Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Being Mr. Dave

My sweetie has gone away... 
To Washington's peninsula, Clallam Bay, where he will interview for the position of Principal at the K-12 school. When he returns on Friday, he has another interview, by phone, with a K-6 school in West Glacier, Montana. We're excited about either position, and hopeful that the time and money invested in this interview will be worth it. He left at 9:30 this morning, and his sub wasn't going to arrive until afternoon, so Julia and I packed a diaper bag and headed to the school to fill in. We thought it would be just until 1, but the flight was delayed, and didn't arrive until 2:45. After 5 hours of being Mr. Dave, I certainly have a deeper appreciation for Dave's patience. First, I had Social Studies with the elementary kids. They took turns reading from a lesson on Sacajawea, and then wrote sentences about it. Of course there was a 10 minute pencil-sharpening period before sentences could be written, and a competition to see who had the smallest pencil stub. 6th grade Sam flat out refused to write sentences, clearly stating how little he cared about the topic. I was saved by the class ending, and went back to the high schoolers for independent projects and Science. Al, the 7th grader ran out of his ADD meds yesterday, so he was in a intensely distracted state for the entire day. His behavior was actually really good in that he didn't get into fights and didn't swear at me or anyone else. The hard thing about that was that he distracted everyone else too. The school's policy is to send him home if he's not on his meds, but at the moment, we're not too sure that home is a good place for him, so he got to stay in school. Dave's sub plans were based on a public health nurse coming in today too, to give presentations, but she was delayed as well, so the lessons were in the less-thrilling worksheet category, and I had to do some quick brushing up on Newton's laws and how to turn decimals into fractions, two things I had happily forgotten. I did have a moment when, while trying to get them on task for their anti-drugs project, I unthinkingly asked Miguel to research depressants and Al to research stimulants. As we looked stuff up, there was all sorts of information on stimulant use to treat ADD. I felt like I could be playing with fire here, asking Al to understand that I wanted him to list stimulants and their negative short and long-term effects on the body without making him feel ashamed of taking stimulants to treat his ADD. Thankfully he didn't seem to make any connections like that and was way more interested in asking me what "douchebag" meant than the task at hand. Julia did really well, even though she's got a cold and had to miss two naps. She puttered around the room for a good long time entertained with a pen, a laminated name tag and a rock. By about 2, she was pretty well exhausted, and she fell asleep in the backpack. She slept through classroom noise, her chest-racking coughs, walking home in the cold, and my taking her out of the backpack and putting her to bed, and continued sleeping for two more hours. I was exhausted too. During spring break, I was really gratified to see that Dave realized how boring and depressing it can be for me to be in the house all day. Now I'm the one realizing how much Dave puts up with every day as a teacher. Along with Take Your Child To Work Day, we all need to have Take Your Spouse To Work Day to get that little wake-up moment of appreciation. 

Rearranging the desk drawers
Inspecting the tape
Yay for recess!!! (says the sub)
Notice her sweater? I knit it!

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