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.