So, in December I applied to McGill to do a BEd, which would make me qualified to teach at the high school level. I applied on-line, sent in all the relevant documents, and sat back to wait.
Now, granted, there is a disclaimer on the site that says there may be delays, up to three weeks, especially in the spring.
I got my acceptance yesterday.
Naturally, given that I now have a teaching job lined up for September, I declined the acceptance. Perhaps I should have given them more time before I accepted the job with Champlain, but I figured that five and a half months was more than sufficient. And that was three weeks ago.
Ah well, it’s still nice to know that I was accepted.


From the ‘Evil Henchmen Guide’, How to Be a Villain:
Mean English Teachers
These sadistic henchmen are perfect for when you want to inflict the greatest amount of pain possible. They are arrogant, humorless, and ridiculously strict, insulting their pupils intelligence because they couldn’t become writers themselves. They can extinguish any sense of creativity once held by an individual, as well as transform previously enjoyable literary works into nightmares of horror and confusion. Their monotonous tones are capable of driving even the sanest person to the brink of insanity, useful when you are in need of a torture master. Long after a child has grown up and become a hero, the sign of a mean English teacher continues to cause fear and discomfort.
Other henchmen possibilities
Classic thugs
Mutants Robot warriors
Ninjas (winners of the Henchmen of the Year award more than any other group)
Demented clowns
Computer programmers
Winged monkeys
The undead

Yesterday was the graduation ceremony at ACCESS, where I’ve been teaching a computer class since February. Four of my students are graduating this term – from left, they are Sandee, Mary-Lynn, Krystal and Ashley.
Sandee was class valedictorian and Ashley won the Birks Gold Medal for best academic achievement. I’m so proud!! Sandee’s valedictory address was beautiful, and I’m sure her classmates have no regrets in choosing her to represent them.
These four, and my other students, are such bright, creative people. Right now they’re working on PowerPoint presentations (despite yesterday’s ceremony, classes continue to the end of this week). I’m really impressed with their ideas – everything from Family Trees and Greek Mythology to the Best of Saturday Night Live and Customized Mountain Bikes (not together, grand total of four presentations…)
I’ve learned a lot from my students – for instance, last night I learned that if you eat peanut butter and then vomit, it still sticks to the roof of your mouth. Thankfully, I did not learn this the hard way, but rather heard about it.
More a propos, I learned that I really do want to continue teaching, and if my students can be believed, I may actually be good at it. I will miss them all tremendously. Sniff, sniff.

Red Letter Day

Today began a little too early, with a phone call from the school in Boucherville. I got to be the gym teacher! It’s always nice to work in sweats. I had a good day, a lot of good kids, and three of them told me I was beautiful.
Does it count as MILF status if the kids are too young to know what the F means?
I got home, made myself a nice cuppa, and went through my e-mail, which included a message from Elizabeth about a job posting she got. I read the post, decided it was something I was interested in, and sent in my CV around 3 p.m.
At 3:45, the phone rang – it was the woman doing the hiring, who wanted to meet me. Half an hour later I was in her office (please note, this means not only did I make it back across the bridge to Brossard in under 30 minutes, I also had time to change from Gym Teacher to Interviewee). She had one other candidate to talk to after I left.
She called me at 5:30 to say the job was mine.
So, starting Monday, I’ll be teaching an adult education course on the basics of Word, Excel and Powerpoint, two nights a week. Essentially, this is the same deal I almost got from the college in Ottawa, except that this one seems more likely to happen, and it’s not in freakin’ Ottawa.
Also in today’s email: an interview with a Web-based learning company to teach English, and another one with a corporate learning company to do the same. And I still had time to call and arrange a meeting with the school at which Colin will be registered. Next week, he’ll officially be part of the system.
To sweeten the already-scrumptious day, during the interview she gave me another job tip – apparently there’s an outlying French CEGEP that’s desperate for ESL teachers – and gave me names at Concordia and McGill in reference to a Certificate program in Adult Ed – in other words, I could do an abbreviated certificate, rather than the complete B.Ed., which would still make me more attractive to CEGEPs. Of course, according to my students, more attractive is not possible…
And now the hubby is on a Haagen-Daaz expedition. What more could a girl ask?

