Sub a dub dub

Writers's workshop

I had wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember (or a nurse).  I was a member of Future Teachers of America in high school.  But things didn’t work out the way I had planned.  I ended up in New Orleans working for my brother and then met Hubby and before you knew it we were married.  Then I was involved in a car accident that had me laid up for about six months unable to work at all.  Then I was on massive amounts of medication due to the accident and literally forgot to take my birth control pills and being from the fertile family I am, before I knew it, I was pregnant. So my plans got waylaid again. Everything happens for a reason, right? 

After we moved to Georgia, I found out one of our neighbors, that I swapped out childcare with, was going to school to be a teacher and she was older than me and had three kids and at the time I only had two.  So I thought “Hey!  I can do this too!”  

I was so excited about the prospect (in my head) of going back to school and getting my teaching degree.  Turns out about the time I decided that I needed to pursue this dream, our local school district (that my kids went to) was hiring substitute teachers.  I was already “volunteering” at the school and I thought “How perfect”.  I just KNEW this was the way to make all my dreams come true.  I could go back to school AND work part time subbing while I was going to school and both my kids were in school so it was ALL working out!  My best laid plans were coming to fruition. 

You had to take “classes” in order to be a substitute teacher so I immediately signed up for the next series of classes they were giving.  I was called shortly thereafter to attend the classes and I felt that everything in my universe was lining up according to MY divine plan.  I attended the “training classes” and the very next week I got my call on Monday morning at 6 AM…. One of the 2nd grade teachers was sick, could I sub for her class?  COULD I???  Could you keep me away? 

I jumped out of bed and got dressed and got to the school as quickly as I could.  I was in the classroom when the kids started trickling in.  Have you ANY idea how conniving 2nd graders are?  Where do they learn this stuff?   Let me tell you, they may act one way when their teacher is in the class, but, throw in a sub and they turn into a whole different animal. 

Hindsight tells me it would have been MUCH better had I subbed for the first time for a teacher that KNEW in advance that she was going to be out and had time to prepare for the sub.  Not such a good thing when you take a sub who is newly (week before) out of training and throw them into a classroom of about 28 2nd graders with NO lesson plan…. Actually NO PLAN AT ALL.  Let me just say… it was NOT pretty. 

One of the kids was our neighbor from two doors down and I thought “Thank Goodness that Timmy is in this class!  At least I can depend on him to give me the scoop and tell me what to do.”  Uhhh…. Nooooo….. no WAY….. nothing doing. . . .  he was NOT going to be the stoolie to the whole class or even pretend that he knew me.  That would subject him to the ridicule of the entire classroom!  Who knew that 2nd graders put such stock in their reputations?  I sure didn’t! 

Everything I did half the class would yell out “Mrs. So and So doesn’t do it like that!”  And the other half would yell out “Yes, she does!”  I had no clue who to listen to or who to trust.  I DID know it wasn’t the kid that always said “I think it’s time for recess” . By 10:30 A.M  I was the one watching the clock praying for lunchtime. Heck, I didn’t have a lesson plan so I didn’t even know what time lunch was.  

Thankfully when it was time for lunch, one of the other 2nd grade teachers stopped by the room and told me it was time to try  and line the kids up and pretty much led me through the lunch process. And there was ONE little girl, bless her heart, I think she had two inches of poop on her nose from brown nosing but she was a life saver. By mid afternoon I realized if someone said Mrs. So and So didn’t do things a certain way, all I had to do was look at her and she would surreptitiously nod or shake her head to let me know truly what I was supposed to do.  And at the end of the day she left me a note telling me she loved me and wanted to be my friend.  Boy, she really WAS a brown noser, but, sweet nonetheless and a life saver to me.  I often wonder if she was sacrificed by the rest of her classmates before the end of the year to the God of Recess for her brown nosing. 

