Just before the 2002/2003 school year, I had completed the “alternative” teaching certification in order to become a “certified” teacher. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is a program that most states have for those who already have a college degree,( but not in teaching), but who think they might want to go into teaching, they may sign up for an “accelerated” training program, where at the end, you may apply to be a teacher in public or private schools.
This program was designed to aid school districts in finding teachers, as there always seems to be a shortage of them.
Only after I paid the fee, and completed this program, did I find out that not all districts want “alternative” certified teachers, and the district I lived in, well, they were the last resort for teachers they were looking for….(I was screwed).
Anyway, I had been substitute teaching for my district, when I received a call for a “long-term” substitute position. What this meant was basically I did everything a real teacher did, attendance, parent-teacher meetings, assignments, grades, and of course had six classes of about 25 to 30 kids each.
I went ahead and took the long-term position, thinking this would be great experience, and would better my chances of getting hired as a full-time teacher. (If you don’t know about school districts….who you know is a BIG factor in getting a job….I didn’t know anyone of great importance, so…well, I never became a teacher).
But, I do look back on the experience with an appreciation of teachers and the crap they put up with. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise?
So, I was going to teach English Literature for juniors, I was excited, I love Literature, and well, this was perfect. It was around the middle of the school year, and the teacher received notice he was to be deployed to Iraq, this is why they needed a long-term substitute.
Before each class started, it is always good to have a “warm-up” assignment on the chalk board, so that the students can quietly settle in, while taking role. I also wanted to get to know the students I would be working with, so the first couple of days, I presented this warm up to them:
1: Where are you from?
2: Where would you like to travel to, and why?
3: Who is the most important person in your life? Why?
4: Is the glass half empty or half-full?
5: If you were to die, what would you like to be written on your epitaph?
Yeah, I know that last one is kind of morbid….but…no one needs to be taught more than teenagers that they are not immortal.
So I was doing some cleaning out of files recently, and I ran accross these that I had saved.
Of couse, I had to save the funniest for last….typical teen huh?
I enjoyed my classes, and tried to be a good influence on all of them. After finding these, it made me smile, and I wonder what ever became of them.