Archive for School

My First Three Days as a Substitute Teacher

So as some of you may know, I have been on the sub list in the area since January, waiting to be called in. From then til last week, they had called me a total of three times, always in the late morning (like 10:30am) expecting me to get there by 11:00am. Well, last Friday morning I had my first call that I was able to do, and then yesterday and today this week I was also called in, so I’ve been working for the past three days. It feels good to finally be out there getting paid and getting some additional classroom experience. However, none of my assignments have been “normal” teaching assignments…

My first day (Friday), I was assigned to a school about 35-40 minutes away from my apartment. I was told to go to the high school, but when I got there they told me my assignment was subbing for a middle school Teachers Assistant (which I will henceforth refer to as a TA). So I went down to the classroom and discovered that I would spend the day working one-on-one with an autistic student. The student was very pleasant, and was not shy or over excited. We worked pretty well together. I taught him some basic math addition and subtraction through word problems (ex- if there are twenty students in the class and twelve are girls, how many of the students are boys?), helped him write a simple essay about Naruto, and read some books together. One of the best parts was when he pulled out a Simpsons comic that the regular teacher and him had been reading together! While I did enjoy working with him, as I have the patience to help him out, I did get kind of bored remaining in the same room most of the day. Granted, we got to leave the room when I went with him to art and chorus, but the majority of the day was spent in the resource room. However, I did enjoy it, and would do it again if the opportunity arose. With the difficulty I have with finding work, I’ll take what I can get.

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Trade In Text Books for Amazon Credit

Well, I went through Amazon previously to sell some games, and yesterday I noticed that they also buy back text books. I took one look around my room, which is full of old text books, and said “why not?” It was a pretty simple process.

Once you get onto their trade in books page, you enter the ISBN of the book. The book will come up, and if they are currently buying it back, they will display how much its worth. Many of my books were not available to be traded in, but in the end I sold twelve books for $135. Most of the books were the usual couple of bucks you would expect from the college book store, but a few got $20 or so, and some of these were from Oneonta, which was like three-four years ago. And to sweeten the deal, Amazon pays for shipping. All you do is select the books, print out a postage-paid shipping label, and drop it off at your post office. Once they receive and verify the books are what you said they were, they credit your account with Amazon credit.

It was pretty sweet, and now I have $135 to spend on video games!!!

Got My Masters Degree

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I got my degree in the mail today. I will probably pick up a frame for it this weekend at Wal-Mart, then I’ll post up a pic of my “Wall of Fame”, which contains five degrees and other things of that nature.

However, I still have two complaints about colleges and degrees. First off, I should have gotten my degree last Friday. Instead, it arrived at my parents house. My apartment in Albany is my “preferred” and my “permanent” address according to my SUNY Albany info page. When I applied for graduation, I filled out a form saying that I want the degree mailed to my apartment, and wrote down that address on the form. On graduation day, I filled out another form yet again telling them to mail it to my apartment, and again wrote down that address on the form. However, it still managed to get mailed to my parents house. Is it a big deal? Not really. Its a small inconvenience to me since I have to get it photocopied and sent in in order to sub, so that put me back a few days. Plus my parents had to pay $5 to mail it up to me. So yeah, its a little thing, but those little things can add up and just frustrate the heck outta ya.

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HS Student Teaching: Day Fifty-Three

Today was the last day of my student teaching. I still have about two weeks of college classes left, but at least the daily grind is over for the time being!

I had bought my teacher some Civil War books as a thank you present. He was a great mentor, and I learned a lot from him. He encouraged me to treat the class as if it was my own, and I was able to do anything I wanted. I had heard horror stories from other student teachers whose teachers were pretty restrictive, which led to them having a bad experience.

I also spoke briefly with the head of the Social Studies Department, so that he could give me some advice on interviewing and my portfolio. He was a little help, but I realized that each district has different hiring policies, and some schools look for things that others don’t, or emphasize some things more than others. Still, he gave me some really basic information that should be helpful.

Overall, it was a good experience, and I am now totally confident that I would be successful in my own classroom.

HS Student Teaching: Day Fifty-Two

Today was another boring day. Just like yesterday there were only two classes, so the rest of the day dragged. I read a little of my book, and spent the rest of the time writing up blogs. I can write my blogs in word, and then when I get home I copy and paste them to notepad, and from notepad I copy and paste to my actual blog.

Tomorrow is the last day of my student teaching. I bought my teacher two books that I think he will enjoy, as a way of thanking him for all the help and guidance he gave me the past few months. After tomorrow I am free to sit home and relax, until I find a job.

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