Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Chip Truck Review: Woody's (Apsley)

I don't know how long Woody's has been at the corner of Highway 28 and County Rd 620 near Apsley, ON. Rob and I were heading up to Bancroft alone so we decided to stop in.

The parking is okay if you don't have a trailer. If there's no room on the edge of the road, keep going up the road to the municipal office. It's not far and you'll want the exercise.

There's lots to see outside, and dogs are allowed outside and they have water bowls. The food set up is a little different though. As you come around the building, you might notice the food shack off the deck. That's the Order Pick up window. You order at a window at the back of the main store building.
 The onion ring price is a smidge higher than other places last year. The burgers are customizable!
I didn't care for the fries. They were good, but I like them done more. Rob liked them. I really enjoyed the onion rings though! Rob didn't LOL. 

The burgers are handmade patties. Not sure how big it actually is, but it's a good size. It was tasty too. Not dry like homemade burgers sometimes are. 

I'd stop here again, if I need a burger. For a quick snack, maybe not. But I'm the odd one out in my family and they like fries like these. Lots to see outside but with young kids it could be a challenge to keep them off the sculptures. Great gift ideas here though and worth a little visit. Local artisans, etc. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Back to High School

It took over a week to get another job. I see in my records I had some days, and part days, blocked off; not sure why. The call came in for secondary music at Lucy's school. Lucy was taking music but this was for the other music teacher, who Lucy had had back in grade 9. Lucy thought she did special ed as well, and knew she had a dance class this semester. I emailed the teacher to let her know I'd be in, in case she wanted to change her lesson plans.

This teacher had been off since the start of the semester. She received her 3rd concussion the day before the start of the semester and was having a hard time recovering. I would be covering grade 9 music, drama, and 10/11 dance. Oh my.

I got to the school--my first time at this school, finally! The desk was a little chaotic, with lesson plans, handouts, attendance sheets, notes from other supplies. Music would be fine, the dance class was already working on things, but grade 9 drama? Oh boy. Luckily that period was the drama teacher's prep, so she came to help. This class looked like they had checked out already. Students must get one arts credit--music, drama, or art--and the options vary at each school (ie--some schools have gr 9 guitar).  A lot of students take drama because no prior skill or talent is required so they assume it's going to be easy. It's not seen as an actual subject, I think. I don't even know anything about the academic side of drama!

The dance class was to meet on the stage. I got attendance done, and was to show a video. How? There's no projector or screen on the stage. You have to access the sound booth above the cafeteria. Luckily the students have Chromebooks and Google Classroom and the links were in there. Most of the girls went to other locations to work on their assignments. I felt bad not knowing exactly where everyone was but know from my own kids that this freedom in high school is totally normal.

The grade 9 music class was good. They had some experience already. I got to help one girl with flute fingerings for a note she just couldn't get. She said she didn't get much instruction at her elementary school. She told me which one and I was surprised. I had been there and it looked like they had a good music program!

High school days are weird. The prep always feels so long, classes can either feel long or just the right length and lunch is way too short. When I was in high school, our lunch was used as another slot for classes--so there were five equal periods through the day. Now, lunch is half that length. It's not enough, especially since this school is not located near any businesses and it takes a solid 10 minutes just to walk to the closest houses!

No one knew how long this teacher would be off for, the rumour was at least to March Break. I let the booking secretary know I was available! Though I didn't really want a full time position right now, I could handle a couple weeks....

Thursday, March 21, 2019

It's a Job

I didn't work much early Feb so I was happy to get an afternoon instrumental. Yes, it was aaaallll the way across the next city. But I knew a teacher at the school who had told me it was an awesome school. I messaged her to say I'd be coming. She had JUST started her maternity leave!!

I get signed in and told the room number. It's clearly a music room. However, on and around the desk is mainly French things (it's a FI school). No day plans for me. There's another area that was like a student desk turned into a teacher desk. Nothing there either. A lunch supervisor (or staff doing lunch supervision) came in the room (which was a bit rowdy) and I asked her if she had seen the teacher. She directed me to the VP (I think) who was across the hall. The VP didn't know where she was, but knew that her desk was in a little workroom/office area. We go in there....the ukulele club is having a practice. Little kids. Charming.

