Vista Lake is a two year old MS that is already crowded. Other teachers told me that the building hadn’t even been started when the district knew it would not be enough to handle the growing Northern Utah County west bench communities it supports. To compensate, the school only has seventh and eighth graders cramming their ninth grade into Westlake High School located right next door, which is also over crowded. Both schools are beautiful and I am glad to teach at both, but it is sad that Utah refuses to keep up with its growing student population.
For the two tays before Thanksgiving I subbed in VLMS’s special ed class and on Friday, I subbed in my friend Emily’s English class. She teaches two sections of seventh grade basic literacy combined with Utah’s standard English curriculum and one section of Popular Literature. In the literacy classes after they took on-line quizzes and wrote a paragraph about their current books from the Read 180 curriculum, we covered Subject/Verb agreement and Apostrophes. It was a lot of fun to teach, because I love grammar (even if I ignore/suck at it). While we went over it, we had fun. I would rather the kids hear someone who likes grammar teach grammar as opposed to someone who feels apathetic about grammar. I know Emily well and I know she likes grammar, English and Literacy, but many teachers have grown callous or bored and those feelings/impressions rub off on students.
Problems of teacher and student apathy reflect district and parent apathy. Both parents (father and mother), the community and the district influence the atmosphere of a class room as well as the students and the teacher. Part of what I love about subbing (as a member of the community), is that I can bring one or two days of enthusiasm (especially if it is English, Math or Science) and hopefully breathe some life into a classroom.