As my loyal readers know, I have been trying to sub in my building whenever possible. Not only is it good money (and fills the empty periods I have in my schedule), it shows me to be a team player. I feel that the more I am seen around the building, the more indispensible I am, the better my chances are of having a job next year.
This past Friday I taught 2nd period. I was scheduled to sub for someone in my department who had an IEP Meeting for 4th. For 4th she had Resource, which for all intents and purposes is study hall for SPED kids. No problem. I knew most of the students. Soon after I arrived at school, my cell phone rang. It was the Principal’s Secretary. She wanted to know if I could sub 6th and 8th. As I always do, when she asks (and I’m free), I said yes. A bit later I headed down to the office to find out where I was subbing.
Imagine how surprised I was when I discovered I would be subbing for Woodworking. The last time I was in a Woodworking Shop was when I was a student at Marquardt Middle School (in Glendale Heights, IL). What did I know about Woodworking? Absolutely nothing.
Thankfully, I was wearing jeans (Friday is “Spirit Day” – I’m not sure if it is official or unofficial, but the Principal gave every employee 2 collard shirts – nice ones – and it seems that while they can be worn any day, much of the staff wears them on Friday). Unfortunately, I was wearing heeled boots. Not the best choice for walking on sawdust.
The first class was Woodworking II. This meant that the kids knew what they were doing and I just had to be there to supervise and take attendance. One of my students was in the class. That student had been MIA for several weeks (truant) and had only returned to class the day before. Part way through the class, I realized that the student I knew was no longer there. Now, the wood shop was designed so there was a back work area where you couldn’t see the door. I had been asked if I could hold a side of a project while a student was inserting the screws. It was a 2-3 person job. I helped. But now I am wondering if I was set up because it was immediately after this that I noticed that I was missing students.
So, I pondered my options for a moment. It hit me, I could take attendance at the end of the period. That would tell me which students were no longer in the room. So, about 5 minutes before the students were to start cleaning up, I walked around the room and took attendance again. Sure enough 2 students were missing. I emailed the Principal’s Secretary and copied in the Woods teacher.
It is amazing to me that my student decided to leave class. Did he think that I was stupid enough that I would notice he was gone? Maybe? More likely, he didn’t care about the consequences.
Class ended. No injuries. I considered it a success. Only one class to go.
(More to come in Whoopee: Substituting in Woodworking Part 2)