Thursday, June 13, 2019

Road Trip 2018: Day 5

This was Monday. I've been looking at my pictures, trying to figure out what we did. Cheryl remembers being hung over, so we didn't do much LOL. I have these pictures:

 Enjoying a coffee in the screened in porch and noticed this little guy


 At some point we went out. Not sure where, but I just mentioned "We should go to a Krispy Kreme". Well, that was entered into the GPS and within minutes we were at a Krispy Kreme. They were SO good! I rarely eat doughnuts here, but I'd eat those again! And we did, later in the week LOL.
Cheryl bought these peel off masks for us all. I won't post the group shot LOL

 Ah, why not? It was fun.
 And I missed this photo from the Sunday when we were walking around.


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

Science?!

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".

"Why?"

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.

Kindies, by Myself

Another call for the school in Brooklin that I had just been at. This time for a kindie class, just the afternoon. When I looked on the website to confirm it's a kindie class (because, yo. Gr 1s with special needs was not a kindie), I discover that there's no ECE in the class. Which means there is 15 or less kids.

15 4-6 year olds.

Oh boy.

I get there, and indeed, it is an ECE-less kindie class. However, there is a high school co-op student who's on her last day! Lucky me! She was very helpful! It was a great afternoon. The kids seemed a bit more mature. I don't know if they were selected for this class based on their personalities and abilities. The two main drawbacks was there was no washroom in the classroom, and no direct outside access (it was a primary classroom).

I miss the days of <20 15="" 1="" 20-24="" 2="" 30="" a="" adult.="" adults="" an="" and="" as="" at="" built="" class.="" day="" ece="" enough="" for="" full="" in="" is="" it="" kids.="" kids="" kindie="" little="" lovely--but="" need="" not.="" not="" p="" really="" room="" s="" same="" space.="" teacher="" that="" the="" to="" was="" washrooms="" with="">



Added:
I'm not sure what I was writing. I was scrolling through my blog and the bottom of this post was bizarre html stuff.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Music?

My next day was for the great teacher at the school I don't like, and I already wrote about it in the last post about being in for her. So, skip ahead to this next school.

South end of a neighbouring town. Not the town where I had the F-bomb kid; the other direction. I looked up the school and discovered the last VP from our school was the principal there. That might be good, might not.

I heard before I left that there was an accident on the road I was going to take. I tried a different route but got stuck behind a bus and then a working garbage truck. It seemed to take me forever to get all the way over to this school! I walked into the office, and the principal was actually right there!

And recognized me! And said she loved my hair! (My kids didn't!). It'd been over 2 1/2 years since I'd seen her! She was excited for me to be there. Awesome!

I was in for the librarian/music teacher. She had someone take me to the library and that's where the dayplans were. First up, getting the library computer up and running. I couldn't get the passwords/log in to work; I kept trying different things based on the words she left. Finally, it worked. It wasn't set up exactly like her scribbles. This often happens. Teachers get so used to using something that they forget exactly what it takes for someone who's never seen it, to use it.

Someone (the VP, I think) came in to tell me the fire department was coming in for presentations so instead of having one gr 3 class in, it would be a different gr 3 class, then second period would be the first period gr 3...then the period 2 teacher I was supposed to cover his prep with music, came in and said the kids were having their gr 9 course selection then, so I couldn't do music, but come by and check on them near the end in case they're done. "We're right across the hall".  Okay.

The fire department presentation was neat! Hard to keep grade 3s focused and not asking totally irrelevant questions. Halfway through the second period I popped out to check on the gr 8 class. Ummm. Right across the hall from the library was the backside of the gym. I found their room on the map and they were down the hall, around the corner, down the hall.

I peeked in and they were actively doing stuff. I went back to the library. About 8 minutes before the end of the class I thought "I should go back and check on the other class". They were all standing in the hall. I heard someone say "There's someone!". I guess that was me. Turns out the music/librarian has a music room....directly across the hall from this class's room. Duh. This was not clear on the day plan at all.

They were working on Soundtrap and it was a typical class. Thankfully, short.

I don't remember the next bit. I did get asked to cover a lunch supervision because they were short. Could that be because the principal knew I was a "professional" lunch supervisor? LOL. I was actually a few minutes late to that cause I had the wrong time stuck in my head.

One class after lunch was a behavioural class. The plan said they were coming to the library to use a website..something about Tinker. They didn't come. I went to the classroom it said they were in, and it wasn't their room. I did find them, and joined them in their room. No idea why they didn't come down; they were already working on the website and some kids were working on something else. Only a few kids in the room and they were all fine, but again, I felt like a bump on a log. I was really of no use to them. I did get to talk to one boy, who was going to be away the next week. He would be at his family farm a little to the north-east of me. They have something like 80 horses and he would be working on the farm! He was really excited.

And then. Wait a minute. I have to go get coffee before I get into the next class.

According to the plan, I was supposed to go upstairs to room 201 for a grade 6 class. As I started down the hall, a group of grade 6 looking kids came towards me. I asked them what class they were going to. Music. What? We were almost at the music room so we went in there.

They had worksheets to do. Argh. Don't teachers realize? Boredom is the friend of bad behaviour.

Once again...the kids did not have pencils. Why does this keep happening?!

The kids knew there was little real value in the worksheets, despite them being music related. The behaviour was really lousy. Recess was next and they were supposed to have snack, so once most people were done, I decided to take them back to their classroom. Which was not Room 201.

What a mess! Not just "this teacher has been here a long time and has accumulated a lot of stuff", but "we have no respect for our teacher, school, or anything" type of mess. Apparently their teacher was also away. I definitely wrote about this in the letter for the teacher I was in for.

Finally, the kids got out for recess. I had about 7 minutes to go to the bathroom, re-group, and get ready for the next class. Which was a grade 2 or 3 class. They were to come to the library to work on a social studies project on the computers. Gah. The kids are great with tech, but not always when there's something specific they need to do.