I tell you that 3:30 could NOT come quickly enough that day.  By the time the end of the day rolled around I realized that it takes a VERY special person to be a teacher and I was NOT one of those persons!  All I wanted to do was go home have a nice, LONG, HOT bath and a stiff drink and I don’t think I’d had a drink in ten years at the time. I am just thankful I found all this out BEFORE I bothered to get my teaching degree and not AFTERWARDS.  

They called me the next day and the next and the next and I finally told them I thought I would stick to volunteering.  It was a LOT less stressful.  Yeah, the pay was lousy (can you say FREE?) but at least I knew what I was doing! 

This post was brought to you by Mama Kat’s Writer’s workshop and prompt 3.) “How long until you realized you had no talent or patience for this? Tell the story (true or fiction) of trying to learn a new talent or hobby that you only pursued briefly.”

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About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
This entry was posted in Just Life, Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Sub a dub dub

  1. Angelia Sims says:

    A sub down the tub. Glub. Glub. Glub.

    HA HA.

    Oh man, I always thought I’d be a good teacher. My mom taught the magical pre-school age. I think I would have bombed like you. It does take special people to be teachers. God love em’!

  2. terrepruitt says:

    Yes, I do know how conniving 2nd graders are. Most children are conniving, that is how they get what they want. They plot and scheme and since most people don’t even think a child can be capable of thinking like that much less know HOW to actually do it, they get away with it. That and they are so darn cute!

    You are very fortunate that you got to take your dream career for a test drive before you signed the lease. Not all people are so lucky!

  3. Alaina says:

    Oh, lord, that experience would be enough for me to get in the fetal position, rocking back and forth and chewing my hair saying “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…” That is THE reason I did not pursue teaching. No way do I have the patience for that!

  4. Jenners says:

    Visiting from Mama Kats…

    Nothing like a pack of second graders to bring a lifelong dream crashing down! And I would have been Little Miss Brown Noser if I was in the class!

  5. suzicate says:

    Good thing you found out before you got your degree! However, I’ve always thought you were very good with kids and would be a great teacher.

  6. I imagine substitute teachers must take quite bit of abuse.I would be terrible at it.

    Stopping by from Mama Kat’s.

  7. I think the same holds true for “temping” in almost any job. You walk in, don’t have a clue about the work, and they seem to save up all the total crap jobs for the “temp”. It sounded like a good idea but it was not. I’m a quick study when it’s a regular job and I get instruction and training, but not so much when I’m thrown in to a pond and told to swim!

  8. Jimmy says:

    It’s funny how the kids in a pack can smell fear on a teacher especially a sub even when she thinks she is not showing it.

    I don’t think people actually realize what teachers go through, my opinion is they are underpaid.

    Nice Post Peg, Thank You

  9. What a great story! I love it : ) Isn’t it funny how sometimes we get to do the thing we thought we always wanted and we are like… what in the world! This is not nearly as great as I had imagined! : )

  10. Melani says:

    what an inspirational and funny story! Good for you for at least trying to be a sub…I know and remember how mean we were to them when I was in Jr High….not 2nd Grade~! 🙂

  11. cheri says:

    thank heavens you survived that day.

    i come from a family of teachers and nurses and realized early on that i had no patience to be either one. no matter how much they asked me (even offered to send me to school), but i still said NO. i think i granted the universe a favor…

    visiting from mama kat’s 🙂

    • pegbur7 says:

      LOL I understand completely. I really don’t think lots of parents would WANT me to teach their kids anymore. I just don’t have that kind of patience anymore.

  12. Heather says:

    Who knew that 2nd graders put such stock in their reputations? I can’t get over this one. To think a second grader has a rep, just seems too funny to me!

    I also wanted to be a teacher, but as I got into high school I started realizing how bad the teachers had it, with pay being low and the kids relentlously being mean conivving and self centered. I was already in that world, why try to persue it as a career. LOL!

    • pegbur7 says:

      SO true. My oldest went to school precisely to be a teacher and I told her to be prepared to not be able to afford her own good taste! Teachers are SORELY underpaid in my opinion.

  13. Hadassah says:

    another example of how we have no idea what we really want…. LOL!

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