Friday, January 14, 2011
This fall I decided to start substitute teaching again. After several hurdles (ie. getting my substitute teacher certificate from the state, replacing my Social Security card, getting fingerprinted, then waiting for the card, and getting re- immunized for MMR - since who has their immunization records from the 60's ??), I finally turned in my packet to the local school district. I went to the next scheduled orientation class and then was officially signed up in their system.
I waited and waited for that first call to come. The thing about substitutes is that you never know when you are going to get a call to sub. In our district, they are all computer generated. They could come the evening before, 5:00 a.m on the morning of, or 15 minutes after you were supposed to be there. So for the first few mornings I woke up early - earlier than 5:00 am, and wondered if I was going to get the call. After a few morning of lost sleep, I thought, it probably won't be coming for awhile.
Well, after waiting for several weeks, I finally did get a call. At a decent hour (the evening prior) so I had time to prepare. My first assignment was for a junior high English class. That next morning, I was so excited, I got there a half hour before I was assigned. I walked into school with my head held high and conviction in my step. It had been 22 years since I had been a paid professional in the classroom. There is something about walking the halls of a school that invigorates me. I felt an air of confidence that I hadn't felt in a long while.The students were kind and courteous. The lesson plans left by the teacher were complete and precise. I stood in front of the class and conducted with authority. The class responded. The day went well. YEAH! I LOVE THIS. I love to teach.
After the first day, I started to receive more calls, gradually and then more often. I have signed up to sub at all grade levels, but not all subjects (NO PHYSICS please!) I've taught kindergarten all the way up to High School. I even subbed one day at an "alternative High School" which turned out better than I expected.
In mid November I was referred by a friend to teacher that was preparing to take a 5 week leave for surgery. She liked me and so I was soon teaching 4th graders in an elementary school near here. I was lucky, I got to slide into the assignment, as she had a student teacher there the first week and 1/2 finishing her assignment. So for the first few days there, I got to observe the college student and learn the names of the 30 students in the room. This job was wonderful. I loved being in that classroom so much. I was able to help them learn long division, how to write mysteries, and about early American Explorers. I even got to go on a field trip with them to the Goldfield Ghost town. Of course I got to grade a lot of papers and do a lot of paperwork that most subs don't do. I got attached to this class and all to soon, my time there came to and end just in time for Christmas.
It was nice to have a break over Christmas and now it has started all over again. Teaching. 5th grade one day and 9th grade the next. Which do I like the best? That is hard to say. I earned a Secondary Ed certificate years ago and was prepared for the older group, but now that I am older I think I enjoy teaching the elementary grades the most.
So why the picture up above? My family teases me about being the mean or stern sub. It's true I am strict at times. Better to run a tight ship when you are subbing, or you might sink.