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.”