Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I subbed. I survived.

I subbed at a local elementary school on Monday and lived to tell about it.

The day was fine.  Actually, for a first time reintroduction to the public school system, it couldn't have been easier considering the teacher had no morning duty, two planning periods, and the 4th graders were on the field trip.  I taught art, which was fun, and learned some things about optical illusion drawing.  I was able to arrive, get settled and have a handle on what I was supposed to teach.

M woke up with a fever, which would have put a huge kink in the day if D hadn't planned to work from home since he wasn't completely 100% from his weekend sickness.

What I learned from this day is the following:

1. Subbing 5 days a month is manageable
2. There is NO FREAKING WAY I'M GOING BACK FULL-TIME (unless D dies, and if he dies, my life will be infinitely more complicated so I hope his life insurance is enough to keep me from having to do this).

I have always felt like I have a good appreciation for teachers because I have lived it.   My expectations for my children's teachers have never been like the expectations I hear come from the mouths of non-teacher friends who don't know how impossible it is to be so grossly outnumbered in a classroom.

I dealt with the professional development all-day boring meetings that prevent a teacher from actually planning for her students.  I dealt with the parents who wanted me to excuse their children's poor choices or inability to get work done.  I dealt with endless grading and papers coming out my ears.  I dealt with problem students.  I dealt with insane expectations from the district people who, perhaps, have forgotten that only so much can be done to remedy poverty and poor parenting.

But I dealt with it when I was in my twenties, before I had children.  I was younger and less tired.  My students were the most important children in my life at that time.  

I always knew I wouldn't be able to navigate the full-time professional/personal divide, and this little bit of subbing has helped confirm this.

The myth of "teaching is a great profession if you have children" has been officially debunked, at least in my book.

The truth is that teaching is a great profession if you have children and they never get sick and you never get sick and you are willing to not give 100% of your energy/devotion to anything you do.

I think this is the truth in any profession that women do.  

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