So, I have to admit, it is getting more and more frustrating to know that I still am not teaching in a classroom full-time. There's even a part of me that was beginning to question whether or not this is the right path for me to be on... shouldn't all of my hard work have yielded some results right now? Maybe I am aspiring to be a part of the wrong profession... maybe I am not meant to be a teacher.
Then, almost a year ago, I decided to quit my stable, full-time job and become a substitute. I knew that being in the classroom would help soothe my worries and remind me why I am doing all of this to begin with. I am SO glad I made that hard decision. Yes, I didn't get a paycheck all summer and subbing really doesn't pay too many of the bills, but I really, really needed this.
Everytime I walk into a classroom and read the lesson plans, I get excited. Teaching children and being involved in their everyday learning is something I absolutely crave, and for now, subbing will have to satisfy that. ;) For now, I am thankful that there are enough teachers in CFBisd that trust me with their classes that I stay busy and get to implement lessons instead of only busy work. Not only is this great practice for me, but it reassures me that this IS where I am supposed to be. The kids respond well to me and my enthusiasm, and I very often hear, "Mrs. Martinez, can you be our sub everytime our teacher is out?" and "Why don't you teach here everyday?" Of course, I never know how to answer that last one and I am always tempted to say, "Well, tell your principal to hire me!!! " ;)
I have full faith that there is an opportunity out there for me and I just have to be patient for it... but I am very ready to have my own classroom. Even to think about finding something for next fall seems like a lifetime away. Plus, after 3 summers of teacher Job Fairs and passing my portfolio all over town, I don't find much encouragement in knowing that I will be going through the whole process all over again in a few months.
All that being said, I am very grateful to be subbing right now. It is such a gratifying and exciting job that holds new surprises everyday! If there is a kid in a class that I cannot stand, I know I won't have to deal with him tomorrow! ;) I have the opportunity to teach middle school english one day, 5th grade another, and high school science the next... and I love it! It keeps me on my toes and give me great practice with all ages and all subjects... and I find myself surprised at the things I am learning about myself! While I still have a strong desire to teach secondary-level English, I am amazed at how much I am loving elementary school! The amount of love those kiddos have to give is unmatched, for sure. You can't help but be happy and feel loved around those little ones!
Also, enough cannot be said about the good it does for another teacher/administrator to offer me a compliment. I love that I am now building relationships with certain schools and they LOVE to have me there... sometimes 3-4 days a week. It really reinforces that I am on the right path and just need to wait for my open door. Not to mention the big smile it puts on my face for a principal to walk by my classroom and stick their head in just to say what a nice job I am doing... and for the word of mouth to spread around to other teachers that will eventually need a sub. This week, I am subbing 2 days for a very organized and OCD middle school science teacher. The administrator told me yesterday how nervous this teacher was to leave her classes for 2 days, but the administrator assured her that I would have everything under control and she could feel confident that her kiddos were learning while she was gone! Wow! I was so grateful to know that these things are noticed by people that matter. ;) (Now where the heck is my full-time job?)
I guess, bottom line here, my point is that while I wish had my own classroom to manage, right now I do love what I am doing. I am also making the best of it, and choosing to see all of this as a learning experience and some pretty darn good practice for my future.