A 4 day job, 8th grade English in a school I’d never been in.
I have to drop Lulu and Gigi off at school before I can go to work, so don’t judge me for not showing up 45 minutes before the first bell. It’s just not possible. I’d never, ever walk in late, but let’s understand that the “working mother” reality does exist. Anyway, it was maybe 10 minutes before the kids would start pouring in and the desk was a disaster. The teacher had been out for a while already because there were notes and tons of stacked up papers from the previous subs. I would never, ever, ever leave a desk like that after I subbed!! Do subs usually leave their desk messy? Even if it was messy before, I understand not wanting to screw up anyone’s system or put something out of place, but I just don’t think I could sign my name on a substitute evaluation form then leave it at the tippy top of a heaping mountain of papers and garbage. I immediately let the next door teacher know that I couldn’t make heads or tails of the mess (yes I did try to find the plans first). He helped me get the plans from another neighboring teacher and I started my day (and week) feeling pretty good.
Successes: I read Lois Lowrey’s The Giver that week. I taught several chapters and had meaningful conversations with the kids. I sat in on a student-parent-teacher team-principal meeting and it was a good learning experience (I think of subbing as a work study or professional development that I get paid to do). I made a good impression on the principal who told me that the students were speaking well of me. So awesome to hear. He asked if I would like to be put on their preferred sub list and I said yes of course. I also had another good teacher meeting. There was no agenda so we talked a lot about art and music and I discovered that Gigi is in the same kindergarten class as a cool social studies teacher’s son. Good to know.
Failures: Nothing major to report 🙂 I realized at the end of the week that I should have reviewed each couple chapters at the end of each day, but the students were going at such different speeds. I also didn’t know until the end of the week that the students were not supposed to be allowed to read ahead. Ultimately, I count that as “something I learned.” This is definitely something I’ll run into in the future. I have taught a longer novel and didn’t have the problem of students reading ahead lol
What I learned: Let go and let God! You know? Jumping off a cliff seems counterintuitive to survival, but in life sometimes you have to take some risks and leaps. I still see the ridiculousness of thinking of accepting a job as a risk or some giant leap. Four days really is no big deal but I am a gigantic scardy cat and I normally would have turned it down. Everything truly happens for a reason as this job directly led to a 9 week long position.
What I can try next time: Just keep being awesome, baby
So as it goes, about two short weeks later, I received a call directly from the principal. He told me that one of the 6th grade English teachers retired “suddenly” (according to the school, but not the teacher) and asked if I would like to take over the class for the next 9 weeks. I accepted and started only one day later. I’ve only worked there a few days total and tomorrow I start my first full week. I’m both excited and freaked out every minute of every day 🙂