When you least expect it

My Friday was supposed to be very quiet, no plans, just a little futzing around the house in preparation for the weekend. Then Dina e-mailed me to invite me to lunch at the world’s smallest Indian restaurant. So, okay, there’s a plan.
Then, on a whim, I did a quick check of all the CEGEP web-sites to see if there were ant changes to the job postings – there were. Vanier and Dawson have posted openings, and the deadline for applications for Dawson was, you guessed it, November 15th (for the calendrically challenged, that’s the same day).
So suddenly I find myself in a wild dash, printing CVs and cover letters, finding my transcript and student evaluations, using white-out to cover up the red wine that had been spilled on the transcript, getting dressed, etc. Rushed out the door, hopped on the Metro (see Aside, below), got off at Atwater, got big envelopes at the pharmacy, made photocopies of the relevant docs, stuffed these into the envelopes, ran across the street to Dawson and promptly got lost.
It would have been easier if not for all these teenagers just, like, hanging around.
Finally tracked down the HR department, dropped off my stuff, got back on the Metro and headed up to Ericssonville to do lunch. After lunch, I got a mini-tour of Dina’s workplace, and met a bunch of the people she works with, who all seem very nice and are still friendly with Dina, even after all these months 😉 Then Dina was extremely nice and drove me to Vanier, where I dropped off the second application. We made a quick stop at Costco (okay, truthfully it was a very long, loads of fun, stop, but quick in the sense that we managed to leave with a grand total of two items each) then spent the rest of the afternoon lounging around my place, drinking tea.
It’s been a while since we had any exclusively girl time, so it was very nice to be just the two of us for a few hours. Needless to say (which is why I’m saying it anyway), if one or both of these CEGEP opportunities bears fruit, the next lunch is on me, Dina.
I always feel a great sense of relief when I get to the Metro platform. No matter how late, early or punctual I am up to that point, once I get there, it’s out of my hands.

Gloria Gaynor eat your heart out!

Picture this: 27 kids, somewhere around 11 years old, in costumes and make-up, who have spent an hour in the gym playing Hallowe’en games (including those gross-out favourites in which you deliberately stick your hand in cold spaghetti labelled “Intestines”), all excited about Trick-or-Treating to come. They have all (and I mean ALL) brought in candy from home – more candy than my kids collected on their rounds last night. Presumably, the parental thinking behind this was that their particular child could share with classmates – but since every other kid’s parents thought the same thing, each kid has a massive bag of sugar to munch on steadily over the course of the day.
Final ingredient: a substitute teacher. Namely, me.
Oh, and did I mention that their regular teacher left me to assign them 3 pages of math homework due the next day? You don’t understand the concept of “plaintive” until you’ve heard a chorus of kids shouting “but Miss, it’s Hallowe’en!”
But I survived! And from what I hear from the other teachers, and from my aunt, who has been teaching elementary school for, like, ever, Hallowe’en is scary even if you’re not the substitute. So, if I can get through October 31st, I can handle just about any other day.
My day started at 10:10, although I showed up about an hour beforehand to fill out the requisite forms for the school board files (scariest part of Hallowe’en? Starting the day with forms in one’s second language from the federal and provincial tax people). The teacher I was replacing left a very complete set of instructions, so it was relatively easy to get through the various classes. I started in the gym, helping to supervise the activities mentioned above. Then I “helped” the 2nd Grade teacher (in other words, sat in the class while she corrected their homework with them).
It was only well after 11 a.m. that I finally met “my” class, for a half hour Religion class. Nothing too complex or oppressive, they were working on artwork they made for an anti-violence campaign. After lunch, I helped in the Kindergarten class for an hour, which was fun. The teacher had a great activity – she had a huge pumpkin on lots and lots of the brown paper that no kindergarten class should be without. The kids sat around the pumpkin and took turns pulling out the seeds and pumpkin guts. Then they had to guess how many seeds there were, and then count them all. It was great! Some of the kids were right in there, digging away, and others were squeamish, but not for long. There were 153 seeds.
Finally, I ended the day with the infamous math assignment with the Grade 6 class. We managed to do about half the assignment in class, so they didn’t have quite so much homework. Plus I totally blamed their regular teacher for the homework. I definitely do not want to teach at this level on a permanent basis, but it’s kinda fun to be in that environment once in a while. And the kids were not bad – one boy gave me some of his candy, a girl took my picture (brought the camera for Hallowe’en, I assume) and (this is the part that makes me happiest) the one boy that the other teachers warned me about (and I mean, low whispers in the hallway, sinister type warnings) was an angel.

Talk about scary…

Okay, so tomorrow is Hallowe’en. Which is probably why the powers that be have chosen tomorrow as my first substitute teaching job.
I’m terrified. I’ll be teaching Grade 6 at the Boucherville elementary school. So, do I wear a costume? I was thinking I could go without, but tell the kids that I’m their usual teacher with a really, really convincing disguise. Or Spiderman – anything with a mask, I guess.