 2011


Eesh. I had to go to a PLTW meeting last week and had a substitute for the whole day. First of all was the planning and me being a last-minute person. I was at school from 6pm - 9pm the night before getting ready ... THEN had dinner. STARVING. Anyway, that told me a couple of things I didn't realize or never stopped to count. I guess it takes about 3 hours every day to plan for the day and make it happen. Then when I added it up, it wasn't too far off.

I get to school at about 7:15 and plan and prep until 9:15. Then in my early off period I do more prep. Of course there are interruptions and such, but sheesh, I never counted it all up before.

But, I really wanted to process the substitute experience, and how you can't plan for EVERYTHING, or maybe it's just me who can't remember everything. I am patting myself on the back because I remembered to tell him my bathroom policy, so there would be no issues. I DIDN'T remember to tell him about my food policy because it's not something on my mind .... and that's kind of ironic because the whole time I was at school that night I was STARVING (in case I haven't mentioned that yet).

I don't mind kids discretely eating snacks in my class as long as it's not distracting, and they clean up after themselves, and they're tuned into me, and it's healthy-ish. If it ever is a problem, I speak with the student and deal with it (which rarely happens). Well, I forgot to put this on my plans, and the substitute had a "no eating in class policy" apparently, and my students were not used to it, and he made some students throw out their food and put away the other food.

Next, I put something in my plans about either him going over the homework key or having students come up and explain. Again, silly me, since I'm such a control freak and always present the key (mostly for time sake), it didn't occur to me he might choose the OTHER option of students doing it. Well, apparently, this took 2 or 3 times as long, and then they didn't have enough class time to do the lesson. The reason I put that in the plans was in case there was a problem that someone needed an explanation for, then the students could elaborate. Of course this was all in my head, and apparently, the substitute is not a mind reader.

Anyway, I heard ALL about this from my students when I got back, and we commiserated. But. I had to tell them that being a substitute is SUPER hard, and they're not treated very nice, and YES, when they're in the room, it IS their classroom.

On an AWESOME note. My 10th grade (on level) geometry class kept informing me via e-mail or after I got back that they had a BIG argument about one of my truth table problem solutions. They were convinced I was wrong and had a big discussion about it in class. YAY! They were actually right, and I love it that they were confident enough in the topic to recognize my mistake as opposed to quietly assuming they were wrong and passively writing down my answer.


  1. Over here in Singapore my students are so stressed and hard pressed for time they often skip meals (which isn't in the least healthy). I always let them know they are free to munch on something during my lessons should their stomachs start to growl, but most won't do it out of basic respect-perhaps its due to the asian culture and upbringing.

  2. How interesting different cultures and countries are. What's accepted and okay in one part of the world is considered not okay in others.

  3. Perhaps that is one of the small differences. However the advent of the internet and social media in recent years is slowly changing values( more of erosion rather than improvement ) and perspectives. Singaporean kids are getting more outspoken and brash, sometimes getting too smart for their own good. I do have to rein them in at times.
    New age calls for new teaching methods.

  4. Martisa Vignali5:43 PM

    In one of my quilts, I tried to get the students to guess which transformation they saw. They all picked it out. There was a rotation 90% clockwise. Quilt designs are great for asking about reflection, rotation, and translation.