- I'm a creature of habit... I like the routine of things. I don't venture outside of this much.
- I am a planner... I like to know what I'm doing every day. I often have things planned well in advance.
- I don't like to talk to strangers...I've never been good at small talk. I love my friends but always feel insecure when I meet new people.
Subbing has forced me to change of these. I know it's good for me. Lucky for me, I'm not afraid of change...well maybe a little. Here is my life as a sub. Every night I wait for a call about a job. If you miss a call you lose a job, so I pretty much remain attached to my phone. I hope for a school that is close. I get endless calls from the automated system and I decline most (high school, bilingual, middle school). After 10:00pm the automated calls stop and I hop on the computer and check for updates VERY often. If I see one I want I try to select it. Often I see the message "Another user is viewing this job. Please try again later." If it is a job that I want, I try again....and again...and again. Sometimes it works and the job is mine. If I don't find a job the night before, I wake up before 5:00am to check the computer again. At 5:00 the automated calls start again. I get in the shower and get ready, still not knowing if I'm going to work. Honestly if you aren't picky you could work every day. My problem is that I want to do a good job so I won't take a job that I will just be a baby-sitter at all day or be less than effective (bilingual). If I get a job in the morning then I have to hop onto mapquest and get directions and hope that I can get Cole on the bus and still get to the school on time.
Once at the school, I have to find the admin office and get signed in. Find the classroom, hope there are sub plans (and if there are, that they are detailed), try to find at least 1 teacher to meet and clarify any questions. Meet the kids, teach whatever grade level that I am assigned to (and pray that I understand myself what I am supposed to teach), learn the classroom routines, have the kids guide me around the unfamiliar school, manage the class, manage the time through the day, learn their dismissal routines, return the class to the way I found it, and leave detailed notes of how the day went. All of this is WAY outside of my comfort zone.
I have gotten a few jobs in advance which eases the anxiety some. I taught Kindergarten at Cole's school today for the Kinder teacher he had last year. I have another few jobs lined up at his school in the coming weeks.
The only part I don't like is not knowing where I am going to be from day-to-day. I have loved most of the grades. I taught 4th grade yesterday and had a blast. I was bummed because they asked me to return the next day, but I had the Kinder job already lined up. I actually love the older grades which I used to be afraid of. I learned a simple magic card trick that I open with and promise to teach at the end of the day if they all stay on task throughout the day. It is amazing how much that motivates the older kids. I bring a few of my favorite books to read and several time-filler activities. Another bonus is that when the kids only see you for a day, you remain fresh and exciting. It's a great learning opportunity and I'm trying to value it for that. I just hope that I can value it for the remaining months of the school year and move onto something more permanent in the fall.