This whole week (minus Monday since it was Presidents’ Day and there was no school) I was in Mrs. N’s classroom, filling in for her while she was teaching Zumba on a cruise for Sandi Patty. (I know, weird, right?) Mrs. N teaches 6th grade — mostly Language Arts and Reading with one section of social studies. (All the 6th grade teachers here are certified elementary, so they can teach any subject and often teach more than one.)
This has been my best subbing experience so far. The lessons weren’t hard, but I did get to teach a little bit. The students were mostly well behaved, and easily intimidated when they were misbehaving. The other teachers (especially the one across the hall, Mrs. L) were very welcoming and helpful.
I always write my name on the board when I’m subbing. Today, my last day in the classroom, one student added “is awesome” underneath my name. Some of the students told me that I was a really good sub and they liked me — and it wasn’t because I was letting them get away with stuff, either, because I wasn’t.
I have been wondering to myself why people choose to substitute teach. I am doing it to earn money since I quit my terrible job (which, as I’ve heard from a former co-worker, is getting worse and I’m so glad I left) and to get more experience since I’ve been out of education since 2004 and I want to get a permanent, full-time teaching position.
But today and this week, I actually liked it. I’m sure part of it had to do with the fact that I’ve had the same position for four days, which makes it feel just a tiny bit like my own classroom. And I like middle school students (6th graders are wiggly and like to tattle on each other, but I still liked them). And the variety is kind of fun, though I admit I would be happier and more comfortable teaching English all the time.
Anyway, I’m starting to get it.
Thanks to Mrs. N and all her students and co-workers who made this a great week for me.