So…I’m a Substitute Teacher

Last week was my first week as a Substitute Teacher. I had the nervous/fear stomach four days last week – all days that I had an assignment (it’s okay to laugh). I got to experience a few different roles and classes from elementary to high school, from an classroom assistant to being a solo teacher. Now I feel like this:

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So what did I learn.

1 – I am the bomb dot com and it starts with my confidence and belief level. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote in O Magazine (June 2016) about perception. As a  Substitute Teacher, I am operating so far outside of my comfort zone – different time, different job field, different audience and no idea what I will encounter day to day – that I have no other choice than to create a new perception. Well, I could choose to complain and be miserable about whatever happens, but this is what I chose and complaining is not my mode of operation. So I guess I’m doing one thing in my comfort zone – keeping a happy perspective about it.

2 – Children are so dynamic. Though I’ve known this – lessons from my nephews to my  20+ years with Pathfinders – it’s nice to have a new perspective.

3 – This may have been a back-door-way to get me into something I’ve been avoiding since my teens. I’ve been told many-a-time that I would make a great teacher. But the mere thought of it brought a “no” response. The ironic thing is that I may enjoy this yet. I love children and I do have a pleasant way with them while still being able to direct them, sternly is necessary.

You see, as a daily Substitute, you are not required to create the lesson plans. You also don’t have the additional responsibilities to the school that a full-time teacher has, such as car-line pickup duty every other week, IEP meetings and such.

But, still I think this was for me at this time. Here are some reasons why:

I can keep my flexible schedule

…taking time when I need to for business events. As a Substitute you can work when you want and schedule yourself off when you want. Plus, you have teacher’s hours; my day is over by 3PM depending on my assignment.

I can work on my “time challenge”.

I’ve had a time challenge for a big part of my life (feel free to read “late”). Waking up at 8:30-9AM was my normal.  Having to be at the school by 7:30 is surely going to make me work on that. Change most often doesn’t just happen, especially if it’s something we’ve been challenged with for a while. Yes, I even prayed about it. And here is the irony of asking your higher power to help you with a life challenge – it gets answered , just not necessarily I’m a way you’re looking for. Just be open and willing to accept the answer when it comes.

I get to meet more people.

I am still fairly new to the town I live in. And it may be like this in other places, but in the south (think Carolina), it’s not just an ‘old boys club’; it’s old girls, old family, old everything club. So being the newbie, I have some work to do. And I’ve been doing it via networking groups, ladies groups, attending events, etc., but I think this can give me another advantage.

It also gives me an opportunity to really get to know the people around town. Getting to chat with the teachers and even the custodial staff gives me a clue on their mindset. It’s like being able to personally survey the population; at least a part of it.

Finding where I fit need.

I believe my exposure to the staff and children is also going to help me determine the population I’m called to serve. In my personal development work over the past months I’ve been trying to get a clear idea of where and what my work needs to focus on. I do have a soft spot for women and children and getting to survey this portion of the population, in this area, is such a blessing.

So while this is not the intersection I envisioned my journey to pass through, it is still progress. Because after all, isn’t life all about the journey? So now I’m off to a new week, new assignments and new adventures. ❤

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