Posts tagged ‘guest teaching’

September 10, 2010

Why I Hate Twilight OR Why Hyper Middle School Girls Are The Most Terrifying Thing Known to Mankind


Apparently this is how I look in the eyes of a young girl. If only my fiancee saw me as this attractive...

I hate Twilight, but not for any legitimate reasons such bad writing or the impression it can leave upon young women. No, my reason is far pettier.

I hate Twilight because I apparently look like Jasper Cullen.

People get me weird looks when I tell them this. “Why? That look is so in right now! Girls love that look!”

Cool. It’s a shame that I don’t give a shit.

The first time I was told that I looked like the sparkly, moody vampire pretty much killed it for me. I was subbing for a middle school teacher a few weeks before the release of the newest movie in the Twilight saga and there was a young girl who skipped into class the kind of way that a speed junkie skips around Walmart after their latest fix that they got in the parking lot. Not to say the kid was on drugs or anything, just really, really hyper. In other words, she was being a normal middle school girl. When she saw me standing in place of her normal teacher, she froze as if she was Bella (main female lead) in the cold gaze of Edward (main sparky vampire). Nearly dropping her stuff, she sat down in her seat and started whispering frantically to her friend.

After class had started she approached me, practically bursting with excitement.

“OHmyGODdidyouknowyouleikJasperFREAKINGCullen?”

“Excuse me?”

“You. Look. Like. Jasper Cullen. You know, from Twilight?”

“Oh, I haven’t seen that yet.”

Looking back now, I shouldn’t really have said anything. I should have been a mean teacher and just told her to sit down. (Oh, wait. I did.) Thus began the longest hour of my life. She periodically came up to me to make strange requests, “Can I call you Mr. Cullen?” (No.) “How about Mr. C?” (No.) “Can you autograph this for me Mr. Cullen?” (Will you sit down and do your work if I do?) “Yes.” (Okay.)

Again, my willpower¬† was too low and I wasn’t used to dealing with such a high-level Girl of Middle School. In my defense I was pretty new at the job. I think it was only my 3rd or 5th day.

She lied, by the way, and spent the rest of the hour calling me Mr. Cullen from across the room and laughing if I smiled. Which I did almost every time. Honestly, at the time I found it endearing and as a compliment. I brushed it off like the vampires brush off the glitter at the end of the day. That’s how they sparkle right? I haven’t seen the movie or read the books yet.

Class was over and she left. End of story right?

Ha.

I noticed she’d appear in the doorway between hours with a new friend pointing me out and screaming “O HAI THERE MR. CULLEN!”

Started freaking me out at this point. Then I had another girl come into my class and tell me the same thing, albeit more sedated.

“Did you know you look like Jasper Cullen?”

“Yes. Someone told me that earlier.”

“[Insert girl’s name from before]? Yeah, she showed me pictures and video of you during lunch.”

“Oh that’s-wait what?”

“Yeah, you didn’t know about them?”

“Sit down please class is about to start.”

Twilight_Jasper&Alice

Bonus fact: My sister is often told she looks like Jasper's wife Alice. Creepy.

Instantly a billion and a half scenarios passed through my head. All of them ending with me losing my job, my fiancee leaving me, being thrown in prison, and losing my sparkly vampire card in an epic ass kicking by actual vampires (I have a very active imagination). I mean really, parents can be unpredictable. Harry Potter has been banned from school libraries because parents thought it promoted Witchcraft. What’s to say that the girl’s parent saw the pictures and thought crazy soccer mom thoughts and demand that I be tried as a child rapist or something? Nothing-NOTHING-would really stop her if she yelled loud enough.

I  kept mulling the whole thing over in my head as I went home. Worrying and worrying. The student was nice really, but I had to cover my ass. Then it hit me: I was an adult and I was being sexually harassed. I remembered all those sexual harassment videos I was forced to watch and decided to actually listen to them for once.

So I called the principal and told her of the situation. Needless to say she took care of it for me and was glad that I told her. I don’t know what happened to the poor student but at times I don’t care. The reality was I could either be a nice guy and take a huge gamble or be an asshole and cover my ass.

Sometimes you just have to be an asshole.

Other times you get to be a sparkly vampire, but still an asshole.

July 5, 2010

Jokes I’ve Played on Students 03


Students must think I’m bipolar as I often can be two very different people in one hour. I don’t like to be mean-I really don’t-but sometimes it’s just part of the job. I’m a sub after all. I like to be the nice sub, cracking jokes and allowing the students to enjoy learning, but we all know that cannot be the case every day.

At a certain middle school, in a certain school district, certain students have given me a name. When they see me standing in place of their teacher, a sense of anxiety overcomes them,

“It’s the Sub Who Plays the Mean Games!”

