What do PE and school pictures have in common?


School Picture Guy- a recurring guest star in Lincoln Peirce’s comic strip Big Nate, a strip nearly as old as the Simpsons.  He doesn’t appear much these days in his primary role meaning I had to go back to 2007 to find this one, skipping past roles as a deejay and a news photographer.  But weren’t school pictures in the fall you ask?  You are correct.  However, graduation pictures are apparently the currently happening thing.  Armed with equipment photographers never had when I was in school- a digital camera and color printer for instant samples to be exact, the photographers (there were two) invaded the gym space at the school I subbed in today.  Ordinarily this would be a sidebar, but since I was subbing for a gym teacher this became quite important.  In fact, two of the three gym teachers were out.  If you would be guessing by now that I was at a middle school you would again be correct.  Due to the pictures, an otherwise ordinary day became a lot more interesting.  Think of a middle school gym with room for a basketball court and pull-out bleachers.  Reduce this image by half, the amount of the gym in use by the photographers.  Now cram three classes of 30 plus each into this one side.  Now add two dozen dodgeballs into the mix and you can see what made this day interesting.  The sixth and seventh grade kids got to play backboard bombardment (AKA basketball dodgeball) on this special day where only one of the teachers was their real teacher and half the gym was otherwise occupied.  The rules had to be slightly modified though due to an abnormal playing field- one side was deeper than the other to keep the baskets/backboards equidistant from the “center” line (remember the space for the bleachers when pulled out?)- and the number of kids playing- 45+ per team.  Hence, the catch rule was discarded so no getting out by having your ball caught because we couldn’t keep our six eyes on the backboards, students getting hit, and the throwers of caught balls so something had to give.  Everyone had fun though.

How about eighth grade?  Well, for some reason the school designated gym time as picture taking time, though students came in other periods as well during their tutorial periods if they had them since there were far too many eighth-graders to get them all done in their two gym periods.  So, no dodge-ball for them.  Instead they just sat and chatted, and so did we.  The one real gym teacher took care of sending the kids to the photographers as needed.

Gym aside, I had a similar experience today as I did last week.  Last week, two Sundays ago, I had told a boy that one day he might see me in his classroom.  Three days later, there I was, in his classroom. 🙂  This last Sunday, I ran into a former student of mine and mentioned that I had seen no sign of him last time I was at his school and subbed for sixth-grade math, meaning he must have had the other math teacher.  So naturally two days later I had him in gym right at the start of the day!  I should keep doing this, but of course now that I realize the connection it won’t work anymore. 😉

So what will tomorrow bring?  Who knows- I’m still trying to find a job.  That’s how it goes in a sub’s life…

3 thoughts on “What do PE and school pictures have in common?”

  1. Yes indeed, picture day. We also had the shots taken in the gymnasium and had the same dilemma. We always had two pictures taken per year for whatever reason.

  2. I think on picture day, we didn’t have gym? I really don’t remember. I’ll have to ask Taylor what they do at her school.
    90 kids in a half gym with dozens of balls? Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen – glad to hear no one got hurt!

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