Posts Tagged With: substitute teacher

from substitute teacher to substitute parent

When Thing 1 and Husband N left Virginia for Georgia Sunday afternoon two weeks ago, Baby K became YBW’s and my responsibility.
It was simpler for her mom and dad to handle the business of her Nana’s death without the responsibility of her three year old self.
She was also starting preschool for the first time that Monday morning.

I was meant to be at school all but one day the first two weeks. They were desperate for coverage in the SPED classes until the new hire’s background check came back and I was ready to get back to school!
I made one phone call Saturday night and instead of going back to school Monday morning I took Baby K to her first day of school.

I went to stay at their house because it was easier than bringing Baby K and two big dogs to our house. Not to mention so much farther away from her school. YBW stayed at home because that was easier for him to get to work.

Let me tell y’all something, people in their fifties shouldn’t be solely responsible for people who are three.
That girl is an angel (also devilish) and I’m not that old, but wow! Being completely responsible for her wore me out!
Of course, she was processing Nana’s death. Her mom and dad literally took off on a moment’s notice. She wasn’t sleeping well. She was equal parts excited and nervous about starting school. And while Birdie is no slouch, that’s simply not the way things are meant to be.

All that said, first day of school went off without a hitch!

I was so sad after dropping her off.
I called her mom to report the news and we both cried.
Even though I feel so grateful for the experience, Thing 1 should have been the one to kiss her and tell her to have a great first day, not me.
Thing 1 told me that if she couldn’t do it, she wouldn’t want anyone other than me to do it.

Papa came out Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the first week of school. We took Baby K for cheeseburgers, milkshakes and french fries. Her very specific request.

She was amused that her shake had both a straw and a spoon so she put them both in her mouth and told us she was a walrus.

We had three days of school that first week.
She came home hot and sweaty, dirty and hungry, and damn tired.
She came home happy to have been at school, happy to be with me, and ready to make the journey to Georgia to see her mom and dad.

While I was meant to be at my school, and my daughter was meant to take her own daughter to school, fate had other plans for us.
We’re unbelievably fortunate that I was able to drop everything and substitute parent!
Thing 1 and Husband N were grateful we made their life a bit easier as they had to be responsible adult children by temporarily relinquishing parenting responsibilities.
I’m unbelievably fortunate my husband dropped everything and came to help Tuesday. I was so grateful to have another adult share responsibility for Baby K.

You show up for family.
It’s just what you do.
Our kids needed us and we were there for them.
I was lucky enough to experience that first day of preschool with Thing 1 all those long years ago and with Baby K last week.
It’s not the way things were meant to be.
But it’s the way things were.
We made the best of the situation and we did it with so much love.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

my own March madness

I’m at school more than I’m not.

How do kindergarteners know how to cuss?
“SHUT THE FUCK UP!” when no one is even speaking.

Incident report because first grader beat me up.
Bite marks and bruising, but no broken skin – right forearm. Bruising from heel kicks – right shin. Redness from backhand punches – nose and left cheek.

School. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
It’s too much.
SPED class teachers and TAs are heroic.
Or crazy.
Am I a glutton for punishment?
I just wanted to help.

So tired.
Got sick.
Haven’t actually been sick in four or five years.
Worn slap out.

Sub job canceled today.
Sweet relief.
Can nurse this cold in peace.

No creative energy.
Literally just putting one foot in front of the other.
Fortunately it’s over now.

Rest.
Linger in steamy shower.
Write.
Rest.

Tomorrow brings something new.
Am hopeful.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

three days in second grade

I was in second grade three days this week.
Y’all, I absolutely adored it!

They just started a new social studies unit about transportation and communication.
These kids were on it!
They were so enthusiastic about brainstorming and exploring transportation. I even brought them photos of our trip through the canal. They were awed by the sheer size of the container ships.
We read books about the history of transportation, even one of my favorites, The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton.

I missed being at school.
Surrounded by small people who are quick with a giggle or hug.
Surrounded by adult people who are fun, kind, and supportive.

January is a hard month in a school building. After November, when we’re almost out of school more than we’re in, and December when we’re out for two weeks straight, January looms large and long. Everyone is either getting or recovering from being sick, and the flu ran (and continues to run) rampant through my school this year. Teachers and students are tired and need a bit of a break.
But as tricky as January tends to be, my time at school last week was absolutely lovely.

I had the realization that even though I miss it, I know it’s not the right fit for me in the long run. I know that being a substitute teacher is an excellent choice for me. I can participate in my passion for education without the life-drain of doing it every day.
I made the right choice not to get certified to teach.
I made the right choice to leave being in the school building every day.
I made the right choice to pick and choose which classrooms to spend my time, energy, and love.

Elementary school teachers are some of the hardest working humans I know. But the rewards are even more than the work. They have such joy teaching and learning with their students.
I’m grateful and honored to occasionally be among them.

Next week I’ll be in the school library for three days. Checking books in and out, helping students find what they’re looking for, organizing and shelving books. I’m looking forward to spending that library time, but not being exposed to the myriad of germs attached to each book. I’m loading up on the On Guard and black elderberries in preparation.

I’m ready for smiles and hugs, I’m ready for bad attitudes and complaining.
I’m ready to be passionate about education on my own terms.

Categories: education | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

back to school…I’m still waiting

It’s the second week of school and I haven’t yet been to the building chock full of people I love.
I have sadness that I haven’t welcomed so many of my kids back to school. I haven’t met the brand new kindergartners, all wide eyed and chatty. One of the first grade teachers became a grandmother over the summer, I want to hug her to celebrate us each having granddaughters.
It was time for me to leave my position in the school. It was easy to make the transition to substitute. Only, because it’s the first couple weeks of school, everyone is in their classrooms where they belong! I’m over here waiting to be called in.
Is it wrong I kind of hope someone gets sick, or falls down, or something?
I know I’ll be busier than I’d like in the coming months, but for now, I’m missing that whole back to school vibe.

YBW asked me, “Now that your paper is finished, what will you do with all your free time?”
I’m over here like, Dude! I want to go to school!

I want to remember when I knew having this time was a good thing.
That I could set my schedule and be more productive at work and home.
I know I made the right decision.
I didn’t know how much I’d miss back to school feels.

I’m just going to embrace patience while I wait, because I know I’ll be overbooked and wanting a break before too long.
In the meantime, let’s see what I can get up to here at home…

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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