Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Big Question

When you meet someone new, or someone you haven't seen in a while, they always ask the question, "What do you do?"  It's an easy answer, "I'm a Teacher."  But then the follow up, "What grade do you teach?"  And the answer, "I am a substitute, so I teach all grades."   This usually gets one of two reactions.  "I don't envy you!"  or some comment about it being nice to choose when I work and not having to be responsible for a class. 

The "I don't envy you!" comment comes from an honest place.  People usually remember being in a class that was terrible to a sub.  I am also very familiar with this comment because I was a Child Care Provider for 15 years before I got my Masters in Teaching.  It does bother me though.  Why not envy me?  I get to hang out with awesome kids, teach them something, and make a difference in their lives.  What's not to envy?

As for choosing when I work, "I wish!"  So far I don't get enough work.  I usually only get it when I would like a day off, or when I have already accepted a job with lesser pay. (Sub Afterschool Care, Instructional Assistant, or Kindergarten Enrichment)  I recently accepted a temporary position, to fill in for someone on leave, as the Director of an Afterschool program.  It's only part time work, but I am only available to sub a few hours a day, a few days a week.  Since I took the job I have been offered an 8 hour sub job every day. I just know that when the job is over, the phone will stop ringing!

Sure, I am not responsible for the day to day in classroom, but that doesn't mean I am not responsible for those kids while they are in my hands.  I have to do well for them, their teacher, the principal, and the school.  I have to remember that I am being watched and each day is a job interview for the chance at another day.  If they don't like me for any reason, I could be off the list for that classroom, school or school district.  It's a lot of pressure some days.

How do you answer?

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