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Snow Day!

I remember when I was in school and if there was a  hint of snow children would be antsy as they anticipated a day off.  We would wake up early and look out the window  then rush to the tv and sit through the endless lists of towns as we simultaneously listened to the radio.  Today, I am working in towns that send automated messages to your phone and I can go on the town website to see the status. There are many choices for how a town deal with the snow and the attendance of students at school.

My town seemed to be very stingy about giving out snow days, though that could have been my biased child’s mind thinking.  I see now that the problem with snow is you never really know what is going to happen and it seems like no matter what choice the town makes issues can arise.  If there was only a little snow and the students were given a whole day off to have the snow stop later, some parents complain they have had to find childcare for only a little snow.  However, if school is not called off and it snows while children are in school, there are complaints about the dangers and difficulties of getting children. I could remember days being bundled up just to walk the few blocks to school or I would be sitting in class and staring out the window watching the snow fall and hoping my mom would pull me out early like some of the other kids.  To deal with some of the issues that a midday snow might cause, some towns issue early dismissals.

A new thing that my town implemented in recent years is delayed openings.  Kids entered an hour and a half later than normal.   It is good for those days when snow has stopped and time is just needed to clear the roads, shovel out the car, and spend more time to get around.   It also gives teachers a little extra sleep!

What does your town do for snow days?

They called for snow today and as I looked out the window in the morning I was glad to see nothing  was on the ground and it was not yet snowing.  However, the one town I was in said they were having a half day…good thing too as it started snowing while I was on my way out the door and visibility was greatly diminished by the time I made my ten minute drive to work.  As the day progressed the weather got pretty bad and I wished they had called the whole day off.  I came out and had to dig my car out and the usual after-school traffic was significantly worse.  Though, I really can’t complain because the next town over had a full day of school.  I wonder if the difference is one town has busing and the other does not?  Either way, I enjoyed sipping my hot cocoa as I watched the snow fall and saw kids walking home.

Winter Break

I’m kind of looking forward to having a week off from work.  The last week has been a bit busy with working and trying to get ready for the holidays.  I wasn’t called in the last few days before break; all the teachers must want to really fit in those tests as well as a party or two ; ) I really didn’t mind because it gave me time to do food shopping and run my last errands.  Needless to say, everywhere is crowded.  I have a list of things that I would like to do in my free time: vocab lessons, grad school research, scrapbooking, hair cut, sort/chuck papers.  We’ll see how much I actually get done

Hope everyone has a very happy holiday and a joyous and restful break!

Parking Pros

When you are a sub, parking is usually not ideal.  You can check out my earlier post to see my views on it.  However, it can have some perks.  For me, it has helped with my parallel parking.  The past few weeks I have been at the same school and the teachers have assigned parking and receive permits.  Subs are on their own  for parking and I usually park on a street on the other side of the park adjacent to the school.  It’s a quick walk through the park to get to the school and many students park there rather than dealing with pricey permits or risking tickets in timed parking.  I leave the school for lunch and have gotten lots of practice parallel parking when I return…assuming my spot is still there.  This may not seem like a big deal but I DREAD parallel parking; it could have to do with me failing  my driver’s test the first time because of the evil task (Hitting the cone is an automatic failure).  I don’t even mind parking blocks away to avoid having to do it. However, when you have a limited amount of time for lunch and need to fight with a sea of students and be back in the classroom, walking those blocks is not a good idea.  So I suck it up and parallel park.  I try to leave a little extra space between me and the car in front of me to make getting back in easier but I will say I have improved quite a bit and have to do very little jockeying.  So sometimes inconvenience has an upside.

So everyone looks back on his or her younger days and swears they were better than they probably were in actuality.  But I SWEAR my generation had more manners than the children I encounter today. They don’t ask for permission to do things, they look at you like you have two heads when you ask them to do something, and the foul language that has come out of there mouths-directed at me-is enough to melt your ears off.  Ok, not everyone is bad but some of the things these kids do would have had my parents down my throat.  I know when I was younger if the teacher yelled at the whole class I would have been in tears (I was such an angel) and I would have never thought of mouthing off (out loud). I said “please” (most of the time) and “thank you.”  I raised my hand, was quiet when called to attention, and didn’t question simple requests.  Sure, there were times I had off moments or forgot to say “please” but for the most part I knew who was in charge and respected that authority.

I was in a classroom today that the teacher was only in for one period; she had a drawer in a file cabinet but otherwise the room belonged to another teacher.  There was a giant box of pencils (I had never seen one this big) on the desk and while we were watching the movie a student walked up to the desk, took a pencil, and sat down.  I told him to return the pencil.  He proceeded to argue with me and said his teacher let him do it all the time. I said that may be the case but  1) She is not here today and I would prefer you not take things and 2) More importantly, you don’t just take things without asking.  He then huffily asked me if he could take the pencil but didn’t even wait for a response before placing it in his bag.  I told him to return it and he could ask at the end of class because he didn’t need a pencil to watch the movie.  Some may say I was being picky because who is going to miss 1 pencil out of a box of 150 (or whatever ridiculous amount was in that box) but I am a stickler for manners and proper behavior.  Besides,  I really did not know who owned the pencils or what the policy was; sometimes those kids are crafty speakers. Bottom line, just ask before you take.

More technology, too much tv, broken homes, or [insert excuse here] – I don’t know what the excuse is but I am NOT a fan.  Any lack of manners that shocked you?

So,  I haven’t posted in a while.  I have had a lot of heavy things going on in my life.  But I will try to go back and update.   It made me think though, when is it ok to take off?  I am only a substitute and am not beholden to anyone, at least in the form of a contract or a class that needs me.  I don’t need to ask for days off or fill out a form explaining my absence.  However, if I don’t work I don’t get money; I work because I need the money…andthe experience.

I feel bad when I take off.  Darn, I feel bad when I have already accepted a job and have to tell the person calling I am not available.    I really do not make a habit of taking off but after putting my dog to sleep on Monday I just didn’t want to face the world.  Now I know that it’s a dog and that is not as dire as a relative (It is to me but I know the professional world would not quite see it that way) but he was like a relative to me and I was sad.  I sucked it up however and felt it would be better to keep my mind off of it and I lucked out by being  placed with a pretty good class.    But then we get into events, sicknesses, doctor’s appointments, and a plethora of other things that could keep one away from the classroom.

When do you think it is acceptable to take a day off?

When I was student teaching there was a SMART Board and while I loved using it I rarely used the Notebook application.  Most times I created a slide show and drew on that.  However,  I used it with graphic organizers and saved a few slides for some of the projects that I worked on.  I had even gotten the software for my laptop so I could work while home.  I just started really cracking down on my portfolio ( I have an abbreviated version to pass out) and need access to some of those slides.  What am I to do now that I no longer have that laptop and do not have access to a SMART Board?

There is hope…sort of.  After shouting at my computer and dodging sketchy web programs, I came across SMART Notebook Express.  This web-based software allows you to open, edit, and share the material you created using the Notebook program.    You don’t need to download anything and there is no cost.  It has many of the same features such as pen, new page, text, and screen shade.  I was so happy to see my files!  Unfortunately, my glee died when I saw that I could not print the slides, through the program or a screen shot.  All I wanted was to print a page for my portfolio.  I was so close T_T

What lovely problems have you had with file format and accessibility?