Today I missed work because a friend of mine from Teachers College had invited me to be a judge at his school’s Humanities Fair.  This school also happens to be just a few blocks away from where I live–which is a good thing, because at breakfast I spilled a whole cup of coffee in my lap.  I was able to come home, change pants, and get back to the school in fifteen minutes, but I smelled like coffee the whole day.  And my friend’s colleagues were friendly enough to tease me mercilessly about it.

My friend gave my file number to his Assistant Principal, so I hope some work might come out of it.

In the afternoon, I had a preliminary phone interview with a charter school for a middle school job for 2012-13.  Let me tell you, I was exhausted just from that half-hour conversation.  State Standards and Common Core!  Data delving and results raking!  Cosmodemonic cross-curriculum collaboration!

Tomorrow, though, I have made myself unavailable to sub because I have an actual, face-to-face interview at a public school, this one for immediate hire.  If it works out, great.  If not, then it’s a trip to the Bronx that might be costing me $154.



March 20, 2012

So I didn’t get called in to work today.  In the past couple weeks, this has been kind of a mixed blessing, since I’m in the process of moving out of an apartment that I’ve inhabited for the past seven years–which happens also to be a fourth floor walk-up.  So it’s good to have a project when I’d otherwise have little to do.

Yesterday when I was with the kindergarteners we went around in a circle sharing something we had done this weekend.  I told them I had moved and asked if any of them had too.  Two kids out of 25 raised their hands; moving quickly and often is something that too many kids in this town are used to.

The gamble

March 19, 2012

So last night I got a call at 11pm while I was walking my dog.  It was to work in a Kindergarten class in the same charter school in Lefferts Gardens that I had worked in last week, so I accepted.

These charter school jobs pay about 50% less than the district schools because they hire me through a private temp agency that takes what I imagine is a big cut.  I can talk about the difference between charters and district schools all day, painting with a broad brush, but the truth is that each school has its own character, and I happen to like this charter school in Lefferts Gardens.  I also like kindergarteners, even though they’re like a different species.

So I accepted the job for these reasons, but this is the gamble: do I take this kind of a job when I know that I could very well be called at 5am to go to a public school which is closer, is in my content specialization area, and pays 50% more?  A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, I told myself!

And then I got that call at 5am.  To work in a school that I know and like and could imagine working in, which is near my home, for English (which is what I’m certified in), and that would afford me a few actual breaks in the day, which the charter schools I’ve worked in don’t, really.

But I declined that job.  I had already agreed to the Lefferts Gardens job, and this is sub best practices and life best practices: do what you say yes to.


March 18, 2012

It is fitting that I should write my first post for this blog on a Sunday, because that’s when the existential quandry of being a sub hits hardest, at least for me.

Am I going to work tomorrow?

(Do I want to work tomorrow?)

It is especially difficult for me because my brother happens to bartend at my local watering hole on Sunday afternoons, which makes me want to drown my jobless sorrows and then, drunkenly, make myself unavailable for work in the automated online systems that could otherwise call me at 5am.

However, I haven’t even had the opportunity to make bad decisions these past couple Mondays because I haven’t been called upon for work.  It is nice to therefore sit in Central Park with my cousin and watch the boys play handball, but I really need the money.

Not being sure what tomorrow will bring is the whole ding dang thing.Image