Friday, September 16, 2011

Can I help you?

This has been the longest week ever. Not bad, just long. Classes started this week, which means that I now officially work two jobs and take two classes and sleep about two hours per night. Why thank you, I would love a cup of coffee!

Over the past two weeks I've spent a lot of time in the various Functional Skills classes at a local high school. My first day there made me feel helpless and miserable. The kids were forced to spend most of the day (as in the 6 hour school day) making a list of their favorite foods. Most of them finished in 20 minutes, but the aide kept making them write. I'm a sub, I understand dragging things out and filling time, but this was ridiculous. In subsequent days all of the classes I've visited have had more activities to fill the day, but it still makes you wonder how many "functional skills" the students actually leave with. I know the schools are in a tough spot with budgets and bureaucracy and the pressure of getting these students to perform on standardized tests that they don't necessarily have the skills to pass. But I would feel so much better if I did something besides craft projects and spelling words with students. How much can we reasonably expect the schools to do? No really, someone please tell me because this question has been driving me crazy for a long time. This us where my lack of experience in the system makes me nervous for my chosen career path. Am I missing something?

On a happier (and braggier) note: Yesterday I got paid to watch Sesame Street. It was amazing. I was teaching music and it was the episode with the cast of Stomp. If I were on an actual computer right now I would try to find a clip on YouTube and post it here, but I'm not skilled enough on my iPod so you'll have to google it yourself to experience the delights of Telly's tuba troubles. For now I am off to work at job number two.

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