This week I signed up for a mystery substitute teaching assignment. Feeling desperate for the income and having really enjoyed another assignment in the same building, I logged onto the computerized substitute scheduling system and took a job that offered only a teacher name, no grade or subject. By the end of the day, I dragged my sorry self home, having endured with as much enthusiasm as I could muster, the unending energy of a first grade classroom. I lingered in the space between total exhaustion and the energy that comes from a job well done.
I cannot imagine how an adult musters the energy to keep up with fourteen six year olds and I have nothing but respect for those that do this job day in and day out. I am not new to education, having worked as a high school guidance counselor for the past ten years and can attest that there were many days I can home whipped into a semi-coma. I think the substantial difference is that at the high school level it is a mental exhaustion. First grade is a mental AND physical exhaustion.
All that being said, I would do it again in a minute!!!!