Monday, November 03, 2008

Jumping in with Both Feet...

In late August, I completed an application to substitute teach in my local school district. I attended the mandatory training workshop in September.

The system used by our school system is largely automated. I can go online and search for substitute jobs or the automated system will call me in the morning if there's a job opening at one of the schools I specified. If I get a call in the morning, I can either accept the job, reject the job, or indicate that I'm unavailable the entire day.

I've been doing the latter for a few reasons: 1) I either have something else planned, or 2) I just don't feel 'ready.' The beauty of the automated system is that it's random. I'm not blacklisted if I turn down too many jobs.

Well today at 9:15, I received a call from Son #1's junior high school. I saw the name/number on the caller ID and assumed that perhaps Son #3 wasn't feeling well. But no.....

They needed a substitute ... for a substitute! I kid you not. They apparently had a sub lined up but for whatever reason he/she didn't show up. It's much easier to say no to an automated system than it is to say no to the secretary at my son's school.

Thirty-minutes later I was substituting for 7th grade English/Language Arts. It was nice because the teacher I was filling in for taught Son #1 last year, so I had a pretty good idea about her policies and schedule. Plus, she left very detailed instructions.

So how was it? Not bad, actually. Looking professional and acting competent & confident (even if you don't actually feel it) is probably 85% of it. I actually thought I'd prefer working with younger kids - they're still eager to please. But it was nice to teach the same class three times to three different sets of kids. If one group was particularly challenging, there's comfort in knowing that the bell will ring and they'll be leaving.

All in all, it was a good day. Now that I've gotten my feet wet, so to speak, it'll be easier to say yes next time.


Nadine said...

Good for you! It's not easy to go out there again and do that. I'm glad it was a good experience. I'm sure you were a blessing to the kids.

Sue said...

Awesome! The first time is probably the hardest, and now you have that behind you....and I'm sure it will get easier as you keep accepting assignments.

Elle*Bee said...

It was rather scary, but as with most things, the first time is the toughest. (I've been a stay home mom for the past 6 1/2 years, so I'm a bit rusty. I don't think it showed though.)