I haven’t had to utter that word in quite awhile. As all my teacher friends were caught up in the frenzy of the first days of school, I was caught up in keeping my head above water here at home – totally different, both difficult in their own way. My year is dedicated to being a mom and learning what that is all about… yeah, I was a mom before, but for those who have never stayed at home, this is a whole new experience. I did decided that I would sub at least one day a week if jobs were available. My in-laws wanted to spend a day with the girls on a regular basis anyway, so it worked out well. For many weeks of school, I didn’t get calls for subbing that fit with our week. But yesterday, I went for the first time.
I was at an intermediate school, in a learning center, serving grades 4-8, with various levels of disabilities. I am certified in special education, but I was still a bit nervous. Every district does things a bit different. All I have to say, is I am not sure I want to be a teacher. Don’t get me wrong – the kids were great, the teacher had left great plans, and the 4 aides I worked with were fantastic. What I don’t want to do (and frankly, in 10 years of teaching haven’t done), is plan 7 different lesson plans, on 7 different levels, with who-knows-where-I’m-going-to-find-the-resources resources, with one small planning period… not to mention having to do the alternate assessments for the kids who will be exempt from the Ohio Graduation Test, but still have to do something to “prove” they have been tested, write IEPs and hold meetings, and feel like a chicken with my head cut off because I have no clue if what I am doing is even the right thing.
The teacher I filled in for is a second year teacher, and I hope she keeps teaching. She looked to have a good relationship with kids, had a handle on filling all their weekly work folders, delegated work to her aides well, was on the phone checking on the status of absent kids, had a system for tracking IEP progress on a daily basis, and asked for feedback so she could do better with her sub plans. (If you are wondering, she was at a special ed meeting in the building next door, so she was there in the morning for 30 minutes and a brief moment in the afternoon.)
That being said, my day was great. I just admire the teacher. The kids were not high schoolers, most had very little attitude, and by the end of the day, I think some may have even liked me! It was a good change in my routine for this year. And if I get a job like this one in the next years, this “veteran” will go learn from this newbie some tricks of the trade!