So, yesterday I briefly mentioned that I left a job in June without a future plan. Not ideal but very necessary. This fall, with no job prospects, I joined the ranks of the substitute teacher and while the pay is pathetic, the rewards have been many.
It did not take many days in the classroom to realize how much I enjoy teaching and how much I had missed the opportunity to be in the classroom. I enjoy being in the classroom so much that I don’t mind the rude student, the chatty student, the tattling student and the angry student.
Half the fun of substitute teaching is teaching something different every day. I have taught English, science (complete with experiment), math, art, PE and my favorite…wood shop! The lesson for me is that it doesn’t matter what I teach, it is how I teach. I enter the classroom with enthusiasm and confidence and the kids usually respond in kind.
Finally, you never know what wacky things you will be asked to deal with. Today for example, I had a child who came back from lunch, crossed the classroom threshold and became violently ill. It was epic! I have also had students disappear (high school level of course) and a fire drill which effectively shut down the wood shop for the remainder of the day.
In many ways I am grateful for my current situation. I am less stressed and enjoying family and friends again. But more importantly, I am learning about myself. What I enjoy and even what doesn’t excite me. I am handling challenges with confidence again and appreciate each and every one of them. And finally, I have had the chance to meet some pretty awesome people.
I’m curious, is anyone else going through something similar? How are you choosing to deal with your personal rediscovery?