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September 16, 2015 / sharoncopy

It’s a new school year – 2015-16

I think that I might not journal every day that I sub, this time around, but just mention cool ideas, thoughts, highlights, and low points that I experience along the way.

During the first week of school, there were options for subbing, but only for parapro in the severely disabled special ed classrooms, and I don’t feel qualified to work in those.

Day 1 But on Friday, September 11, there was a  half day option in a high school in Westland to be a school secretary, so I figured that was much better than not working (it, like Parapro and lunch monitor, pays far less than substitute teaching), so I took it. It was a pleasant day except for having to arrive at 6:30 a.m.! I worked in the counselors’ office, and basically guided students to go to their counselor’s office, or go back to class until they would be contacted. I transferred phone calls, and told people to come back later if they needed info that I didn’t have access to.  One of the staff members told me, “You’re really good.” Well, I’m used to organizing, helping people, and telling them what to do 🙂 . I also drew a still life picture of the items on an adjoining desk, in between dealing with people. I encouraged a young man who is going into the trades with stories of my son the electrician and the great need there is in some locales for bricklayers. I connected visiting parents with the counselors they sought.

There are 2000 students in this high school, and among them, the 6 or 8 counselors have at least 200 requests for schedule changes that they must process asap. Some got a class they had already taken. Some got a teacher they couldn’t stand. Everybody had a reason for a change, and it was the 4th day of classes. A few new students had just enrolled there the day before or that morning.  I suspect that the teachers have a real challenge with not knowing exactly who is going to be in each class during the first week or so.

Day 2 Tuesday September 15. I spent the morning in the Montessori school I worked at last year, which has now changed their setup so that there are Kindergarten classes and First-Second grade mixed classes. The morning went pretty well – the teacher left pretty easy stuff for us to accomplish, and recess outside was a pleasant change.

The afternoon was at the Japanese Immersion school in Livonia. For the first 90 minutes, I just sat in the back of a third grade classrrom, drawing and keeping an eye on the kids while the Japanese teacher taught them Japanese, Math and Science – entirely in Japanese. It was – strange! It is so odd to hear the kids – Asian, White, Black – talking in Japanese. Previously when I have worked there, it was in the morning and I taught Language Arts and Social Studies – in English, obviously. But they had to have an “official” teacher there, even though I didn’t do much. During the last hour, I supervised as they took a Math test (in English) and worked on a craft (decorating construction paper scales for a large dragon for a parade they are participating in on Friday).

Okay, here’s the cool thing that I encountered, and I will try to upload a picture I drew of it. They have “whisper phones” for the kids. Some children need to verbalize when they read, so to keep it from getting  loud, they made these “whisper phones” out of PVC pipe – two corner pieces with a connector in-between. The child whispers into the “mouthpiece” and hears it through the “earpiece” loud and clear. The kids love them, and they are very inexpensive and probably easy to make. One might make a bunch of them for a classroom or to sell!Whisper phone 001

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