There's nothing on the desk. The VP is phoning around, I find a "sub tub" as they call them in the States. But no instructions. I can see her daily schedule, which does indicate the first period after lunch is a prep. So that's good.

Finally, the teacher comes flying in 5 minutes before the end of lunch. With her son. She needs to leave for a funeral. Her plans are on her computer. It was a hot mess of trying to get the laptop to work, and the USB stick and rapid fire "you can do this or this and this or this". Basically, for some of the classes, there was a 90 minute video, a bingo game and a worksheet. For a 30 minute class.

The first class up was a 7/8 class that needed to work on their theory booklets. Some insisted they were done and were rough housing, generally being pests. Then I was out in the portables.

I think it was grades 5-6. The kids were rowdy, wild, etc etc etc. One of those days that makes me feel like a glorified babysitter.

As the last few kids were getting ready to go home, I heard someone say "cancer" and "this is how you die" (or something) and there was laughter. I kind of lost it on them. My father was dying of cancer. It's not humourous. They finished getting ready silently and said good bye.

I went back upstairs to the office where my stuff was.

My key didn't work the lock. Luckily someone was walking by who noticed my plight and the custodian was close by, so I got let in.

It wasn't worth the drive and $90. But it's a job to add to my total days.

Friday, March 15, 2019


I got a call for a grade 8 morning job at a school just 5 minutes up the street. I was so excited. Except that it has a 8:05 start time LOL (which means being there at 7:35). The secretary was awesome (I told her how much I wanted to come to the school since it was so close), every teacher I met was great. I got to the room and find out it's science.

Argh! No! Not science! The plans indicated that everything was in Google Classroom and I wouldn't actually be teaching anything. Which can make for a very boring morning.

The kids were pretty typical. Some working, some not working, some goofing off, etc. I'm pretty much just the adult in the room to maintain the required ratio.

One class was working on a solutions and mixtures assignment. They had to pretend to be in a store and look at certain items and determine if they were pure, a solution, or a mixture. I had a few kids ask about "drink crystals". I explained to two boys, it was a powder you add to water, like Kool Aid or Crystal Lite.

"Or crystal meth?"

Umm. No. "Do not mix crystal meth into water, kids".


Does it matter why?! LOL.

Triple Prep Again!

I got another call for the school to the north, where I had three preps. I checked the calendar, and indeed, it was the same day on the 5 day cycle! It was a bad weather day, so I left early. And got there super early. And then had an hour prep. I'm surprised I wasn't asked to cover for another teacher. The teacher in the room when I had my prep got there just as the bell rang.

The day went better because this time they were actually working on the assignments they were supposed to last time but hadn't been put in their Google Classroom yet. My morning recess duty was so cold.

Sometimes I feel a little guilty being able to leave right after the day ends. But with a last period prep, everything is done by the time the bell rings.

The interesting thing...I was recently in a high school for instrumental music and had a grade 9 class. One girl mentioned that she hadn't learned much the year before. I asked her the school, and it was this one. I was surprised, because they seemed to have a full instrumental program and band. Looks can be deceiving, I guess.

Another Day at the Banana School

I got a call for a full day, grade 1, at the Banana School.  I was willing to give it another try. Primary kids are usually good no matter where you go (though I have written about days where that's not the case...but truly, those are the odd ones out).

I got there and the secretary was so nice and friendly! I had no idea if it was the same secretary as before. I had also heard from others that the secretary is not very welcoming. So maybe a different one? I headed to the class, which was being used by the before school care. The first thing I see on the desk is a note, to leave everything the way it is now. Yikes. I took a picture of the desk just to make sure I could remember.

The plans looked good, but I couldn't find a few little things. Then, a woman showed up. Apparently she recently started volunteering full time in this class (as well as being a lunch supervisor, and having two kids at the school). She was very, very helpful finding things and going to photocopy some things. Most of the time she was a great benefit to the class.

