Bad Sub Monday.

The worst day of the week started out relatively benign. This morning I gauged traffic correctly and got through the jam-packed tunnels in a fair amount of time.

And then that was it. That was when my Monday turned malignant.

The directions I was given to get to my sub job seemed to be missing a very crucial turn and I ended up on the North Side of town when I should have been on the South Side. After giving in to an over-priced call to 411, I was guided by a lovely secretary to the school; a campus tucked away among narrow streets lined by dilapidated row houses.

Upon entering the classroom I made a beeline for the teacher's desk, relieved to see a stack of paper that I assumed would contain a lesson plan, a roll sheet, a seating chart and a bell schedule.

I found nothing of the sort. There was a menial lesson plan that appeared to have been scratched out at the last minute. To make things worse, the work that was left [20 min. of independent reading and a 9-page packet of crap] was not nearly enough to fill 2 hrs. and 29 minutes of class time. Apparently my schedule was set up in blocks:

Periods 1-3 {same group of kids}
Period 4 "Intervention"
Periods 6-8 {same group of kids}

By 9 am, the students were restless and we all know that when students are restless, that is precisely when things get sour. And sour they got. What ensued over the next couple hours involved one student ripping the Air Jordans off anothers feet, two girls chasing and swatting at each other with their Playboy and Baby Phat purses, and then the cherry on top: a fight between two boys that involved the hurling of dictionaries at full force, at each other's heads.

That's when I calmly walked across the hall and asked an available teacher to call security so that the offending boys could be removed from the class. It was also the moment that I decided I probably would not return tomorrow, as it WAS a two-day assignment. Why should I? How can I possible do my job, when the teacher (an award winning teach to boot!) didn't leave me the proper materials to conduct a proper class? I HAVE NEVER and WILL NEVER do that to a sub.

As I was cleaning the room after this first group left, picking up broken and wasted pencils that minutes earlier had just been sharpened brand new, the Assistant Principal popped in and asked how it went. I told him, and he suggested that next time something happened that I immediately tell someone. I told him that exactly what I did, and he said okay, great and left without another word.

4th period "Intervention" was blessedly quiet. Just two students who worked on the computers at the back of the room. After a serene lunch of leftover Easter ham, I went down to the cafeteria and picked up the second half of my day. What ended up filing into my room included four stowaway 8th graders [these were 7th graders I had today], one arrogant unfortunate young man we'll call T, and a fabulous male queen in training who greatly appreciated the the compliment I gave him on his argyle sweater; a compliment that was rightly deserved and for which I knew would go over well.

T, with his pants buckled around his knees, dropping F-bombs left and right, was bored to pieces after I excommunicated his 8th grade posse. I proposed he put his head down and sleep (oh please, oh please!), but it was a no go. So instead of reading or doing the lame-ass packet Mrs. Idiot left behind, he aimlessly wandered the room looking for the innocent to pick on or bother.

Another young man, all of 4 feet, decided to pounce on a girl twice his size and for that I banished him to the Principal's office. He was astounded and didn't feel he did anything wrong. Queen boy kept listening to his cell phone too loudly after I repeatedly asked him to put it away. Random kids were walking in and out of the room. And then a sweet Man Angel appeared.

With an hour and a half left to go, Man Angel showed up and put in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, and while they didn't completely calm down the mood was certainly more docile in the room.

I WILL NOT be returning tomorrow.

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