Friday, September 08, 2006

Teaching and ... Bat Guano?

Yes, apparently you can make gunpowder if you have enough of the stuff and you filter it and then run it over some kind of ash. At least that's what Brian's planning to do after he takes his high school chemistry class tomorrow to collect a bunch of the stuff...
I suppose you could call it a kind of service project since they're helping clean out an abandoned church with a bat problem. But they get to keep what they clean up to experiment with... I did not volunteer to go along!

Yesterday I got a call from the Wenatchee sub coordinator asking if I wanted to do a long term sub job at Westside High School (the alternative school). My first reaction was: I'm not sure I want to work at that school because the impression I have is that the students are pierced and tattooed and have major attitude problems not to mention alcohol/drug issues. It's also a night school - at least this part of it is - that runs from 1 to 8pm. And they told me I'd have 4 students for math and science and I'm thinking "what in the world am I going to do with 4 students for 8 hours a day?!!!"
But after talking to the principal for half an hour I decided that maybe it wasn't such a bad idea. So today I went in to get oriented as the sessions don't actually start until Monday. And the "4 students" part is only for an hour and a half. The whole program is a contract and individual study set up so I won't really actually be teaching, as in lecturing. It's more of a tutoring session where the kids are trying to get credit quickly so they can graduate. And the night program is only for juniors and seniors who work during the day due to poverty or other reasons.
They are looking to hire a teacher for this position (I don't qualify due to it being high school) so this will mostly likely be a 4-6 week position. I will actually have 5 different groups of students - the Bridges program which is the 4 students for an hour and a half and then 2 night school groups of 2 1/2 hours each for 2 days a week. Fridays are a planning/grading day from 8-3 with no students. I work with one other teacher and a secretary. I met the other teacher today... he is a CHARACTER!!! He pretty much told me all about himself today and not a whole lot about what I actually need to do there! He is a Buddhist/Athiest married to a practicing Mormon. He was a musician and into the whole kind of rock and roll lifestyle until he decided that life was not going to get him anywhere so he became a teacher (and got clean) and has been at this school for 12 years. He has just started a new band and is also a pretty decent potter on the side... How's that for intersting? :)
But the day science teacher showed me all his materials and I will be in his classroom with a bit of an overlap so he can help me out. He seems a little more mellow then the other guy... and hopefully on Monday I can connect with the day math teacher and get some materials from her so I will actually have something for the students to start on when they show up that afternoon!

Here's to an alternative teaching experience...

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