“I wanna turn the whole thing upside down
I'll find the things they say just can't be found
I'll share this love I find with everyone
We'll sing and dance to Mother Nature's song”*
Remember my post where I vented on Tuesday? The downside was that it wound up being boring and I had no Internet. The upside is that it was easy and I worked on my manuscript.
The downside of that night, I received a call AFTER 8:00 pm for a job, not the next day, but the day after that. The substitute gatekeeper wanted to plan ahead since so many teachers would be out on Thursday. The upside was at that moment she had no job for me for Wednesday.
The upside was that Wednesday morning, I hadn't received a call by the time I went in the shower. By the time I got out, I was pretty confident I wasn’t working. The downside was at 7:30 am the phone RANG. Weep. I picked up with trepidation. No good could come of a job called in that late in the morning.
“I know you’re not down to teach self-contained, but I have a 5/6 job and there are no subs left from the office of Special Ed. Can you do it?”
Remember my Many Hats post about all the jobs I’ve had? I have a HUGE work ethic. It’s my father’s fault. I hate quitting jobs, so I usually stay well past the point I should and feel ENORMOUS guilt when I quit. Except for the clothing job, I’ve held each job for a LONG time. Turning down a job, even when I have the right to, is downright PAINFUL.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t because I’m not comfortable with the job.”
Pause. “That’s okay. Thank you.”
After hanging up, I said, "I feel bad for not taking the job."
My husband replied, "I don't know why you answered the phone."
I wrote and edited for over two hours. I blogged for an hour. I spent the next hour applying for two jobs. I ran errands. I cooked. I ate. I went to bed. All upside.
The only downside, which I forgot to mention, that night I received a call to report to the same school on Friday as I was on Thursday, but for a different teacher. If I hadn’t turned down the Wednesday job, it would’ve been another full week.
Thursday morning, I showed up for my Spanish job down the street. Once last spring, I’d subbed for this woman and I recalled her schedule being strange because she was part-time. I was correct. She only had two afternoon classes, so it was like I’d be picking a Wild Card for the morning. Definitely downside.
Before I found out my fate, I reported to the Friday 3rd/4th teacher. She told me she’d only be gone a half-day, Friday would be a fun and easy day, and that I’d be working with two interns. Definite upside.
Then I spoke with the assistant principal. She wanted me to work in the 1st/2nd grade class until Spanish and planned to try to switch my job on Friday so I could be in that class again tomorrow. Possible downside.
The 1st/2nd-grade teacher prepped me for the next class, in case I got switched. She had two interns, but today would be their last. So the students who were used to having three teachers would have one sub tomorrow. Downside.
The class could’ve been easier. Another downside. I noticed that one intern was on the ball in dealing with discipline, but the other threatened to tell the actual teacher as her bargaining chip with students. Not wise. It’s the educational equivalent of, “Wait until your father gets home.” She had a showdown with a girl who didn’t want to put back on her sneakers, and then put her jacket over her head. I decided to model:
“What’s your name? You don’t seem to be having a good afternoon. May I ask why you don’t want to wear your shoes?” After I received the answer, I leaned in. “Let me tell you a secret. I hate wearing shoes too. Guess what the first thing I do is when I get home? That’s right, I take off my shoes. But school is like work for kids. Grownups have to wear shoes when they’re at work. Do you know how to tie your shoes? I thought you did. Now let me just do it for you so you can quickly get back to reading. And let me move your jacket over here.”
She was good for the rest of class. Upside.
While in the classroom, my cell phone rang. It was my children’s school. Expecting to hear from the nurse, it wound up being the secretary. The Spanish teacher was going to be out for most of the rest of the year. They were offering me an Extended Term Sub position at a school I love. That was the only upside. The downside is that I don’t speak Spanish. This is the THIRD time this school year that I’ve been offered a Spanish ETS. Notice how nobody is throwing History jobs at me.
The two Spanish middle school groups were pretty good. (You forgot that I was there for middle school Spanish, didn’t you?). There was a little boy-girl-ridiculous-can-hardly-tell-unless-you-know-what-to-look-for-flirting. Few kids wanted to work very hard so I half-heartedly coaxed them to focus.
When I got home, I found my #12 First Kiss entry* on Miss Snark’s First Victim had mostly positive reviews: http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.com/2010/05/first-kiss-12.html (upside). Aubrie, don’t check the link. By the way, the only reason I was able to enter the contest at noon was because I was sent home early from the second chance school (upside).
Who knows what tomorrow will bring.
“Who's to say
I can't do everything
Well I can try
And as I roll along I begin to find
Things aren't always just what they seem”
- Jack Johnson, Song “Upside Down”