The beauty of being a substitute teacher is the flexibility. I’ve written about this before (here and here), and I still feel the same way. I love subbing, I love middle school kids. I love it as my job, and I’m happy with how my life has taken me into this position.
Most of my time is spent doing short jobs – a day here, a day there – and I love those assignments. I love popping into a classroom and seeing what they’re working on, spending some time with the kids, but moving on.
Right now, I’m smack dab in the middle of an 8 week long-term sub job – covering for a woman who had a baby. For four weeks, I’ve been getting up everyday, going to the same school, teaching the same kids, planning lessons, grading work, and working. I love it.
Whenever I start one of these long-term jobs, it feels like I need to relearn how to work. Before it even begins I need to figure out where the girls will be everyday. It is a balancing and juggling act that takes some work, but thanks to all the fabulous grandparents, it always works out. Once I get to the school I need to figure out who to ask for what I need. I need to build a stock of snacks and other supplies. I need to recalibrate my body to only getting to use the bathroom and eat at certain times. Luckily, this time around I don’t have to figure out a pumping strategy.
Now I’m in the groove. I’ve figured the good times to pee. I have my stash of rice cakes. I have a great support system in the classroom and the office when things come up. I have my essential oils in my Essential Pouch (if you’re wondering, I have rollers of Panaway, Stressaway, Gratitude, and a salve of allergy relief trio).
I know the kids, and the kids know me. It’s always a tricky transition from sub to long-term sub in classrooms where I regularly sub. The dynamic is certainly different when I’m the main teacher, and that’s what I am until the end of the school year for these kids. I can let myself be silly, and let things slide when it’s just a day job. I have to be more serious and strict when I’m here for a few weeks. The kids are always a bit surprised in my change in demeanor.
But, here I am. Twenty days left of school. Then back to my other job as full-time mom. I have to be honest and say that I’m not as scared of summer this year. Last year I was terrified of all the unstructured, unscheduled days looming. This year, I’m excited to get back to those unstructured, unscheduled days. I’m looking forward to spending each day with the kids. I’m looking forward to getting a vacation. The word vacation definitely means more when there’s somewhere which I will vacate.