23 March 2009

Strep + subs + 12th grade - nagging + teacher = . . . wait . . . what? sigh . . .

Because I have already written at length about the problems we teachers have with having substitutes, I will not spend much time discussing the problems of missing two consecutive days of school last week from a bout of strep throat. Suffice it to say that as today progresses, I'm learning more and more of what happened in my absence.

Like the substitute who arrived 15 minutes late and then left 10 minutes early telling my students, "I'm leaving because I've got stuff to do." Had this not been independently documented by several reliable sources, I might not have believed it. And my class, apparently sans "stuff" merely remained in the room, quietly, waiting for the bell to dismiss them. Oy.

I have yet to determine the degree to which my classes actually completed work in my absence. I do not have high hopes for this. Nevertheless, I did enjoy finding this note scrawled on one of my attendance lists:

Where you at Mrs. Huthie? Not cool to ditch us like this, but whatever. I'm sure you have a good excuse, just make sure you're here next class, alright, ok. I'll talk to you later.

Sometimes it's enough just to know you were missed.

12 March 2009

The truth is in the necklace, my children.

(As I collect "writer's notebooks" at the end of class and try to address questions from students having trouble completing their financial aid forms for college)

Me (to Adele): So you can estimate the tax information on the FAFSA until . . .

Audrey (looking up as I pass by): Have you ever toasted a pop tart?

Me: What? Yes.

Audrey: Do you want to try this? It's a hot fudge sundae pop tart.

Me (to Audrey): No. Thanks, though.

Me (to Adele): . . . until you have the real numbers.

Adele: So should I call the EOP office?

Samantha: What does your necklace mean?

Me (to Adele): Yes. Absolutely.

Me (to Samantha): It's supposed to be a Chinese character for "energy."

Me (to Grace): You're going to try to finish the TAP form tonight then?

Grace: Yes, but . . . .

Audrey: Everyone else has tried a piece. You may as well.

Me: No thanks.

Me (to Grace): But nothing. You need to just get this done!

Samantha: So do you think it really means that?

Me (to Samantha): The symbol? My theory is it means, "I'm an idiot for wearing this necklace in a language I don't understand."

Samantha (laughing): Could be!

Audrey: So how do you toast it?

Me: What? You put it on a lower setting. Especially if there's icing.

Jessica: Look at her! She's so cute, trying to answer everyone!

Me: Thanks, Jessica. Good to know.

Audrey: Well, I'm just going to eat this untoasted then. That's why it's called a "pop tart," because it's "to go."

Me (cocking head slightly): What?

Audrey (laughing): I know. That didn't make any sense, did it?

(Bell rings . . . )