Monday, January 03, 2011

Career Change

I was lead into the classroom by another man, another teacher.  He informed me that I was lucky to be assigned to one of the three new classrooms.  They were more sound proof and had windows.  My first class of the day was a pre-algebra class.

As the students rolled in the female principal also came into the room.  The bell rang to start the class and my mentor and the principal stared at me.  Waiting.  What was I supposed to do?  I was just student teaching.  Right?

The principal raised her hand and I asked her what she was looking for.  She told me to start the lesson.  What lesson, I'm wondering.  She wants me to do comparative equations or something.  I asked if we could speak in the hallway.

We stepped into the hallway and I tell her that there's clearly a  misunderstanding.  I wasn't prepared to give the lesson on my own.  She told me that I had to do it.  There was no other teach.  I'm trying to figure out what comparative equations are?  Fine, I finally tell her, I'll do it but I have to put it together on the fly since I didn't prepare a lesson plan.

Back in the room I sit down at the desk with a room full of students in front of me and a mentor teacher and the principal staring down my neck behind.  I put together three AND / OR equations for the kids to work on.

I specifically recall one was, "(7 * 7 = 47) OR (2X = X + X)".

While creating them I'm feeling the pressure.  One of the students, a larger boy, walked to the front of the room, leaned into my face and said something to me.  I sternly sent him back to his desk where he went contritely.

Equations ready I get up to right them on the blackboard.  Back to the students I picked up a piece of chalk and commented that I hoped my hand writing with chalk was legible.  That elicited a round of laughter as the green board in front of me was actually a "white board" that used dry erase markers.  I picked up one of the markers to begin writing the equations.

I realized I had another problem.  There were all kinds of obstacles around the desk and hanging on the white board.  If I wrote the equations on the right side of the board the left half of the classroom wouldn't be able to see them.  On the left side the other half of the students wouldn't be able to see them.  Well, I stuck to the right side of the board.  I then discovered that all the markers are damaged and nearly dry.  It wasn't possible to write anything legible with them.

After trying to get just one equation the board the principal asked me to follow her into the hallway.  Out there she asks me for the keys to the school and tells me it obviously wasn't going to work out.  I agreed.  As it was the second day of school and the kids were still without a teacher she said it was the second day they would be falling behind.  My parting comment walking out was, "They'll be happy.  Dumb, but happy."

In the parking lot I found it was raining and started walking to my car.  I found I wasn't really upset about being fired.  I pulled out and started texting the Calc Teacher with the message, "That was a short lived experiment.  Fired after the first period."

Before I could hit send I woke up from the dream.

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