There were three or four students listed as needing close attention and extra help. Luckily, only one showed up (it was an extreme cold day). This student had behavioural needs and reward charts, etc. Apparently he could be difficult with supply teachers. I really had no problem with him, but I was shocked at how strict the volunteer was with him, and that she took it upon herself to move his clip on his behaviour chart. To me, his behaviour was actually normal (not desired, but it was within the normal range for his age and the activity). She said you have to be strict with him or he takes advantage of you. Well, his behaviour went downhill after she moved his clip and gave him a time out.

We had indoor recess and indoor lunch. I went to the staff room at lunch, and was a little surprised to hear teachers putting down parents because of income and disabilities. The area is known to have a high level of unemployment, due to lack of jobs and especially disabilities. One teacher was talking about using a Water Pik and how gum health is important to overall health and another teacher joked that there were a lot of parents there that should hear that message. Another teacher commented that since these parents didn't work, everyday was the weekend, so they could at least get out of pajamas by the time they come pick up the kids.

I went back to the classroom and found that a kindergarten class had joined mine. It was chaos. So noisy.

The other issue I had...the volunteer sat down in the teacher's chair at her desk. And didn't move when I had my prep. So I had to sit on a little chair at the guided table to do some marking. Like, hello? She was on her phone, I could see Facebook open. She never thought to offer the teacher's chair to the supply teacher? Not trying to put my nose up in the air, but c'mon. I had marking to do. She had FB memes to read. Who should get the comfy chair?

I'll still try this school again. It's quite a bit of distance for me though, and right now, I'm in a half day job that could keep getting extended, so any half days I take will need to be closer to home.

Monday, March 11, 2019

I Did This Job?

According to my calendar, my next day of work was the very next morning at a school to the west. My mind was drawing a blank. I couldn't even visualize the school. Music? Friday morning? Really....

It's coming back. I guess it was another day I've pushed from my memory LOL.

I got there early. Watched two cars go in the one way entrance the wrong way.

The school was small, and the music room was actually quite large! No tables! Only for music! The teacher came in after a few minutes. I had been staring at the dayplan scribbles and was getting nervous because the materials that it said needed photocopying weren't there. She brought them in and went over the plan. No problem! Seems do-able.

First period comes and no students come. Mmmm.

Oh, the announcements say it's not Day 1. It's Day 5. According to the schedule on her desk, she has a first period prep. And the other classes are not the ones she told me.

I went to the office and had them call her out of her "New Teacher in Training" mentor meeting. Sorry, I'm not going to "wing it" when the teacher is IN the building.

She came rushing in, all apologetic. She came up with some other plans, one class would be kindies. Fun!

Well, it was interesting. A couple kids were a challenge! Oh boy.

There was a junior/intermediate class working on a project. It was noisey but whatever. It's Friday.

Then there was a grade 4 or 5 class. I had to go get them and one kid wouldn't get off their computer and come. I had to get a little demanding, though the other kids are like "He's always like that". Once in the class, he went straight to the electric piano and started playing. There's a sign on it that says "Unless you're Mozart, please ask before playing. And I know you're not Mozart because he's been dead for 200 years). I turned it off and asked him to not play, and join us. He turned it on. I turned it off. About three times. Then I unplugged it. And again. I asked him not to play, in a firm voice. He snarled at me and said to not talk to him. I said that's fine, but don't play it.

He started wondering around, pushing things off the desk, throwing papers, ripping stuff off the walls. There was an EA with him. I think it was an EA. She didn't really do anything though! She stood at the door and let him walk around the hall but once in my room, he was set free. I just tried to keep up. Finally they headed back to their class.

The music teacher came back and asked how it was. I said it was pretty good except for this last class. This teacher was new but she knew this kid was supposed to have an EA. If I had known right from the start that he needed extra support and had an IEP, I wouldn't have tried to push him at all!!

Not being told about IEPs is a huge concern for supply teachers. Though what good is getting the IEPs when we really don't have time to learn about them, and often we don't even know who the student is--flexible seating, rotary classes, no student photos...Some classes can have 6 students with IEPs of varying natures. It's a LOT.