Two Days in Middle School

I had to throw over my job teaching Sp at a charter school so I’m subbing now, 2 days at a Middle School, and how much I learned!

My first day I took a class of 10 EMH kids. The class had two adult aides! Talk about expensive. But they needed all 3 adults to teach these kids and teach they did. I talked with the ladies about how things had been when I was a kid and what would probably have happened to these kids back then – bums, town characters, beaten up or shot by the police, locked away in an upstairs attic, etc. I saw things like this. I think a lot of our younger teachers really don’t understand how much things changed during the economic boom of the 50s and the cultural changes of the 60s.

My wife subbed today acting as an aide to one kid, a boy who spent part of his day in the class I subbed in. b/c my wife is certified, she was paid $100 for just sitting with this one child from 8 to 3. The regular aide probably gets less.

This is where a good deal of this “huge” amount of money spent on education goes. Some politicial persuasions would have you believe it all goes to lazy, ignorant teachers who spend all their time drinking coffee while the kids run wild. As our state’s (AZ) superintendent of public instruction said, “With highstakes testing we have put rigor and accountability back in the classrooms.” And to think I invited him to speak at SWCOLT. Shame on him (and me for inviting him).

Today I subbed in an 8th grade social studies class. All the gold in the country should be cast into medals for junior high/middle school teachers. I did a lesson off the top of my head on the subprime mortgage issue and it was amazing how many kids came up with good answers to questions about how we decide who to lend money to, how we cushion ourselves against bad debts, and why some of their parents had had to lower the selling price of their homes. But I needed socks for most of them, to stick in their mouths.

It seems that this particular school has more of these kids than other schools. No one is clear why. However, my wife, who worked as a junior high counselor for many years and loves the age-group, said their behavior is fairly normal but a little worse.

Anyway, I learned a lot but at the end of the day, asked the sub lady to make sure I went ot the high school from now on. Both days I took books to read and neither day did I have time to pour a cup of coffee.

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