I went to their class, and they had to have their snack first. Fine. I'm all for watching kids eat their snack LOL. I trucked them down to the library and they got seated at the computers and started logging in.

Some of the computers suck. Logging in takes forever, and sometimes it just doesn't work. Yet there was only one or two extra computers, due to kids being away, and other kids didn't want to use those computers because they were the other student's seats. The students that weren't there. Yeah.

Some of the kids knew what to do, but I couldn't quite figure out from the dayplan what the kids who had been away were supposed to do. I did have some great helpers, but there were a few kids that just were not interested in using tech and creating a timeline of their life. One was so adamant he couldn't remember any of his info because he didn't have his rough draft. And he couldn't just think of other things. Meltdowns all around. It was impossible for me--one person--to help 23 kids with tech issues, or "how to spell" questions. I was totally exhausted after this double period class. And, I sort of had the time wrong that it ended and we had to rush out to get ready to go. Then I find out there are no buses at this school, so really, did it matter that we rush?

Would I go back here? The drive was on the longer side (I know I'm being petty---a 20-25 minute drive is nothing compared to what others do!), and I wasn't wowed by the kids or the school. I was initially thinking if I could get a couple good days here, the principal would most likely be a reference for me. But is it worth it? Hard to say. I think it'd all come down to what grade it is, what day of the week (Wednesdays are a challenge) and what the rest of my week looks like.

It's a Job

The next day, in the morning, I got a call for the afternoon. Pretty close by--the school I did the glockenspiels at, grade 7/8. I got there, and it was definitely not music LOL.

The teacher had a man cave office at the back LOL. He seemed to have everything. One student came in and was commenting on it and we got joking that he could live there if he needed to. The hammock could attach to the ceiling if you took down a couple ceiling tiles...

There wasn't going to be really any "teaching". It was mainly babysitting while the kids worked on a couple different assignments.

And babysitting it was. A pretty typical bunch of grade 7/8. Some worked well, some looked like they weren't working but still got work done, and some really got very little done. It got loud at times. The teacher was even in and out of the room and told them to get quieter. Didn't matter.

Some days are like this. You're just the adult body in the room to make sure ratios are met. I'm okay with that as long as the kids aren't violent or rude. But I do really enjoy when I get to do an actual lesson. Provided I know what the subject is LOL

A Full Day of Music!

I started off the next week with a call to a school to the north. I was excited because it was a full day, and Megan's skating coach's kids go to the school. It's also laid out like Megan's school.

I got there and found out I have three preps--starting the morning with a double prep! Also had recess duty and one class in a portable (before recess).

Kids were a bit disappointed they weren't going to play instruments. I never know if the kids will behave and I trust the classroom teacher's judgement. They worked on compositions using www.soundtrap.com.

But then. There was a class that had an assignment that was supposed to be in their Google Classroom. One by one they started telling me they couldn't find it. At first, I thought it was just that student's issue, but it quickly turned into the whole class was missing it. Okay. I had no copy of the actual assignment, just that it was about music's influence on culture. About 15 minutes into the 30 minute class, I emailed the teacher. She quickly responded but it took until 5 minutes before the end of class for the assignment to get posted. The next period was also doing the same assignment and luckily they did have it in their Classroom.

Second to last period was a grade 7/8 class. They were working on a Language assignment. From across the room, I heard the words "Mrs Nutt...kindergarten...Palmerston". Crazy! Megan went to Palmerston and had Mrs Nutt! I approached the girl, who apparently was in JK when Megan was in SK and they were in the same class! She says she didn't remember Megan, she didn't remember much except when the ice cream truck came to the school.

My last period was a prep and I had to leave the room. I spent the prep time going through my Google Photos archive on my phone to find when Megan had a friend over for her birthday and they decorated gingerbread houses. Megan had two friends in the class and I couldn't tell which girl this was (there was only about 9 kids in the entire class). I knew the other girl's last name and that she lived in Brooklin and that her mom was a teacher. I coudn't remember though which girl came for the "party".
 Megan and her cake
 Lucy and her house. I'm not showing a photo of the girl because I don't have her permission.

I went back up just before the bell and showed the girl the photos, and it was her! What a small world! Her friends all thought she was cute LOL.

It was nice to have a day without big issues, even grades 5-7 were decent! I added the school to my "I'd go back there" list.

More Music!

I got another for the music teacher at the school with the ineffective secretary.  This time I made it to the school, and signed in without any issues (going at lunch also means that the secretary is not there). The music teacher was actually there because she was having an in-school mentoring session with a new teacher. Although it's been hit or miss with this school, this music teacher has her stuff together and I don't need to worry about anything! This day, she even went up stairs with me before the afternoon started to make sure I knew how the technology worked in one classroom! Then when I went to that class later, she actually popped in to make sure it was still set up!

I ended up getting called in for her again a week later. It was one of her half days at the school, but apparently she was really sick. Oh boy. Would that mean I'd get sick? I didn't! Yay!

The two days somewhat blend together. Actually, a lot of days are blending together now! So I'll just talk generally now.

One of the classes I had to go to was the gr 3 class I had my first morning at this school. I was nervous because I knew there was the kid with a safety plan. Again, he wasn't there, and the other boy that had a lot of issues wasn't there either. After a couple minutes, the kids did remember me, LOL. Once I raised my voice they all remembered.

One of the music placements I did, I had to read a kids' book about different types of music. During my prep, I had looked up different YouTube videos I could play as audio examples. That was fun! It disrupted the flow of the book, but I think it added a lot of meaning to it. I also read a book written by John Lithgow. It was pretty good too. About a young child that learns instruments so quickly he gets bored and has a tantrum, and tries another instrument. At the end, the boy discovers he actually really likes being the conductor instead.

