One of my jobs...

...is being an on-call substitute for LAUSD, the middle and high schools. I took the CBEST and passed it, and got my training back in October, but no work. I had gotten called only 3 times previously, and always when I was grossly unprepared or working somewhere else. So when this semester started, I thought to myself, "Okay. I'm gonna get up at 6 every morning, take a shower, have breakfast, work on some art or watch a movie, and wait for the call.

No call.

Except for the ONE morning I decided to sleep in because I had had trouble sleeping the night before. All those days getting up and waiting for nothing, and the one morning I'm unprepared they call me! Ten minutes after the workday had started! I couldn't go: I hadn't showered or brushed my teeth, my face was still ugly with sleep-puffiness, the drool...

You get the idea.

Today I subbed special-ed at Johnnie Cochran Middle School. It was an alright day. The kids that they call special-ed aren't what we would have called them at my high school - they're just slow learners, and honestly the vibe that I got from most of them was that they didn't want to try anymore because they were afraid of and angry about failure, and rather than feel stupid in front of everyone, they would rather joke around or do other things. I've heard of worse - this guy I know subs also, and he told me about how on his first day, one of his classes erupted into a melee of students throwing desks at him and at each other.

There's a HUGE population of kids in LA who suffer from PTSD because of the things that they've been through early in life, who are foster kids, who don't know english because they've arrived here from Mexico or other parts of the world... The list goes on and on, and these negative situations are guaranteed to influence behavior. As a sub, you have to choose your battles.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm - interesting assessment. You may be on to something.