Friday, March 13, 2015

Confessions of a Control Freak #SOLC15 - 3/13

It's not that big of a deal... except kind of, it is.  When I have a sub, I don't like to leave movies because the sub rarely cares if the students are watching or not, whether they're on their phones or not.  So if I leave a movie, I leave something else to do with it, like T/F questions, short answer, opinion... SOMETHING to give me some kind of evidence that the kids watched the movie.  I have stopped leaving any kind of real lessons, because it never gets done.

So yesterday, I was feeling guilty about being gone so much and I really didn't want to show a movie, but we are at a place in lessons where it's all going to be new material, and I definitely can't leave instructional work with a sub.  So, I left a really cool documentary about migrant workers and the effects that kind of life has on the kids involved.  To preface the movie, the sub was to pass out a guide about the key factors that influence a child's development and personality.  The sub would read the definitions of the key factors, students would brainstorm some examples of those factors and, as a class, write them down so they knew what to look for in the movie.  The sub would then play the 85 minute movie (in a 90 minute class), and TAKE UP THE PAPERS BEFORE KIDS LEAVE!!!

Now, being the control freak that I am, I have a detailed Substitute Binder.  There is a daily schedule, rosters, seating charts, phone numbers they might need (principals/neighbor teachers), and my rules, which are also posted in two other places in the classroom.  In my Sub Binder, I always leave a note with VERY clear instructions, because when they aren't specific and clear, the lesson doesn't get done.  There is a step-by-step plan for the day, and approximate times the assignments should take.  For example, taking roll, passing out papers, talking about them, and brainstorming, should have taken, at minimum, about 15 minutes. There is no way any class could actually think and discuss about the assignment in less than 5 minutes, so no classes should have finished the movie. And yet...

Here is my folder, the rosters are now missing, there were no attendance slips used, and my 8th period finished the whole movie somehow, AND there are NO papers on my desk.  Not one was collected, despite instructions clearly saying, TAKE UP THE PAPERS because my kids will lose them the moment they walk out the door.  They have little black holes in their backpacks that eat whatever is put in there.

Oh yeah, those instructions I left? Please ignore them.  I was just trying to waste some of my own time and definitely the students' time. So you know, just do whatever you want.  If the kids don't want to watch the movie and would rather lay on the floor and text, that's fine.  Not like I had any plans for them to learn today.  It's not like I'm on a timeline to complete work or anything.  Just don't worry about any of it.


My neighbor teacher just told me she saw my kids in the hall and walking around the school and some of them tried to come into her class because the sub let them leave.


*deep zen breath*

Alright, rant over.  I just hate starting a day like this.  Thank goodness spring break starts tomorrow.


  1. It wasn't until I became a teacher educator that I discovered one common trait of teachers: control freaks! I enjoyed reading your confessions.

    1. I did not know this about myself until I started teaching. I have never really considered myself to be a control freak until now.

    2. I did not know this about myself until I started teaching. I have never really considered myself to be a control freak until now.