I really enjoy these types of classes, where I get to teach a lesson. Although this teacher plans her lessons so that a non-music teacher can do them, it's easy to deepen them. So much better than "Here's a worksheet, they know what to do". Now, I did have that for two of the classes at this school.  They had been working on recorders and being in the junior division, it's a challenge to let them actually have playing time with a substitute teacher. The first class, was to name the lines and spaces. Many of them copied the example on the board and instead of writing a music note in the line or space, they wrote the note name. The other class was working on short compositions and music goals. I did allow them to play their recorders to help with the composition. I also taught them "Baby Shark" but I didn't realize it needed F#.

I haven't been back since these two times in January, but funny how after the first day I said I probably wouldn't go back here, and then I ended up there 3 more times!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Music!

I was excited for the next morning's job. A school not too far, not too early, half day. Music. Lucy has friends that went to this school, and they seem normal LOL. Lucy has good friends though.

Got there, signed in, my shared office was directly off the main front hall and I could hear lots of conversations between teachers getting caught up after the break. It sounded like a nice community!

My first period, I was heading to a gr 1 class. I recognized the name as the younger sister of a boy and girl I knew fairly well in high school. Her brother was the best man, I think, at my brother's wedding. I didn't really know her--just knew of her. And of course, I have a different name now. Do I tell her?

But I got stopped just short of the classroom by a woman who spoke my name. She asked me why I was there, explained why she was there (director of the day care, they have an office attached to this classroom), it's been a long time, how are you...etc.

And I was standing there with my mouth open, thinking...who ARE you? I was pretty certain (before she explained it) that she wasn't the classroom teacher. She looked to be a bit older than me, but perhaps my age. She reminded me of someone! A girl from my grade in high school? A girl that had been in the flute section when I first joined the local band?

I went in the class, and continued my morning. I'm not sure when I remembered--was I still at the school or had I left? Even if I was at the school, could I go back and find her and say, "Now I remember who you are!".

She was the older sister of my ex-boyfriend/almost fiance.

We dated for 3.5 years, though she got married shortly after we started dating. I felt do dumb. LOL. I had seen her at a distance during a concert, a few years ago. Wonder what she's going to tell her family?

I don't really remember much of the morning. I didn't feel worn out when I left, so I guess it was good.

That evening, I got a message from a friend who's also a OT here. He asked if I had been at that school. Why?! When he went to sign out at the end of the day, he saw my name on the line below his! I hadn't even noticed!! And he had even told me a week before or so, that he was going to be at that school. I must have been really out of it that morning!!

First Day Back in January

Happy Birthday to me...my first day back to work after Christmas break was the afternoon of my birthday. I was back in for the jazz band director. I checked my notes to see if it would be the same day of the five day cycle that I had been in before. Nope! That made me feel better...but also made me wonder what else I would come across.

I got there and headed to his room. A man came out of the room just before I got there and said "Hi". I didn't know who he was. I went in and found the plans. The teacher had a 3 prep afternoon. Jackpot. However, there were some notes scribbled down about going to see the VP about covering other classes for the preps. I headed back down the hall.

That man that I past was the VP. He was super nice. We talked a bit about the school (340 students! That's tiny here), and the teacher and I said how I knew him from the jazz bands and how lucky the school is to have such a dedicated teacher and sure, I'll cover 2 other classes during my preps because I really don't need three preps, not a problem, I've been in PLP classes before and I'm glad to help out any way I can and by the way, can I kiss your butt anymore?

First up, a PLP class. This is a class for kids usually with autism and Down Syndrome. The more 'severe' kids are usually in this class full time and other kids might get some integrated subjects. First up, I knew two of the kids with Down Syndrome because they had been at my school last year. Whenever I'm in a PLP class, I always feel like an outsider. I don't know the kids, what their limits are, etc. Usually the EAs run the class but I can't just sit in the corner either. Especially not after the butt-kissing. I don't feel like I helped anything except maintaining their mandated ratios.

Then I had 2 classes of music. Again, worksheets. Again, poor engagement. He didn't leave clear instructions. Many kids said they had already done them. Was I to teach a lesson? Who knows.

Again I had recess duty in the cold and damp. Bleh.  At least some kids here talked to me. One even noticed I had coloured my hair!

Last period I had to cover for a teacher upstairs. Went there...no one in the room. Saw an adult, asked...they didn't know. Back down to the VP who realized he had made the mistake, sent me to the right room, about 10 minutes into the class. It was "just" an art class. Grade 7 or 8. They were using liquid tempera paints. You could tell they didn't have to buy it themselves. You could also tell they aren't very skilled in cleaning up after themselves.

Back down to the music room to write my note and collect my things. There were a couple girls waiting around, they said, for their vocal coach/teacher. Finally she came. I gathered that these two girls were stars in the school music (They are doing Shrek). One of the kids sat at the piano and just started playing/singing Happy Birthday randomly. I said "Thank you!" They thought I was joking. I was like...no...it really is my birthday! That was a nice way to end the day!

Again, no pictures. What's up with that, Blogger?

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Yes, I'm a Music Teacher

I got one more full day of work before the Christmas break, and it was an actual music teacher job! But in the call, it just said Elementary Release Teacher. What this means is that this teacher teaches the subjects the other teachers don't want to, so they can get their required amount of prep in. It's usually gym, music, art, dance, drama, but sometimes it can be science or social studies! You never know what you'll get on these days. After accepting the call, I looked up the website and found out he actually teaches music (and science...but I was hopeful it would be a music day).

I got there, a fairly close school and found my workroom that is shared with other "prep" teachers. The plans looked good. Basically, I'd be teaching the kids to use small glockenspiels all day!! A lot of running around, and this is a confusing school, but it should be fun!

And it mostly was! I got to the first class and chatted with the teacher who was also a supply teacher. Somehow I mentioned the crazy kindie day  and she said she was there that day too, as a kindie supply! And totally agreed it was crazy.

I did have one class, about grade 4 or 5 that was a little "pusing the boundaries". Their class was on the stage and it meant they had places they could hide or goof off.

