Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hellfire as an Educational Tool

I've been subbing in high schools yesterday and today.  For all you bloggers out there who have had comments from me two seconds after you posted, don't be creeped out, I'm bored and I'm just staring at Google reader waiting for something new to happen.

High school subbing is like war, or policework.  It's incredibly boring with brief moments of terror, then it's boring again.  Most of the teachers tell me to take attendance, then give them a worksheet and let them work.  Zzzzzzz.....  Excuse me, I AM a teacher you know, fully licensed and everything, I COULD teach them something.  Wait, what?  Math class?  Oh forget what I said, give me the worksheet.

Yesterday I taught at the good high school with the nice kids in the "bad" part of town and it was great, and today I'm at the shitty high school on the hill. It's amazing how schools with basically the same kids can be so different.  Third period seemed to last 47 hours because the kids were so OBNOXIOUS.  Not only that, but there was a newly-graduated-from-college-with-a-degree-in-teaching, middle-aged woman who was subbing for the aide.  She had all kinds of ideas for me for getting them to behave like human beings.  "Maybe if you tried [this]... maybe if you tried [that].  How about this: they know what they are supposed to do, I spelled it out in excruciating detail and if they choose to act like animals I will just write their names down and let their teacher deal with it tomorrow.

When I was a full-time teacher I threatened the kids with torture and grim death if they were mean to the sub. If I got a bad report, for the forseeable future the offending students were MISERABLE because their teacher (me) was an unbearable HARPY-DEMON FROM HELL.

You called Mrs. Larsen a What?

I would make them write letters of apology to the sub, then they would write humiliatingly detailed letters to their parents telling of their behavior for the sub (lots of good writing and rewriting practice), there would be a review of their contract for going to the school (alternative high school), there would be CONSTANT, IRRITATING reminders of how they acted last time there was a sub.  Sometimes after this happened I would come to school and tell them that I was terribly sick, but I didn't want to subject another sub to them (you know, because of what happened last time...) so I was just going tough it out (cough cough).  Too bad, because I really should be home in bed (cough cough).  I hope I don't get pneumonia, (cough cough).  And then I'd turn into the devil and give them a day so painful that they would have gladly pooled their money and paid any moron off the street to be their sub and treat them like royalty.

Don't you wish you had a sub instead?

It didn't take them long to learn that if a sub gave me a good report they were lavished with rewards and if not; utter, unending hellfire.  Usually just once.  Then I'd get glowing, wonderful notes about how great my classes were with every sentence ending with an exclamation point.  What wonderful students! How helpful!  How kind!  What a pleasant surprise!  Call me anytime!

I have two more classes today and I'm counting the minutes until the last bell rings.  Tomorrow 3rd Graders!  Yay!

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