“A lot of good arguments are spoiled by some fool who knows what he is talking about.”
- Miguel de Unamuno
I was spoiled.
I’d forgotten the exact feeling of being a daily sub. The new system is, by far, more civilized. Since the phone won’t ring until after 6:30 am, I can sleep in. Because the system is online, most times I’ll have my jobs the day before. I can be requested. The sub life is good.
As good as it gets.
Even though it won’t ring, I dream of phones ringing and sub calls. I take my shower, wondering if I’ll have to race out, naked and wet to answer the call. As I blow dry my hair, I glance at the phone, waiting for it to light up. After my shower, I take the phone into the kitchen to prepare my children’s breakfasts and lunch.
I miss summer.
The chances of me working this week were slim. School began Tuesday and Thursday we had off for Rosh Hashana. How many teachers can’t manage to work the first three days?
So I wait.
Last year, I’d promised myself I’d write about EVERY sub job. Near the end of the year, I skipped four jobs. To give you a glimpse back into my sub life, I've decided to share those four gigs:
In May, I worked at the Spanish school for first-grade. My experience in kindergarten had been less than stellar, so I took the job with trepidation. But I figured at least I’d be working with someone else. How bad could it be? Foreboding….
Before the students came in, the teacher asked about ME. And she asked what I wanted to be called. When the students came in, she introduced me to each one. When we sat at the rug, she gave me time to share. Sniff.
This teacher was GOOD. Those kids listened to her, wanted to please her, behaved for her. And I could see why. She didn’t yell or talk down to them. She had expectations that she repeated throughout the day. And she had hand signals to remind kids when they were doing the wrong thing, which limited interruptions. There was even a hand signal for children to use when they needed to use the bathroom to keep the teacher from having to stop what she was doing. Easy peasy.
A little later, the teacher mentioned she had afternoon interviews of prospective teachers, so I’d only have to handle snack and a read aloud with the students before clean up and dismissal. At lunchtime she received a call that she had to go to the first interview NOW, earlier than planned. I could see this job was going from easy to difficult.
In the end, the students were pretty good, but not the angels they were for her. Since my disposition isn’t all sunshine and lollipops, I’m really working my heart out when I work with little children.
One child was obsessed with astronauts. As a result, the teacher was doing an extensive space unit. My read aloud was a book about… you guessed it… space. The space-happy kid scooted extra close while I read and showed the pictures.
At one point he raised his hand. When I called on him, he said, “Astronauts are in space for 90 years.”
“It’s not 90 years, honey. If it were, you’d leave as a baby, you’d come back as an old man.”
“It’s 90 years,” he stated emphatically. “My parents told me.”
“Maybe you misheard them.”
I decided to be diplomatic. “Let’s agree to disagree.”
“Nope. 90 years.”
The afternoon dragged on from there.
Several days before school ended, I had a job in a third-grade classroom at the Inclusion School. That’s always a treat because the room normally has three teachers. It’s funny because I’ve worked in this room before, and one teacher ignores me. I mean like I’m not there. No hello, nod, or even eye contact. Rude.
But the class wound up doing morning work, then Math, and then spent the rest of the day watching Mary Poppins. I was actually able to take out my laptop. Dream job.
Two days before school ended, I subbed at the school that loves assemblies for gym again. But instead of subbing for the woman and working with my former coworker, I subbed for my coworker and worked with the woman. She spent the day urging me to become a gym teacher so I wouldn’t have to take work home. I politely smiled and nodded, but inside I was thinking:
Look at me. I am about as unsporty as you get. Is unsporty even a word? It should be. I did horribly in gym, so much so I had to take extra gym to graduated high school. Would I have to do fitness-type things to become certified? Gym in a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.
I also taught a first-grade class and forgot it was a half day at my kids' school because of eighth-grade graduation and my children had to walk from the bus to the school to pick up the key and I was lucky I wound up working two blocks from home and I turned a hangman game into a lesson about respect while the class was late to be picked up. Exhale.
Now I’ve kept my promise, and written about EVERY SINGLE sub job from last year.
AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:
This is before the launch of the hardcopy in 2011. Here’s a quote from her post:
“Here's where you come in. It's amazing how few copies it takes to rocket your sales rank on Amazon. Wouldn't it be incredible if people bought copies of The Hating Game ebook -- all on Dec 1 --- and brought it up the charts? If for one brief moment in time (or maybe more), The Hating Game was an Amazon Kindle bestseller?”
Please join Talli’s BlogSplash!