It was a lot of fun, though by the end of the day, I was tired and had a headache!

For some reason Blogger won't let me add a photo today. I was going to add a picture of the Sonora glockenspiels. They're pretty neat.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Music Teacher?

I got a call for another afternoon at the high school far to the east. Why do they keep sending me there? There's 4 high schools right in my town! The job said Instrumental Music, but the special notes said Period 3 in P1, Civics and Careers; P4 is prep.

I get there, and sure enough, I get assigned an "on call". The details weren't great. There was a folder with attendance and what the two different classes were to do. There was also a folder saying "Study Hall" and pictures of all the kids, but no instructions on what to do.

The Civics/Careers class was fine. They were working on a simple poem about who they are. Then back inside to go babysit kids in the cafeteria. A boys fitness (phys ed) class and a math class. None of the boys worked on the assignment. One kid said he just won't do it, it doesn't care about the 5% it affects his final mark. One other kid says he'll use the same project he turned in last year for the course.

Throughout the last half of the period boys were asking to go to their locker or washroom. I noticed after awhile they didn't seem to be coming back. By 30 minutes before the bell, there was only a couple of the boys left. Whatever. It was almost Christmas break.

Another day of feeling like my degree was a waste! But still, pretty easy money for a 1/2 day work.

Music Teacher

I was pretty tired after two days in a row of full day kindie jobs. How do the kids do it? How do the teachers do it? But I grabbed a primary music job for the next morning because 1) it's music 2) it's primary and 3) it was nearby at a school I really enjoyed earlier in the year.

I got there, and my "classroom" is essentially the back part of the stage. I'd read about this sort of thing in the elementary music teacher group on Facebook. The plans said everything was in the cupboard. The cupboard was locked. There was evidence (and I checked their website) that they had their primary concert the night before.

I went back to the office and there was a teacher there---Megan's kindie teacher! I knew she was at this school. I mention the connection but I doubt she remembers Megan, she's been a teacher a very long time. She led me back and unlocked the cupboard with all the materials. MusicPlay CDs and we'd be singing along, basically. More kindie classes! I'm going to forget how to talk to older students LOL.

I had to do the first class in their room because the stage doors panels hadn't been closed yet. It was fun learning the songs with them, and it was a good class for it. The next few classes I had to go and get them and take them to the stage. Most of the classes were great! There was one class...many kids were absent (I think it was 9!) but the ones that were left were quite a handful! Not too interested in following instructions! We got through it though.

One of the kindie teachers looked very, very pregnant. This was almost the middle of December. A month later her maternity leave LTO was posted in the jobs. I don't understand why they leave posting a maternity leaver LTO until the last minute. It'll post on a Monday, close on Wed, and start on Friday. I was once told that they can't hire the replacement until the leave has started, so that's why there's a delay. But can't they have the replacement lined up before then? They could be coming in and getting to know everyone...

Second Chance Kindies

As mentioned yesterday, I pre-arranged to come in for a kindie class that I covered earlier in the school year. A full day. I was pretty worried. The one afternoon had been very draining, how would a whole day go?

The regular ECE was there. That helped immensely. So much so, that I think they shouldn't be allowed to have both out on the same time. And that every class in a school should have another adult in the class. This time, the day went pretty smoothly. I got to know the kids a bit better and get back stories on some of them. There were still some challenges typical to kindergarten but I didn't come home feeling like I'd survived a tornado. I felt maybe things were getting good again, and perhaps primary is where I belonged. People are often amazed that I do primary and high school (and intermediate, which was 7-8 when I took the program but now seems to include 7-9 or even 7-10). I rarely have had a good day with grades 5-6 and even 7-8 can be hit or miss. I was planning to do my Junior ABQ this summer (4-6) but I don't ever want to made to teach 5-6 just because I have the qualification. Right now, I can hit "Not Qualified" on the job calls and I'm not permanent so a principal can't assign me a junior class (if I were permanent---the principal can shuffle teachers around to keep them fresh, provide continuity, or just cause they want you to deep clean your room by moving to another room....okay, maybe that's not a valid reason but I've seen cases where that's what it seemed like!).

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Kindies!!

I went on my road trip, but just prior to going, I was messaged by the kindie teacher from the class I had for the afternoon, with the supply ECE. She had asked if I'd like to come back on a regular basis, she had 3 days in December that needed someone. I said I wasn't sure about the first day because I thought I was getting home on the 11th and knew it could be late. I ended up booking the 13th for her. One day instead of three, but oh well. I really didn't even want to go back after the first time there!

But, the day before that I got another kindie job. Full day, fairly close. Early start school though! I got to watch the sunrise from the classroom. 
 I have to be there 30 minutes before the start time, so don't worry, the kids weren't coming in the dark.
 I love this display on levels. Although, how often do they use this in kindie?

The ECE was nice, I encountered a lot of nice students in the halls too. I was told the school was a square, but it didn't seem like it when I was walking around. A teacher from my kids' school had moved here a couple years ago and I thought I might find him, but he wasn't on the same floor and I was hesitant to go to the lower floor since I kept getting "lost".
I had to work with a small group of kids focusing on initial letter sounds, using these flash cards. The others were simple. N for nest, B for ball. But what was this one?! Rob says "Intelligence". Someone suggested "e-e-e-e-e-" sound that the dolphin makes. Someone suggested "injured Ian" (cause the diver seems to be missing a foot).  If anyone knows, let me know please!!

I love these days that nothing really stands out!

And This is Why I Avoid This Area.

I do like to give schools the benefit of the doubt, especially if offered a primary job. The next half day job was a school in an area I try to avoid. Being in moms groups and just watching the news, I know there are issues. Usually though primary grades are okay. I hadn't worked much in the week prior, and I was leaving the next night for a road trip, so I really wanted the job (actually, I wanted the money from the job LOL). I did turn down a couple calls first. One or two of them were for Phys Ed. No thanks. I know there is often a co-op, student, or co- teacher but I'm not risking it.

