Tomorrow afternoon I am committed to my first substitute job in a public school. It’s only for a half a day but I thought it would be a good starting point. I’m actually set up and ready to take on sub jobs for three different public school districts in the area and have been for some time. I just haven’t followed through on it. I have substituted for a private school, though.
I have to think differently. Most teachers wake up every morning and know just exactly what they will do and when they will do it. They are expected to be in their classroom everyday, prepared and ready. I was when I worked full time. I function best this way. Now, I have to be prepared to have an answer when a substitute job call comes, if it comes at all. Take for instance this past Monday. I had two calls to substitute and I wasn’t really prepared to say a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It took me a moment to think, “Oh yea, I can’t because I’m promised my son time to get his passport and his oil changed on his car.” Now, the schools don’t need to know detail but I have to be prepared with an answer when the call comes. I also have to know what day and date of the week it is!
So, I have to think of a way to be prepared but in a different way – a different mindset. It’s enough to make me want a full time job tomorrow! I am a planner and I nearly always follow through with my plans for the day.
I look back at how much time has elapsed since we moved here and how I am just now really ready for other responsibilities besides the dogs and the house. It’s been 7 months. Sometimes I think I should I feel guilty for not ‘using my degree’ for this long. I also think what I might be like had I gone back to work full time right when we moved in July. My guess is I would be quite stressed. Our family has been through a lot after Hurricane Katrina came through. I think the time away from a full time job was a wise thing to do. I know I will be a better teacher because of the time to adjust and reflect. So, substituting is a way of staying flexible, staying in education and being available for my family. How long will I substitute? Not sure. It might be until the end of the school year or longer. I will just have to see what opportunities come up and how they fit my priorities at the time.