Friday, November 2, 2007

La petite école rouge

French is a lovely language, as Patti can attest, and what is more quaint than the little red school house? I have been this week in a couple of big (grande) red brick penitentiaries playpens schools. Of course I have been introduced to the charms of middle school, and have had three days of educational bliss there. Yesterdays class was 8th grade math, one good advanced Algebra class interspersed with four Pre-Algebra classes. You can guess which one had the far better behaved students. Today it was 7th grade math, with the same breakdown of one more serious group and four more.


I am starting to recognize students from previous assignments. Of course I remember them by their captivating personalities charisma issues. Yep, it’s issues. Class one today is a small one (19), but had no scarcity of passive aggressive can’t sit still students, loosely speaking. Happily there, I had an assistant. In class two I was assisted by a 7th grade special ed teacher, as there were several special ed students. It had its charms, as you have probably guessed by now.


And so it went. I’ll probably never really be an official teacher in a school system. Yet I expect to take more assignments there, because I have met many fine teachers, paraprofessionals and assistants who are dedicated and nice as well. I wouldn’t pick middle school per se, but the grown-ups are okay there, and I like them. I wonder what went through the school officials minds when the sub in a wheelchair arrived…


I tried a new approach this morning at classes, bellowing this as my greeting: “I am representing the middle school, and as such I AM THE LAW!”. I was probably greeted with more than a few “Yeah, right” comments. I deputized myself. But what kind of a lawman was I? Wyatt Earp or Quick Draw McGraw, minus his lovable sidekick Baba Looey. (Have you ever noticed that the sidekick is usually the smarter of the two)?


I was one day at a local urban High School. This is in a nice town, but the town has a massive change from the urban area next to the core city to a semi-rural area on the other side. Urban is the predominant word for this huge school of 2,400. The security was very evident as all three floors have security personnel with walkie-talkies. All students in the hall must wear their picture IDs. In the hall without signed ‘passports’ can get you kicked out of school that day. Yet, there are students there to learn as well as those who don’t. The Civics students didn’t bother with the sub assignments, but the AP History students did. More of the same, but success can be had by any student willing to work a little bit…


The teachers and security personnel at this HS were very nice, but I wonder what they thought when the sub in a wheelchair arrived…

3 comments:

Lynn said...

Being a sub is tough. Being a sub in a middle school warrants Battle Pay. My hat goes off to you for perservering.

Joan said...

You are one tough lawman, hombre. And it's a good thing with all those desperados you're facing in middle school each day.

the moose buyer said...

being a teacher is tough to say the least and I have always said from when my kid was in Jr high that they should trap the kids in the school, put a moat around so they can't get out and keep them there until high school.

I don't even you even trying to reach these kids but I do give you a ton of credit.