I head over to the school. It's a windy day and because I'm not fond of the 401, this took me awhile to get there.  I followed another OT into the school, commenting on how we're doing the Supply Teacher Shuffle--looking down at our phones to remind ourselves of the teacher we're in for.  I am very familiar with the school layout from other schools, but it's still so weird seeing it with different people, things, culture. The kids in the office seemed nice. I asked them how they liked the school and they replied that they like it a lot better this year because of a new VP/P staff that actually lets them do events instead of automatically saying no.

I got to the class and it's a 3/4 split but the 4's were only a few kids, maybe four or 6. They would be going off to do French with another class and I'd have the grade 3s for a few periods. I read the plans and they said to read the IEPs for a couple students and there were things noted to pay attention. One of the students seemed like they had a lot of issues and I started getting worried. The class came in, I did attendance...and that one student had been suspended! In grade 3! With Restorative Justice in schools, it takes a lot to actually get suspended. I can't imagine what happened in grade 3 to get him suspended.

First up was to be a "Number Talk" about 3x5=15. I didn't really know what a number talk was. The plans said to show 4 (I think) ways to show it. The allotted time (including attendance) was 25 minutes. How do you spend 25 minutes talking about 3x5? There didn't seem to be any actual work to go along with it. I think I fluffed about 10 minutes then encouraged them to do some other multiplication questions. I don't think anyone did. There was some talk about math and a few kids tried to stump me.

The other kids came back and they were working then on health posters. Cut and paste. It got a little messy but work was happening. There was another staff member present, but I don't know who they were. I'm thinking an EA.

And then the kicker. After recess was an hour of Phys Ed. No co-teacher, student teacher, or co-op student. And not much left in the plans. Luckily it takes time to get back inside from recess, and I made them clean up their messes from snack time, so that killed some time. I've been in some schools, especially ones with a full time phys ed teacher, that run a very structured program. There didn't seem to be that here. I looked up the game suggestions and we played them. I noticed two boys were having a difference of opinions on whether one was "out". That other staff member was there, and a woman appeared, who also seemed to be an EA. I thought we got it worked out but right before leaving the gym to get back upstairs, one of those two students started having a meltdown. The woman was talking with him so I stepped back and focused on the class dismissal.

By the time the class was getting their things together, this kid was off the wall. I could hear him above all the dismissal noise in the hall. Then he came in the classroom, swearing "F*$k this" and F that, shoving chairs across the room, throwing a few things off the desks. The EA was shadowing him and not saying much, but letting her presence be known. I continued with my end of day duties.

As I was leaving the school I came across her in the hall. She thanked me, and I thanked her! I told her I mentioned it in the note for the teacher, but I wasn't sure what it had been about. She filled me in a little and I felt better that the school was on top of it (as far as I could tell). No one got hurt, and I get to go home and not think about it anymore.

Kindies

I've mentioned before that I love being in kindie classes, especially when the regular ECE is there. I got an afternoon call for a nearby school so I jumped on it. When I got there, the kids were inside watching probably, Paw Patrol because it was raining. There was a lunch supervisor and one or two older student monitors. The class was incredibly quiet. The monitors kept them in line and didn't allow  any talking or other behaviours. Incredible!

I don't remember having to do much this afternoon. Two jobs in a row that went pretty smoothly? I did jump the gun a little on that, stay tuned for the next post. The worst thing that happened this day was the bulb in the projector was replaced and it got really smelly. I started to feel nauseous and so did some of the kids. No one threw up though, so that's good. I think the most interesting part of the day was that one student was named "Pharaoh". Haven't had that one yet!


Friday, February 22, 2019

Eating My Words

Remember the day where I was locked out of the portable 10 minutes before school started? The loud grade 3 kids who were messy and needy? And I'd never go back to that school?

Well, I got called for a music teacher there, another half day; morning. This time I left with plenty of time. I thought.

Got there, and got what appeared to be the last parking spot and there was still 25-30 minutes to go. I heard the secretary tell someone else that they have 45 spots and 60 staff.

Waited for the instructions. Found the workroom. It was locked. Walked back to the office (at least I was inside). The secretary was just like "Oh. It should be open. There's usually someone there. And the custodian's outside salting the sidewalks so you'll have to wait for someone with a key."  Really? The custodian doesn't carry a walkie-talkie? There's no spare key in the office?

Finally after nearly 10 minutes, the VP comes out and says she'll take me down. She was the principal at my kids' school the last year it was opened. She gave me trouble for waiting on the pavement at lunch recess--I couldn't stay to visit with my kid and her friends. She made the kids start going to the bathroom with a buddy. There was less than 150 kids in the school. Why should 2 miss class time when they had been fine with just 1 before?  I mentioned to her that I remembered her from that school and she wasn't very talkative. She was there just one year, I guess it didn't really mean much to her.

Got in the room, got my lesson plans, looks good. Upstairs for the first class, I dont' remember what it was about now. Then back down to a kindergarten room. Somehow, I took a wrong turn and did an entire loop of the square school before getting to the kindie room. And I forgot that I had wanted to stop at the workroom to pick up the materials for the kindie class. If I had made the correct turn, I would have passed the workroom. The kindie staff didn't look happy I was a few minutes late so I didn't even ask if I could run back (it was just a couple doors down!). I did have the iPod with the music, but I wasn't entirely sure what to do with the songs LOL. We did some marching activity, some loud and soft activity. I tried to keep them engaged with other ideas about loud and soft, and teaching them Italian so they could go home and impress their parents. Personally, I prefer loud and quiet. Soft to me (and many kids) means a texture or a gesture. I noticed a book on their bookshelf that mentioned drums, so I read that (except it wasn't all that great for a kindie class). Finally, the class was over.

