Monday, May 3, 2010

Hello, My Name is Mrs. Dagmi and I'll Be Your Sub

It’s been driving me crazy – my inability to blog about my substitute teacher debut. I mean, I am rarely at a deficit for material. Every little thing usually inspires me. And taking on another part-time career was not just another little thing.

As the magazine world continues to readjust itself, I wanted to look outside my job zone. Substitute teaching made sense. It combined my genuine love of learning with the need to be creative and make a difference. With two kids in the Broward Public School system, I also wanted to get to know the system from the inside.

I was registered in Sub Central at noon last Tuesday. At 4 pm I confirmed a 3-day fifth grade assignment. I dove right into it which was unlike me, and I liked that.

So, here I am chomping at the bit with excitement over this new addition to my life. I want to write all about it, and yet… I’ve had a touch of blogstipation. Drats! Some of it’s no doubt from the sheer exhaustion of the job. I was not expecting to be totally wiped. But I think the blogstipation comes mostly from not being able to think about anything but teaching in the moment of teaching.

Usually when something occurs to me as “blogworthy” I have the luxury of turning thoughts over in my head, and maybe even jotting a few down. When I was in the classroom, however, I was on every minute and then anticipating the next. Downtime doesn’t exist. There are two half hour breaks. I filled mine with eating, peeing, brushing my teeth, checking email, checking in with the other 5th grade team teachers, organizing my desk, and writing notes for the real teacher.

I had a couple of tests to administer on Friday. Dylan said I’d be bored and that I should bring stuff to do. I packed a newspaper and a book and, of course, a journal. I never read the paper nor opened a book nor wrote a note. Instead I gave tests, walked around the classroom monitoring chatter and wandering eyes over and over again, and then graded tests.

On the first day of the new job, it was all so new. I was just amazed I got through the day without a hitch. I had 63 names to learn, 63 faces to remember, minutes to watch, equipment to work, and a slew of behavioral issues to quell. Day 2 was similar but I felt more comfortable and confident because we were already acquainted. On Day 3, I was referring to the class as “my kids.”

Sammi is excited that I am a sub. Teaching’s been at the top of her career list for a while. This weekend when I was making dinner and fantasizing about a nap, Sammi was in the living room playing school. “Rolling your eyes won’t get you anywhere!” she warned the class. I think I’ll have to try that line.

1 comment:

Paula said...

What a great post Jane. I have no doubt that you're the super hip sub that everyone wants.
Loves the shot of the classroom. Some things never change, they just get more cluttered.