I'm (finally) getting to update because I am through with my first long-term subbing job and I don't have anything to do during this teacher's conference period. I was always too busy during my conference period for the past seven weeks. It's hard to believe I was there for seven weeks, because the time just flew by. I honestly didn't expect to bond with the ninth graders as much as I did. While I was there, they became MY students and I got to know them so well that I was sad to leave them. Many of them told me they felt the same way; I got lots of hugs and compliments and a couple of notes that I will definitely keep, telling me that I am "awesome." Quite a few kids told me they wish I could be their teacher next year.
Believe me, I told them, I feel the same way. There is no way to know at this point what will happen. Our district is opening a new high school next year, so one would think it would be a great year to get hired. However, they have already hired the teachers for the new school (only 9th and 10th grades will start there next year) except for a couple of positions that they want to fill with coaches who also teach English. With half the students going to the new school, they may not need any replacements for the teachers who are going to the new campus. In this economy, everyone is keeping their jobs and hiring is tight in all the surrounding districts because budgets are being cut everywhere. I just have to wait and see--contracts went out recently, and eventually the administration will know which positions they need to fill.
Of course there will be a lot of competition for any jobs, but I feel good about my chances as long as there is a job to apply for. Subbing has given me an opportunity to get myself noticed, not just by the teachers I sub for, but by the heads of several English departments and the administrators who might be hiring me. Yesterday I happened to run into the head of the English department as I was leaving and said goodbye to her, and she told me (without me asking) that they would keep me in mind for a job. So that was good, because I had been feeling a little down about the future. I like to have my ducks in a row, and that just can't happen in this situation. (I know, welcome to Life 101.)
I don't just want a job next year just to have a job--although the money and the benefits are greatly needed. I remembered that I DO love to teach. And that's what makes it hard to go back to regular subbing. I got to teach for real again, and I want to go back to doing it, with all the frustrations and limitations involved. I want to know what I'm doing every day because I planned it (with the help of my fellow teachers, of course!) I want to BELONG in a school, not just visit. I want to see my students every day and know that I am making a difference with many of them. And I just need to remind myself that it IS going to happen. Maybe not on my timeline, but eventually all the good work I have been doing (which has not gone unnoticed) will pay off.
I feel like a player warming the bench dying to get in the game and show the coach what I've got. I know I can do a good job. But I need to wait my turn. Waiting and paying your dues can be tough, but I'm going to hang in there because at some point I know I will get my chance.
P.S. This was fun! Too bad I won't get to update at schools more often because they will take away internet access once they remember I am no longer long-term. I also MUST remember to post the short-short script written by one of my best (and funniest) sophomore students: Macbeth 2: Return of Macbeth.