I had outside recess duty and it was so cold and windy! There's 12 portables and I had a class in one of the portables. I think they were pretty good. Though I did have some class somewhere (other than that really hot day at the school that had the lock down drill, where I had the horrible class in the portable). Oh, I remember. They weren't awesome, but it wasn't too too bad. We listened to an Aboriginal artist and they had a sheet to fill out about him. Many kids were not interested though. Hard to get them engaged when I didn't really know anything about it. One kid was very enthusiastic about the song/music. He had even watched the video for the song on YouTube after their last class when they first heard it.

As I was packing up, that boy stopped by the music office just as the music teacher was getting there. He was so happy! I let the teacher know how it went, especially the kindie class, LOL. Said I'd love to be back. Although the morning wasn't "perfect" it was so much better than the first morning I was there. Now, if only the secretary could get a little more enthusiastic about her job...


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Back to High School

I got an afternoon call to the high school to the far east, where I did the tech design day. Sure! I needed to go to the craft store, and it's right down the street LOL. And, it was a geography job! Sweet.

I got there, read the plans. Showing a video and a question sheet to fill out at the same time. However....it said the video was cued up and there was nothing there. No computer. Nothing.

A sweet young man came in and introduced himself saying he has anxiety and doesn't like to talk in class and sits in the corner. So I was able to check him off on the attendence ahead of time.

Then the teacher comes in. A smartly dressed young man. I wished, once again, that I had gone the dress route. I was dressed nice, but could've gone for a dress. It was November though. He got the video all set up and I asked him about the kids.

He got a look on his face and hesitated. Oh boy. He said "Entitled asshole milleniums".

Ouch.

He added that I should be really strict because they've been rough on supplies. And if a kid is acting up to just get out of the room, just kick them out; don't even tell them to go to the office. The kids seemed to like him, maybe cause he's young. I had to keep getting after them to answer the questions and be quiet so they could hear the video. For the second class, I actually stopped the video at key points so they could write things down. Should have done that with the first class. The kids said he's going to yell at them the next day. I said, well...you knew the expectations and you chose to do the things that results in the teacher yelling at you and leaving boring work cause he can't trust you when there's a supply teacher.

Why don't kids get this?! Argh.

Hugh Returns!

Thanksgiving was fast approaching and we stressed to Hugh that he needed to figure out how he was getting home for Thanksgiving. We offered to drive one way--preferred the way back. We recommended he try the TriColour Express. This is a chartered bus service run by Queen's students. It's $40Cdn for a one way ticket. It even makes its first campus pickup at West Campus, so despite living "in the boonies", Hugh can get on the bus first and be assured of a seat (they don't get reserved seats and tickets are sold up to an hour before departure and they don't oversell tickets but it's still nice to get on the first bus). The downside was that someone had to drive into Scarborough during rush hour on a Friday to pick him up. I didn't raise my hand for that job!

Hugh was so laid back about the whole going  to university process. Maybe it was anxiety, maybe it's just him. We had to nudge him every.step.of.the.way. We were hoping that once he was there, he'd start taking initiative and figure these things out on his own. It was slow going, but he's doing it. 

He got involved in Frosh Week (I think it's supposed to be called Orientation Week)
and joined the fencing team (what?!) and went and did archery.


 He had shown great skill at archery at Culver Family Camp, but we'd never gotten another try.  I just searched my blog and I never wrote about our camp experience? I just posted on Facebook? I got behind with posting about the family cruise and never did family camp? What?! Here's some photos, from 2014.


Onwards. Hugh finally got around to getting his bus ticket.


Rob and Lucy drove in to meet him. Rob wanted to leave very early and I was like...you don't need that much time. Lucy texts me to tell me he hadn't looked at the directions and missed the exit. Then there was no parking...and they had to figure out where the bus might come (it just says "bus terminal").  Meanwhile Hugh was texting me to tell me they were behind schedule. Eventually I get word that they're about to pull in the driveway and I set up my camera and get the dog to the front door.

And lets just say, Skippy didn't seem all that impressed his boy was back home. I recorded their reuniting, but really, it's so unimpressive that it's kind of impressive.

 Hugh loves his puppy, and his puppy loves him. When we first got him, Hugh had a regular bed and often Skippy snuck up on it. Hugh's had a loft bed for a while, but once he moved out, we gave it to Megan. I mean...Hugh's 6'1". He couldn't even sit up in the loft bed. Neither can Megan though LOL. We thought Skippy would be back on the bed, but he wasn't. Hugh kept his door shut a lot.



 We had a delicious Thanksgiving turkey thanks to Martha Stewart
 Someone enjoyed a turkey wing.
And before we knew it, it was time to take Hugh back. Traffic was surprisingly slow, there and back.
 Hugh's family invades his room! I think we took him for dinner but I can't remember where. Maybe Scores Pizza. Hugh had a history project he was working on and needed to go find a statute of Sir John A MacDonald. His directions were just "south east corner of City Park". First we had to convince Rob which park was city park. Then which was the south east corner (also, Hugh had "north west corner of King and West St"). We parked (gawd. Parking in Kingston sucks everywhere) and walked towards the statues

 We're not really sure you're allowed to do this LOL.
 Long slow drive into the sunset
 I discovered the filters available on my phone's camera


 Tail lights. I'm not sad when he leaves but I do miss him. I want to get to experience this new young man, cause he is really changing and developing into a person. His teen years....he was just kind of a lump. LOL. Sorry Hugh :)




Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Ready to Quit

I was exhausted after the day before, but since this was a 4 day week, I knew I needed to take whatever came up. It was a gr 3 afternoon in a school not too far from me, an "older" neighbourhood (30ish years?). Sounded good, right?

I got there, saw the plans, and the teacher came in to go over them and let me know about Andy. He was mentioned in the plans as having ASD and sometimes troubles with supply teachers. He was allowed to go to the office for breaks. The teacher said he's been doing really good lately and probably wouldn't need breaks. Oh, and he's been recently diagnosed with ODD.

