Yesterday was…somewhat typical.
I was at Mount Boucherie Secondary School.
The drive: The power went out in a large chunk of Kelowna, so every single light was a 4-way stop. Wheeeeee – see me use the gas pedal and brake, back and forth, back and forth. Wheeeee. Eeeeehw.
Pre-day: Run out to Portable nine in the new -8 degree temperature (not aclimatized yet, that’s for sure), smell a funny smell, grab the teacher notes, walk quickly back to the drama room on the other side of the school.
First period – Film and Television: The hilite was the electrician, who was working next to the normal entrance. He had the door locked, and asked anyone who knocked to go to the other entrance. Well, this perturbed a few students, and perturbed him that they were perturbed. I played mediator, and in my usual Arthurian way, was able to settle everybody down. The rest of the class was spent watching students work on their slideshow, as I also read a book that we would be working on in English.
Second period: Back to Portable 9. Well it does smell funny in here, and the teacher made some notes about sour milk in the furnace system by some highly intelligent bright students yesterday. It’s not that bad, I think I could get used to it, but the students (mostly) are congregated outside. “I’m not going in there.” “I’ll puke if we have class in there.” “Oh man!! It reeks!” “Can we have class out here?” Ya, in -8 weather. You’ll learn lots as you hold your arms instead of a pen. So, I’m calling the library “We were in the library yesterday.” The library is stock full. Call the office. “We’ll call you back……….”Yes, we can get you into Room 135.” “Ok everyone, pack it up and we’re going to room 135.” We arrived, and the period went relatively well as they silently read the book and worked on a project.
Third period: Back to Portable 9. The vice-principal and I thought that the smell wasn’t that bad, and indeed, after a few minutes, you did get used to it. But please refer back to Second period, which replayed itself out almost verbatim. Phone call. “He’ll meet you in room 108.” Off we go, back across the field (did I mention that part of the run out to portable 9?) into the school. During this class I finish the book they are reading. It has about 14 chapters, and I started at chapter 5 that morning, having read 1-4 (some skimmed) a couple weeks ago when I was here. I inform them of this, and they either don’t believe me (ok, what was chapter 10 about? Like I have the plot sectioned off in chapters in my head already) or are dumbfounded. C’mon, it’s an easy read. You’ve had at least 2 weeks, and every period of English you have 20 minutes of silent reading.
Both English classes were an exercise in classroom management and control rather than teaching, but welcome to being a teacher on call.
Lunch: mmmmmm – lucky enough to end up at MBSS on Oct.31, when the staff had planned a BBQ for lunch. Two burgers down the hatch, loaded up with onions, pickles, mustard and tomato. mmmmmmm
Fourth period: Over to room 138, and another supervision class of planning 10. Several of the boys seem to enjoy playing Slime Volleyball (which I love as well, but I have more discipline (sometimes) than an 18 year old boy). Today, one warning. Second time, off you guys go to the Den (high school’s version of a time out) “Oh maan. I thought there would be some sort of warning, like the rustling of your pants or the jingling of your keys!” Nope, sorry. I have inherited through osmosis the tracking skills of a jaguar, the silent padding of a cougar. Rowwwr.
By now, my head is fuzzy, and I am not thinking too clearly. Maybe there was something in those fumes-de-lait afterall.