In which my head explodes

I am deeply tempted to upload today’s entire assignment so you can see it. I thought it was going to be an easy Halloween blowoff, ten dead-simple story problems, most of which boiled down to “multiply these two numbers together,” and maybe two of which boiled down to “divide these two numbers.” Like, this is the first question:

Six spooky scary skeletons each send shivers down seven spines. How many shivers are sent?

Only 33 of the 59 students who have completed the assignment managed to figure out to multiply six and seven to get 42.

Also, I have 142 students and as of 3:15 only 59 have completed the assignment.

I don’t know how to fix middle school students who literally can’t figure out when to multiply. They actually and genuinely don’t know what the four basic operations of mathematics are for. I’ve never not had kids who were behind, but this is shockingly bad nonetheless.

One more class period today. I can do this.

(Oh, and also, one of the biggest and most obvious lies the school corporation was telling when they were talking about us returning to class was that there were somehow going to be enough subs during a pandemic, when there are never enough subs, period. There was an email every day this week begging teachers to cover for other people who were out. Today we had five teachers out. Total number of subs: zero. They just kept saying “Oh, we’ve contracted out for that,” like that was an answer that was going to matter.)

How to lose your shitty job

ku-mediumIt is fourth hour, just past lunch.  I have had a remarkably easy morning; my first class of the day, miraculously, has had so few questions about their assignment that I have been able to– wait for it– sit at my desk, and not only sit at my desk, but sit at my desk long enough to sort through some of the ridiculously huge piles of junk everywhere.  Did you know I had a desk calendar?  Not only can you see it, but it even knows it’s March now!  This is a miracle.

And, of course, I paid for it.

So, right, fourth hour.  There is, suddenly, an immense amount of yelling coming from next door.  Keep in mind that my door is shut and the wall in between our classrooms are made of cinder block.  I hear swearing.  Really loud swearing.  From inside my classroom, with the door shut.

Oh, fuck.

I bail on what I’m doing and head into the hallway.  The sub is already out in the hallway, screaming into the face of one of our seventh graders.  Not one of mine, but his sister happens to be in my classroom at that very moment.  He’s swearing at the kid.  Red-faced, practically on top of him.  The kid is swearing back.   And in tears.

Sigh.  Suddenly I really don’t want to tell this story anymore.  Long story short: I had to physically separate the two of them and I spent at least a few real moments trying to figure out if I was going to have to knock the sub down to get him away from the kid.  By that point basically every adult male within a hundred yards, including an armed police officer, was heading toward our part of the building at high speed, and the sub was in the building for about another fifteen minutes before being removed from the premises.  It was… ugly.

Weirdly, it’s the second time in my career I’ve been in the vicinity when a sub went insane on a kid.  The first time, many moons ago at my first school, started off exactly the same way except this time there wasn’t an administrator in the building to hand it off to.  I told the sub that I couldn’t literally tell him to go home but I was taking over his classes for the rest of the day (at the time, due to the complexities of my position, it was actually possible) and he was to go sit in the teachers’ lounge until the actual administrator got back.  I remember thinking I was probably going to end up in some trouble for it and not caring.

Yeah.  It was a long day.