Oh boy. I knew I had to start off nice (I always do LOL) and win him over. But before I even found out who he was, he was agitated. I also had several other kids to help or keep an eye on. Andy would not do silent reading and went to the office for a break.


I don't remember the order of the afternoon. There was a read aloud, following a video on YouTube. The kids had a hard time being quiet and there were some technical issues and they just weren't all that engaged. I wish I had the actual book and could have just read it. I did have a great kid helping with the projector/computer but he was still only in grade 3.


Then there was science. Since I had the computer hooked up and logged in, I took time during recess to find a video for the lesson. It was nice to actual "teach" something, though it seemed to be review. The kids needed to work on a package of handouts.

At some point, Andy found a basket of markers. He was putting a marker lid in his mouth, and then shooting it at classmates. Ick. I finally got that away from him. He did go to the office for another break at some point.

Then he found a basket of elastic bands. He was zinging them at classmates. The other kids were becoming agitated.

They needed to do group work to practice a drama presentation. Andy would not join his group. He was going around harassing kids...I think he was trying to flick a playing card at their face. I started with one group in the hall but after a few minutes I had kids running around the classroom and more groups in the hall than in the class--because they were trying to escape from Andy. I finally called the office and asked for someone to come get him. Someone came, and what a scene it must have looked like. They didn't seem pleased and didn't even talk to me. I don't know who it was.

Once Andy was gone, the class was great! And then they had gym and I had prep last period. I just wanted to put my head down and cry. This post no where near shows how chaotic the class felt. Kids who needed scribing, kids needed general help to stay on task, etc...all got basically ignored because I had to keep Andy from hurting others. My note was fairly long for a half day job.

The kids came back to get ready to go. I put my nice face back on and chatted with them, someone drew me a picture, they said they liked me. Andy needed some reminders to get ready but he was okay now. He was flicking the playing card and that was freaking some kids out, so I held it until they were gone, then I had him show me how to do it, cause he was really good. I wanted to show him that I wasn't all mean.

I got out to my truck, and was hemmed in by the bus loading. I could have ignored the one way sign and zipped out the entrance that was pretty close to me, but I figured I already had one black X next to my name, I didn't want another. I wasn't going to totally give up on the school, especially since it was fairly close to me.

Recently, a small LTO was listed for this school. I really toyed with the idea of applying, but with everything going on with my dad's health, I didn't really feel I should commit to anything.

What Did I Do?

The crazy continued.  I was beginning to feel that the good days I had were the abnormal ones.

I got a call for an afternoon kindie job. I get there, the kids are eating lunch. It's a very non-white class. This IS important, especially for kindie, because it can mean that a lot of the students are English Language Learners, or that there's a lot of immigration and the issues that brings for the young children.

The teacher was there and asked if I could come in for three days in December cause her regular supply was busy. I said "Sure" but it'd depend on dates because I was planning to be away until the 11th. She needed 12-14. I left my info.

This teacher was so well planned. She even had pictures of each kid and a list of who they could leave with at dismissal. Though just saying "Mom, Dad or Grandpa" is not all that helpful, having kids pictures with their name really helps. Especially when most names were not the typical white names I'm more used too. Many of these names I had never seen before.

There was a supply ECE and she showed up shortly. She'd never been here either. Oh boy.

Attendance. Fun! Trying to pronounce the names. One name I had seen before but this child pronounced it differently. Finally got it done. Tried to read a book out loud and the kids just could not keep themselves together and quiet. Then it was centers time. Centers are my favourite thing about kindies. It was going better.

Then it was recess. Okay, I like recess too. There were many low functioning kids in this class though. Like, stare at the sky. Do they understand English? Were they even speaking English? Surely by the middle of November they'd know the routine to go outside.

Just before going outside, we found out there was an extended recess and the kids could go out on the field with the big kids, for a reward for fundraising. Ummmm. How am I going to round up 30 kids I don't know? There were other kindie classes, but some of them had supplies too. And this was messing up our break times. And there was an ASD student returning to the classroom and the ECE was needed for him, for a diaper change. And then a girl got hurt. One had a meltdown. And  then...

I couldn't figure out what the kid needed at first. Was it in English? Finally he said "poop". Okay, gotcha. I sent him in to the bathroom. I went to check on him in a few minutes and he said "Big poop". He was on the toilet so I said to finish up. He said "Big poop". Okay, finish your big poop. Then I saw it.

A big poop. In his pants on the floor. Yup.
Teachers are not supposed to deal with bathroom incidents or bodily fluids. ECEs are, because they have the training. But what was I supposed to do? I didn't even know where the ECE was. I picked up the pants, dropped the turd in the toilet, found a bag, found his backpack (I couldn't even figure out his name!) and got him changed.

We got the kids rounded up from their extended recess. Now, they needed snack. It should have been centers again, but snack is important! Messy, messy kids. We couldn't quite figure out some of the details of the end routine, but the ECE got a video on and we started getting the kids ready again. Though it was a little too early. Crazy times. Then we took them outside for dismissal. The ECE took the bus kids somewhere, with the help of someone else. I tried to look like I knew what I was doing. The kids all disappeared, so I guess it worked.

While I was writing up the note, the custodian came in. I let him know about the huge puddle under the fountain (a kid tried to fill his water bottle and created a waterfall). He nicely commiserated with me, about the supply life--he did it as a custodian too.

I made it home, exhausted after a half day. I wondered how the heck I would do three full days after arriving home from an almost 2 week road trip to Florida. Yikes.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Hugh Grows Up!

I haven't said a whole lot about the kids (my kids) on this blog in awhile. I keep everyone up to date on FB. I think it's time for a little update!

Hugh. Sigh. He grew up. And up. And up. LOL. Last year he was in grade 12 and going through the whole university application procedure. He was so...unengaged. We had to push him to meet deadlines and get involved. He wasn't sure what he wanted to do. He liked film editing, computer programming, math, science, history...When we went on the Queen's tour in the summer before grade 12, the clerk mentioned the "COCA" program. We read about it in the booklet but it didn't really click (just went to see the post on our tour. It's not on this blog. It's on my knitting/sewing blog LOL). This program is "Computers and the Creative Arts". You study computers and one area of creative arts, such as film, music, theater. We really didn't know much more than that.

