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From: Jean Eger (jeaneger_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Aug 05 2001 - 18:17:45 PDT

I know that everyone says subbing is awful work, but I really enjoyed it
most of the time. First off, I got to explore the city of San Francisco,
going to neighborhoods and finding my way around the city which I would
never have done under ordinary circumstances. Of course, I also got to sit
for hours in standing still traffic waiting to cross the Bay Bridge to go
home, until I gave up and drove across the city to go over the Golden Gate
Bridge. I got to drive through Marin County at high speeds in the dark at
5:30 a.m. in driving rain to go to work so I could beat the traffic across
the bridge. I also got to watch the sun come up a little later every day,
see new wetlands installed at the Presidio, and watch the fog curl around
the mountain tops on my way to work. I got to earn my sub pay and then go
home, leaving the job behind.

I got to read a wide variety of wonderfully written lesson plans, most of
which worked perfectly when I followed them. I had the pleasure of watching
half of "A Bug's Life" at least ten times, thankful that the kids were so
easily mesmerized by a movie that many of them had already seen 12 times at
home. Some of the kids gave me little origami presents and most of them
were as good as gold. I soon learned that I needed a vast variety of tasks
to fill up the time of the little ones or they would be out of control in a
second. My hat is off to elementary teachers. I got a kickball in the face
by little ones who demanded to know what I was doing on the playground.
That was not fun at all.

I had to think quickly when one middle school student pulled the telephone
wires out of the wall to prevent me from calling the dean. Later he showed
me how easy it was to put the wires back into the wall to make the telephone
work. I got to relearn middle school math in a big hurry when I had to
teach it to two classes of sixth graders whose teacher had committed suicide
earlier in the year. The principal told me, "Just don't quit." And at the
end of the semester when I realized that I was no good as a teacher, had no
control, didn't know what to do with the manipulatives, and was in effect
teaching the students to throw trash on the floor instead of hitting each
other, the principal came upstairs and told me I had done well.

It would be very hard for me to complain about the counselors, because they
have given me such great back up when I needed them, that I don't know what
I would have done. When I needed to remove a disruptive student from my
class, I needed to have somewhere for him or her to go, and someone to talk
to who wasn't angry at him or her. I usually couldn't send a kid to the
library if he was unsupervised, and I normally did not want the kid to be
suspended. They just needed a time out. The counselors and the security
people are life savers to a sub, especially one who is instructed to TEACH

I have to admit that it was a little bit disappointing to apply for the
district's math-for-teachers program and have them say it was only for
"regular teachers," when I have a credential and am working as a long term
sub, knowing they are going to need math teachers in the fall. I feel a
little bit foolish now in starting to apply to Hayward State for math units
for a supplementary authorization, when I earned 12 units of Early Childhood
Education, only to get a kickball in the face that ended my employment at
one district. Who am I kidding? I'm 58 and probably won't last long as an
art teacher either.

I guess I am feeling down because I opened one of the official transcripts
that San Francisco State sent, and found that they had left off all the
courses in my MA and credential programs, although it kept my MA degree and
credential on the front page. I thought it felt a little bit light. I have
to give it to the district in order to start teaching. They also sent me a
receipt for someone else's transcript. What do you think that is all about?
I guess I'll have to go over there tomorrow to try to straighten it out.