This title, rightfully bestowed upon me came from a multiple day job where I had a pretty unruly class. The teacher had left a long note warning the students that if the sub (that’s me) did so much as left their name down for anything they’d be getting a suspension. No questions asked. Cool huh? Well, I made it a point to explain this note to each class as they walked in,

My subbing face

“And here’s the best part guys!” I’d say, looking far more excited than I should have, “If I get mad at you, I get to write you up for a suspension. Which means I leave your name down and if that happens you get another suspension-that’s two for the price of one! Isn’t that awesome?”

They looked at me like I was insane.

This worked for a short while, but there was pack mentality and they became ridiculously noisy eventually. I needed to do something drastic,

“Alright class we’re going to play a game!”

Everyone stopped talking, but their eyes said more than you can imagine.

“First one to talk gets a suspension! Who would like to win the game?”

I made sure to grin as evilly and sadistically as I could.

“I don’t like this game,” one student groaned.

“TELL HER WHAT SHE’S WON!” I shouted singling her out. The student eyes widened larger than I think they ever had. Her face went pale and her mouth hung open by exactly a half inch.

“Can I keep playing, please?” she begged.

I smiled, “Of course you can.” I turned to the rest of the class, “Does anyone else want out of the game?”

They didn’t speak until the bell rang 30 minutes later.

June 7, 2010

Jokes I’ve Played on Students 02


Oh yes, I did.

This one was is especially terrible.

It was a middle school, I was having a great day with some really good students. They actually worked silently when I asked! There wasn’t much for me to do, and I quickly became bored.

Then there was a phone call from the office. So-and-So’s mother was there to pick them up for their dentist appointment.

Suddenly my bordem vanished: I had an idea. Being a substitute I’ve kinda learned how to change my personality type on demand. (At least while I’m working). I have no problem switching from normal nice-guy to super-cereal authority figure. Here, I quickly adapted a somber expression and called the student up to the desk. I looked at him with a pitiful expression, the kind that adults gave us when they told us that the World Trade Centers had fallen. Tears may have been forming in the corner of my eyes.

“John,” I said, making it hard for the words to come out, “it seems there’s been an accident…”

Heads snapped in his direction. The kid’s face went white and he may have stopped breathing for just a moment. His eyes looked on the verge of tears and he waited in painful anticipation of the details. What happened? Who did it happen to?

“Actually,” I said, “your mom’s in the office waiting to take you to the dentist. Take your stuff and get out of here!”

Laughter and relief. Apparently the kid had completely forgotten about the appointment.

I’m pretty sure he gave his mom a hug when he saw her.

See? Mean jokes have good side effects.

June 3, 2010

Why we should understand if a teacher at a run-down school has a drinking problem


There are times I wish I had a destructive habit like smoking or alcoholism. Not to relieve stress but purely for aesthetic purposes. Honestly, since graduating I barely have one alcoholic drink a month. I will not actively go out to get said habits since that’s…well… dumb (dumber than most of my posts even), especially since alcoholism actually runs in my family.

Every time I look at a glass of vodka or whiskey I can hear my late Dziadek yelling violently somewhere in the background. However, the only way to shut him up is to drink it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Sometimes hangovers can be fun, fun in the “god I feel like shit but at the same time I feel awesome cause I’m a goddamn ROCKSTAR” kinda way. You carry this stupid grin on your face the entire time because the pain isn’t so bad as to render you immobile so much as it numbs everything else. You also tend to walk around like Johnny Depp in the Pirates movies. Feels good man.

There were a few times I went to schools and came home realizing that if I did work there on a normal basis, I would become said alcoholic. But good sir! you say, Teachers must be the model citizen for students to embody!

Okay, it wasn't this bad but you get the idea.

Here’s the thing.

1. I’m not really a teacher in the truest sense… yet.

2. I don’t actually have a second point since that logic is pretty good. But I’m going to ignore it for the remainder of this post because I think it was a humorous train of thought.

3. Oh! Does leading by negative example count?

Anyway, one day I accepted a job for a school whose district I had yet to go to. I checked out the school and saw that it was close to 8-mile. I shrugged it off at first, after all it wasn’t actually in Detroit. The school actually looked nice from the outside, they were even building a new fancy wing of the school alongside the mile road. Yet when I walked inside I noticed metal detectors, first big tip. The classes were bare, with these tiny TVs that I think are older than my parents bolted and chained down in the highest corners. No computers in sight either. Most important to me however, were the lack of any form of lesson plans. There was a stack of worksheets so I ended up giving that to the first class. The first half of the class went well since everyone was still waking up, but by the second half it got loud.

Really REALLY loud.

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