Breaking the Silence

Hello friends. Is anyone even still out there after my extended silence?

You see, I have joined the workforce once again and unlike student teaching, I actually get a paycheck. Rad! I wake up alarmingly early, greet children ranging from K-12 for the day, and arrive home overjoyed to see my husband, critters, and dear friend- my worn-out red couch. Yep, I am a substitute teacher. This was a career choice that was dreaded and horrific until my second day. My first day, I was in a second grade class which fulfilled my feeling of dread. I didn’t know until I arrived but, I was the 5th sub in 8 weeks (a teacher was out on medical leave) and I was recommended to be very strict to get through the day. As you would expect, all 33 kids were completely out of control… tantrums, tattling, screaming, peeing pants… it all happened. Internally, I even had a meltdown. Despite the fact that I committed to three days with these untamed beasts, before noon I decided I would not be back again. I drove home in a trance mixed with frustration, sadness, and love. The love part added confusion into the mix. Once home, I got on the computer to do my daily search for a permanent job. Is Starbucks hiring? I have had a few former students who were employed with them…

Then I found myself reading Harry Wong’s, a spectacular educator who has written numerous books, teaching strategies for the elementary classroom. By the evening I had a plan to get these second graders back on track. Afterall, it’s not their fault they are out of control. In the end, I was with this class for two weeks. These fabulous kids taught me more than I could ever teach them and I sobbed at the end of my last day with them.

Once I plop onto the couch at the end of each day, my body reminds me that I have already overspent my energy for the day. I know if I press forward with other things, I may require a day with the couch tomorrow. And who wants a day on the couch when you could be teaching kids? Not me.

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