Yes, it’s so hard to believe it’s true.
I filled out all the
8 million pieces of necessary paperwork and paid the appropriate fees to become a substitute in our local public school district and submitted them all on a Friday.
I figured, like ALL job prospects I’ve had in the past, it would take a while to hear back from them. I got my certificate on the following Tuesday, and a phone call the next day, Wednesday to substitute teach. I’m certified to be substitute teacher from preschool-12th grade and sub for a teacher’s aide for the regular classroom as well as for special needs kids in our local school district.
It was such a head-spinning thing. And it was so weird because I’d been unemployed for 8 years and while I was in pretty dire need for employment, I wasn’t quite psychologically ready to re-enter the workforce after so long.
I am so embarrassed to say when the sub caller asked me if I was able to substitute for a middle school, I totally freaked out and had an anxiety attack. I was like, huh? you want me to what, now? I heard about those crazy, mixed up middle schoolers and they scared me.
I felt like I was being thrown to the wolves.
I thought, “what, no job training?”
I was told, “just follow the lesson plan and you’ll be fine”.
I found myself telling the sub caller that I wasn’t quite ready for middle school just yet.
No worries though, later that day, I was called for a half-day aide position at an elementary school. So instead, I got to ease into things a little bit.
So far, I’ve subbed for 1st, 2nd, and 4th grades and 7th and 8th grade Language Arts. I’ve been an aide for kindergarten and I’ve been a special needs aide for 5th, 6th, and 7th grade kids.
I have substituted from preschool up through 8th grade so far, though sometimes I wish I could try out high school. Life here has been crazy busy, but I get home about the same time my daughters do, and I will have the same vacation days they will have. I still have time to help them with their homework, make dinner and do some fun things like art journaling with them.
I’ve worked at my two younger daughters’ elementary school a number of times and I prefer that, because sometimes I get to see them during lunch breaks or when I take my class to their different “specials” (art, music, gym, or library) and I don’t need to pay for after-school care. What a blessing that is.
I get home very tired sometimes, but it’s a good experience, even on the days that are more challenging than others. And yes, some days are VERY challenging. And yes, I have found that second graders can actually behave BETTER than 7th graders, which really surprised me, but shouldn’t have.
The upside to all this?
I’m being trained to expect the unexpected, try to reach the unreachable and manage the unmanageable. I have to think on my feet and I have to creatively problem solve and at least I get to go home at the end of the day knowing I have put in a good day’s work and got paid for it. And unlike the regular teachers, if I have a really bad day, I don’t HAVE to go back the next.