I substituted for a friend last week. It was a really good class and I enjoyed it, although there were definitely reminders about why I am done with this district. (For example, they don't seem to want to pay me for subbing, which is a problem!
The school is very similar to my old school. The kids are absolutely city kids. There was a word problem that asked if a farmer had five chickens, how many chicken feet were there? (It's second grade, so it's not too complex). The problem was not the addition but the chickens. No one seemed to know how many feet a chicken has! The overwhelming consensus was that a chicken has four feet. There were some odd pictures of four-footed chickens.
I was also reminded that kids bleed a lot. There was a bloody nose, teeth coming out, scabs coming off, scraped knees... all sorts of blood! And pee. There was an accident - a girl that just used the bathroom had an amazing amount of pee that ended up all over her chair and the floor. I got the class out discreetly but then one kid yelled as loud as he could when someone asked where the pee-er was, "She can't come out, she peed all over herself!!" Awesome.
I brought the gecko, because we all know that the gecko is everybody's favorite. Tiger was a huge hit, as usual. The kids were very gentle when petting him. They have some high-tech camera projection thing in the classroom so that you can put a piece of paper in front of it and it will show up on the screen for the whole class to see. Tiger cooperated very nicely by crawling under the camera so that there was a projection-screen sized gecko on the wall - it was pretty cool!
Despite the cool high-tech camera/projection thing and the all in one scanner/copier/printer, the school doesn't quite have both feet in the twenty-first century. Yes, I know we're almost at 2008, but this district seems to be pretty firmly planted in the early 1990s. No computers in the room except for the teacher's laptop (which is pretty unusual and might be the sign of a good principal - the laptop, that is, not the lack of other computers). And the Internet is "down." And has been for quite some time. I think they even have that crazy Internet thing in the Third World now - you'd think we could manage it here! Apparently it doesn't matter to the district.
Maybe they're actually paying attention to the Case of the Missing Administrator and that's why they can't deal with the Internet problems? Nah. More likely it's sort of like the clock guy. Maybe there's one Internet guy in the whole district and he's pissed off so he won't tell anyone how to fix it.
Now, don't even get me started on the radiator guy, if there is one. More on that later.