The Unlikely Substitute Update


It has been a minute since my last post, entitled The Unlikely Substitute, since October 26th to be exact. Man, when I said that the line “see a need, fill a need” came to mind I did not anticipate how much need there truly was to be filled. By the time I had written The Unlikely Substitute I had already undergone the orientation workshop for the company through which I would be working and was only waiting on my substitute teaching certificate which came through a couple days after that post.

At that point, I was already aware of an ongoing teacher absence in the middle school which involved ELA and art and since my college degree is in ELA and I am by nature an artistic person, I knew that there was never going to be a better starting opportunity. So, before I chickened out, I threw my hat in the ring by accepting the job for Friday, October 29. The icing on the cake was that it was only scheduled to be a half day. The day went quite smoothly and, in short, I have not stopped working a day since then.

I wound up accepting that job at the middle school through that entire next 5-day week which was the remainder of the teacher’s absence. My best resource in getting my footing was the middle school’s building sub, Ms. D. Once she knew that it was my very first subbing job, she did not hesitate to show me around the school and walk me through the morning routine before the students started to arrive. She was also able to check in on me periodically through that day and my next which was a Monday. Just simply feeling like I had that support gave me loads of confidence. Ms. D was paramount to my getting comfortable; answering questions, and lining up my resources. I know that usually, and especially in our current education environment, there is not enough personnel for someone like Ms. D to always be around and I know that I was lucky she was there.

I really enjoyed working at the middle school and having my oldest kid and their friends in some of those classes. In fact, if I had my choice, I would have stuck to middle school positions. Of course there were a few challenging or disruptive moments but I got through them and learned a bit about how to connect with the students, and with an ever changing student crowd, as each class period came and went, each new start was refreshing.

However, on Thursday of that week at the middle school, I missed a phone call from the elementary school while I was in class and when I checked the voice message I was surprised to hear the elementary school principle stating that he had been made aware that I had become a substitute teacher and requested that I contact him to discuss a fulltime building sub position they had available. I returned the call during prep hour for the position I was subbing and we scheduled a time for later that afternoon, when I was out of school, to more fully discuss the open position. At the end of that same day, Ms. D, the middle school building sub, came in to see me before I left, asking whether I would be interested in staying on with the middle school in a more permanent building sub position. It was quite a blow because I would love to have said yes but instead I had to tell her that the elementary school principle beat her to it.

I finished out the week at the middle school and began a full time position with the elementary that very next week and have been very busy ever since. What’s nice about being a permanent building sub is that I’m able to learn the building-wide routine and become familiar with the sub-plans and schedules of each individual teacher making it easier on the students any time I happen to be their guest teacher. Because they know me and because I know their daily routine, I’m able to make the absence of their teacher less disruptive to their learning.

I spent quite some time attempting to overcome my career gap before discovering this avenue and I hope that it opens new paths for me in the future. Maybe for now I should include a post or two about some of the hilarious and adorable things these elementary kids say!

Remember to always make a conscientious effort.

Categories: careerTags: , ,

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