Hello Out There!
I trust all of you have had a wonderful year full of blessings!
Yes, I have been out the blogging habit for almost a year! I looked back at my last post – September 1st of last year! Has it really been that long? Hard to believe! I do have a very good reason, though. Want to hear it?
I was turning in my substitute papers for the school year the Friday before school was going to start. I then went to the middle school to re-introduce myself (my son went there the last quarter of the previous year when we moved to town) to the ladies up front and was asked if I would be willing to do subbing for longer than a day or two. I said sure, being in the same class for a few days would not be a problem. She asked if I would do longer than a few days. I said that I probably would. Then she asked if I would like to sub starting on Wednesday of the next week. I said that school started on that day! She said that they had a teacher in the hospital and had no idea how long she would be there and that no other subs would take the job, would I be willing to do it? I was in shock…starting the first day of school?! I had been subbing in Colorado Springs for the past year, but those were classes already set up and with lesson plans. This would be from scratch. I told her I needed to discuss it with my husband (really, I needed to wrap my head around the whole idea and calm my beating heart and knew that he would help me reason it all out). We talked about the students and how they would feel on that first day of school and not have their teacher. And maybe how they would have different subs in there until the teacher returned. We talked about how we would feel as parents if this had been our son’s class. We talked about how I would have to put my SU! business on hold or attempt to work it in when I could. Mainly, it was about the students. Then I called to tell her yes. Two hours later I got a call from the principal, who I had yet to meet in person…and the deal was made! I showed up on Monday for the Back-to-School teacher breakfast and ID card pictures (was not told about that) and felt like I had slipped back in time to 1991 when I began teaching in Nogales, AZ!! Holy Cow! It had been 16 years since I was in my own classroom! I had Meet the Teacher that night and the Principal was there to explain to the parents and students who I was and why I was there. I had a deer-in-the-headlights look, I am sure! 5th graders coming in to Middle School all nervous and their substitute was too! YIKES!!
From there, the days slipped into a routine and I discovered that lesson planning, teaching, grading, teacher duties, parent meetings, discipline, teacher meetings, and everything else that teachers do is like riding a bike! It all comes back to you when you are thrown into it. The love of teaching does too! I was happy! I mean happier than I had been in a while! Totally fulfilled and feeling blessed that my husband and son were so supportive! Ron ended up home a lot for awhile and he became the house husband. I didn’t have to worry about food or laundry. He did it all so that I could figure out what I was doing as a 5th grade teacher! It was glorious! I felt right at home and had wonderful people around me helping with all my questions and giving me ideas. After 16 years of being at home and working in our roofing business, I had forgotten a few things. Other teachers were there to give suggestions and remind me of things that were new to teaching. The internet became my new BFF! Who knew that there were more than just crafting blogs out there!?! Hahaha! Oh, and I even used stamps and fancy duct tape to make my own Hall passes and Nurse pass on 5×8 cards! The kids liked them and even the principal commented on them when he did my evaluation! Cool, huh?!
So, this was how my life went…for a few weeks I spent days teaching, nights and weekends lesson planning and grading. And then my students started asking me what would happen to them when the original teacher didn’t come back and a Long Term Sub came? It broke my heart to think of someone else teaching “my” kiddos, as I had come to think of them. So, to be a Long Term Sub, you had to be state certified. I needed to take a test…a BIG test! It was about K-8th grade Content…not about teaching. Do you know the last time I studied for a test??? YEARS!! I studied my butt off! I used Kahn Academy and I read text books and I did math like it was my favorite subject. I had help from Ron and Kitar and some others! I had 2 weeks and I needed to pass that test the first time!!
We drove to Missoula and made a day of it…my test was first. It was tough! None of the practice test info was on it, of course. I got about half way through and almost broke down. I started to panic. I wanted to get up and walk out. I thought that there was no way I was going to pass this crazy test! And then…I heard a voice in my head that told me to pull up my big girl panties and get this done because all ‘MY’ kiddos were counting on me to be there for them! I wiped my eyes, blew my nose, and got back to my test! There was a time limit after all! When I finished I was afraid to click the “Get score” button!! Then I finally did with my eyes closed. Slowly I opened my eyes and saw a wonderous sight…I passed. I don’t remember the actual score number now, but suffice it to say it was above the score I needed to have and I cried with relief! This time, I got up and walked out, got my stuff, and proof that I could take back and show my kiddos. I then got my state certification, did my interview with the school, demonstrated a math lesson (it was the lesson I was going to teach in Math that day anyway) and found out a few days later that I got the Long-Term Sub job of the position I had already been teaching for a month. My students and I were so happy! My paycheck jumped to teacher salary status and my husband was so happy! Hahaha! They accepted all 10 years of my previous teaching experience…made more money “starting” my 11th year of teaching here in MT than if I had been teaching all these 23 years in AZ. How sad is that?!
So, at my age, I restarted my teaching career and had a blast doing it! However, that was all I had time for, besides the mom and wife duties. My husband started working on the RR more and so I had to start thinking of food for my son and I and doing the laundry and housecleaning on the weekends! So glad my son is old enough to share in the duties!
In mid-January the teacher was well enough to start working part-time in the afternoon and I did the mornings. That left me free to sub in the afternoon at either the middle school or the elementary school. I did lots of kindergarten! I was in that 5th grade classroom until mid-term of the 3rd quarter. The teacher came in on a Friday afternoon after a Dr. appointment and said that I didn’t need to come in the next week. She was back full-time. So, I packed up the stuff I still had on the desk and in the classroom and stayed until after lunch to say goodbye to the students. It was a sad and teary good-bye for me and many of “my” students. Sadly, I never subbed in there the rest of the school year. I did however sub in other classes at the middle school and therefore saw “my” kiddos and also many of the classrooms at the elementary school. I finished out the school year subbing at the middle school on the very last day of school! Started and ended my year there. Not a bad year at that!
So, now, being on summer vacation, I have had lots of time to craft again! It’s been lovely! Started the summer making 44 cards for a swap, then working on my dad’s life album, playing with Paper Pumpkin, and making cards for Card Classes. I am back in the SU! swing of things and figured I might as well get back to blogging.
Will I be teaching next year? I don’t know. I plan on subbing at least, and any days I don’t sub will be my SU! days. So far, no teaching positions have opened up that I am qualified for, so we shall wait and see. I am open to it. I am also open to subbing. I am also open to working my SU! full-time if that is the way it is meant to be. God knows best, so I will leave it in His hands and go with the flow…just like last year!
Get ready, because I have lots of crafting to share with you and I am ready to blog my booty off!
Blessings to you! Enjoy your day!