Tuesday, September 14, 2010


This is a pic of Tybee Lighthouse and restored lightkeeper's cottage - one of my favorite flag locations. I didn't post on Sept 11th but certainly have been thinking about it. Everyone remembers where they were at that time. I was teaching at a private school for learning differences. Soon after the first plane hit, a couple of military families came to pick up their kids. On my first break, I went to the director's office, where the only TV was. By then they were announcing the Pentagon attack. I assumed we were receiving multiple attacks, and that martial law would be declared. I also wondered if we'd be making a makeshift fallout shelter.I remember the day after was more significant for me. I started the day with a 2nd grade Language Arts class. We were told not to bring up the attack with the young kids, but if they brought up the subject, to let them talk. We started our day the usual way, with a three sentence paragraph and picture in our journals. Every child (ten in room) wrote about the attack, and each one drew a picture of the twin towers as the first plane hit. I had ten identical pictures, and the accuracy was stunning.

My thought for the times we live in - Christianity and Patriotism , when these become fanatical, are just a boot click away from Fascism.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Day in the Life of A Substitute Teacher

God, I am missing the beach! With public school starting this week, I haven't been out to walk. Since this weekend is Labor Day weekend, I may not get out much then either, due to crowds and traffic on our small coastal highway...beach withdrawal in process here....getting a bit light-headed and clammy just thinking about it.....I took these pics one evening last week. I love sandpipers! They seem to work so hard for the little morsels they get...kind of like how I feel as a sub teacher....
I get up each morning at 6am and turn on my computer, to see any computer job listings as well as waiting for the phone to ring. That means taking my cell phone with me everywhere in the am....Our system is only using certified teachers, but I would guess there are about 400 of them, all huddled over their computers in the morning, waiting to "peck" at a job. I did get a call Tuesday and went to an elementary school I haven't ever been to before. Thank goodness for Goole maps (can't afford GPS)!
The school has actually been razed to build a new school. It was a pile of rubble, with a maze of portables surrounding it. You could easilty get lost just going to the cafeteria. I was in a 1st grade room with only 14 students, but that number seemed multiplied by the end of the day. The teacher was also out on Monday, so this was the second day of school, with a second sub...don't you feel sorry for these little guys? I did! Most had no crayons and no pencils; not all had a lunch. I bring a number of things along on a sub job, but didn't have crayons. Also, there were no sub plans. Other teachers ran off stuff for me.
I took the class to breakfast about 9am, as instructed, along with all the 1st grades. We did not get back with our food until 10am. We were supposed to go to recess at 11:30, but another teacher told me to wait for her and she was late, so only 10 minutes of recess. Hey, I believe in recess! We then proceed to lunch, which is also late. The lunch monitor relieved me for about 20 minutes to scramble back to the room, use the restroom (holding for 5 hours - a personal record at age 50), and nibble some lunch. Sub teaching is great for weight loss!
We muddled through some lessons, but I could see I was losing them in the late afternoon. They were supposed to go to another teacher for 40 minutes, but she was a "no show." I have found that when resource teachers find out there is a sub, they tend to "disappear." Curses on her! The teacher I went to recess with kindly offered to watch my brood for about 15 minutes so I could gather my energy. My savior! By the end of the day, there was trash all over the floor, those who had crayons had busted most of them and tossed them on the floor, and a couple of books were torn, but hey, there were no tears or injuries. I survived another day in the life of a sub teacher!