Small classes and early starts


7:15.  That’s what time a sub has to be at the junior high schools (still called that even though they are on a middle-school system- I guess they didn’t want to change the letterheads 😛 ) in the district I was in today.  That means being up before six.  At least I had a solid night’s sleep instead of constantly waking up like I often do.  Once I got there, it turned out this teacher had a class that started ten minutes before the regular classes.  Say what?  Fortunately the plans said another teacher was asked to run this class so no problem not being able to completely go over the plans.  The one I was subbing for was also a traveling teacher, which in this case could be called class-on-a-cart.  This teacher had a class in a different room every period.  One class even had two different rooms- more on that below.

So I got to the room with my cart and the teacher who was supposed to take over (surprise to him!) just said that I could handle this and just ask if I had any questions since he would be in and out of the room.  Well then, I had to look at the plans again after all.  It really wasn’t hard like he said.  All I had to do was pass out quizzes they had to complete, inform them of their class/homework assignment once finished, and then monitor them.  Fortunately I had second period off to look at the rest of the day.

The next period was communications, basically a speech class.  Well, they were good at speaking all right- to each other in conversation that is.  They were completing an assignment as well, so again no teaching- just monitoring.  The next two classes actually lasted for a period plus another half-period.  Being math classes this was a bit odd.  This is actually why one of the classes was in two different rooms.  They spent one period in one room, then had to move for the next period.  I would gather the regular teacher in that room doesn’t have two periods off in a row to allow us to be there for the full time.  To get the half-period the students actually sacrificed their study hall half of lunch to have the longer math period.

Where does the small classes part come into play?  Well, you three who actually read this blog ( 😛 ) already know special education classes can be smaller.  Well, two of the math classes were such classes- the first had about eight students in it.  Most of them worked well, but there were two girls who thought they were in that communications class and chatted pretty much the entire time, sometimes with others across the room.  At least they did some work so I was able to put up with it without sending anyone to the office.  I left a note about this of course.  This was the first of the two special-ed math classes.  The second, get this, had two students.  That’s right, just two.  They pay for a teacher to teach a class of two students??  I would really like to know more about this but as a sub for just the day I really only know what’s in the notes- nothing about it there!- and from what I might pick up from other teachers, but I didn’t want to be nosy.  Oh well, some things just remain mysteries.

Until tomorrow then.  Time for me to sleep…

2 thoughts on “Small classes and early starts”

  1. The concept of a “study hall” still slays me. I think I had one semester in high school where I had one. Rather pointless… vowed never to have one again.

  2. Well, they split the lunch period in two and there’s not much you can do with half a period. Another district I work in sends the kids outside for half the lunch period, and I’m talking about middle school – this is standard practice for elementary but unusual for middle. In this case study hall would be better.

    That said, that same district I just mentioned has an entire period dedicated to study hall. Now that, as you’ve said, is probably a waste for most students. Of course, it may be that many don’t do their homework at home though, causing them to have this study hall for the sake of their learning. Therefore I will withhold judgment.

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