Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Adventures in babysitting

It's been a long time and I know you're dying to know about our lives.  As you may know, having finished the trail and planning to go traveling again means that we need to make some moola. (that's slang for money).

In our search of employment, we went to the Milford public school system and signed up to be Substitute Teachers. They gave us the packets, we signed a few papers to get the CORI check filled out the direct deposit and that's it.  We were teaching in the Milford Public School System!  Eight days later we were put into the substitute system and started getting calls to substitute.  And here we are.  Official Babysitters.  It's a pretty sweet gig.  We show up at the school.  Get sent to our assignment and walk the kids through a day that has already been laid out for them.  Simple, right?  NO.  Exhausting.  Anyone who has ever spent 10 minutes with a child knows how much attention they need.  Now multiply that by 20 and then compile that with the fact that the kids are totally trying to get away with stuff because their teacher isn't there.   It can be a long day.    Originally, we really did assume we would just be babysitters.  I mean, really, what else could be expected of us when we didn't even get a 2 minute interview!    But we should have know better.  Also the problem is partly us: neither Jamie nor I know how to do anything "half-assed."  If we're asked to teach a topic-by golly we're gonna teach it.  If we're asked to work in conjunction with a teacher and help students-we're gonna do it!  In reality, I assumed everyone would do that.  But not so!  I've been told by many a teacher that we go "above and beyond" (by doing our jobs?) and that some subs "sit in the classroom and just read."  (seriously?!)

We both love doing it.  My friend Meaghan Shanahan (follow her adventures here) talked about substitute teaching when she was home looking for work.  She did NOT like it.  Her thoughts:

Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against subs. I just know myself too well. I know that I cannot function in situations where I roll in, feeling unprepared and off kilter, to a new school/classroom each day. I am just not cut out for that. Some people thrive in those situations. I do NOT. 

Personally myself, I love it for exactly the reasons she doesn't.  I love that it's new every time, I love trying to figure out what to do and I love meeting new kids everyday.   Not that all the kids are great.  I've had some really hard days.  I got a class of 1st graders that drove me up the wall.  I was their 3rd sub in a week and they were ready to take over!  That was a rough day.  However,  part of the excitement of the being a sub is interacting with the kids. They are so funny. At the end of my excruciatingly long day with them, all the girls hugged me and asked me to come back.  I reminded them that we had just had a really rough day together and that their teacher was not going to get a glowing remark for me.  She just hugged me again.  Too cute. 

I'll leave you with some other cute kid interactions: 

- After opening a kindergartner's tupperware container of grapes she looks at me and said "you're special to me. I love you."

- While reading a counting book that consisted of this repeating sentence:  1 fish, but where's the cat?   2 turtles, but where's the cat?  3 whales, but where's the cat?     
We got to about 7 and this pre-k boy looks at me and sighs a HUGE sigh.  
"*sigh.* Counting to 20 is so  hard!"

- A pre-k boy, upon forgetting Jamie's name but remembering that it was a big cat said to him, "Excuse me, Mr. Tiger, can I go to the bathroom?"