He ended up applying for Computer Programming at Carleton, Queen's and Trent and COCA (which is actually a B.A program) at Queen's. He got early acceptance to Carleton and Trent. We went to tour Trent. It was okay. It felt very small though. Hugh didn't have anything to say. The campus seems to have a split personality. Some of the buildings are disntinctly '70s...brown bricks, small windows. The old residences were called "castle like" but felt more dungeon like. You enter a hall way that is sort of outside and it was so damp feeling. The layout was confusing but it meant some of the rooms were unique. Then there were the newer buildings that were bright and airy and colourful.


 Then in March Break we went to the big open house day at Queen's. Hugh wasn't feeling well and again, he wasn't all that engaged. We had more fun than he did. It started off at Grant Hall. We pretty much had to push him behind the student card cutout. Dad, of course, hopped in there right away.


We attended a talk about the residences and fees. Lots more options than when we were there.

The meal plan has changed too, and looks really good. The "Trade a Meal" is a great thing, especially now that there are a lot more food options on campus. We then went on a tour and got to see several residences. The oldest one had been (or still was?) all boys and you could smell it LOL. The newest residences are Single Plus--two single rooms joined by a shared bathroom. Some of these buildings even had air conditioning! The rooms seemed small though.



We had some time, so we paid for the breakfast brunch at the "old" cafeteria, Leonard Hall. Well. It's nothing like it was in the '90s. It felt more like the Windjammer Buffet on Royal Caribbean! It used to be one line, stereotypical cafeteria service, opening up to a massive room of long tables. Now, there are lots of different "stations" and options and the seating area has nooks, small tables, booths, the works. Although it used to be scary standing at the opening of the massive room scanning the room for a familiar face, this cafe has the issue that if you are intentionally looking for someone, you have to walk all around.


Then we walked down King St to the new Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. Despite the School of Music not having its own theater and lacking a larger practice, this new centre is not also home to the School of Music. The Film School got to move in. It's not a terrible walk, 13-15 minutes, but if you're lugging a trombone, cello, double bass...Anyway. It's a beautiful place. School of Music auditions were going on, and I saw several professors that had been there when I was!! We didn't get to see the actual theater though due to auditions.


We toured much of the Film School facilities. Hugh still didn't seem excited. What would it take? His foot was bothering him, he had a cold...but still.  We did find out that COCA is geared to "using computers as a consumer in the arts fields" and computer programming was to "design those programs others use". That cleared it up quite a bit. Much of the classes are the same in the first two years and as long as he took a particular math, he could move over to the computer programming program later. Apparently you don't even need any high school computer programming courses to apply for a Bachelor of Computer Science. 

We never got around to visiting Carlton, but went out to The Mandarin to celebrate his acceptance LOL.
Yes, he ate cotton candy with chopsticks. He has a fascination with chop sticks. 

Finally, word came from Queen's. He didn't get into the B.Comp. Science. program, but got into B.A. in the COCA program (which really starts the second year).  

He put in the deposit for the residence lottery. What would he get? He couldn't decide if he wanted double or single but of course, Dad insisted he wanted to be on main campus. I tried to remain open minded. It was out of our control, regardless. Finally it came. He got a single room on West Campus. Dad was furious. Several other kids from our immediate neighbourhood (as well as at least one girl from last year) also got West Campus. What's up with that? I know many people really like the secluded, small village feel of West Campus. We hadn't even toured out there though. 

We went as a family to settle him in.   We were supposed to be there during a certain time window. Of course, we got the first window, 8am-10am. Rob wanted to be there right at 8am. Not sure why. 
 It was hot but cloudy.
 Megan didn't get up early enough to do her eyebrows LOL


 There was a construction sign ahead but traffic suddenly came to an almost stop! Google said the 401 was closed up ahead!!

 OMG. It was so slow. Two lanes of highway traffic have to get off and go on rural streets.
We got off and followed most people. It was slow going because at one point we had to make a left turn onto a busier road. It felt like forever. 
It was a little chaotic, but at least less so than at Main Campus. First thing was to send Hugh in to get his key. By himself. Oh boy. Instant Adulthood. We were sent off to park and the guide said they'd direct Hugh where to go. LOL. He didn't listen though and came out to find us and we were gone LOL. He found us (kids trying to text where they are using landmarks they've never seen LOL). We started settling him in.

 The felt small compared to the double I had. The bed is an extra long twin. So hard to find sheets.
 Lots of activities!
 The bed sort of fits two
 Due to lack of plugs, we moved the desk over. The room was so hot.
 Hugh's room is the one on the bottom right with the stuff in the window. The window only opens about 6".
 We took Hugh out to get a fan. They were completely sold out at Canadian Tire and we had to get a little desktop fan. It barely did anything. We also stocked up the fridge and took him to the bank. Made him go in to the ATM by himself. In a bank he's never been to. Oh my. Adulthood!
On the way home we saw a trailer with a boat and trailer in it. LOL. 

I know plenty of moms cry terribly when dropping their kids off at university. I was so excited for Hugh to experience it. He's an interesting kid and I was feeling that I hadn't had enough time to get to know this 18 year old who was so different than when he was 8. He's interesting! But he's also fearful, hesitant, and sheltered. Would he sink or fly here? He seemed scared. We talked a lot about the need to do well, and the need to be responsible for yourself--your planning, your routines, your experience. We encouraged him to get out there and get engaged. He wasn't all that engaged with high school. Not in any clubs or teams. It wasn't until his friends started getting their licenses that he started hanging out with friends. We were so fearful he'd shut the door of his single room and be "the hermit".

It doesn't appear to have happened!!