Wednesday, March 22, 2006

And the run has been broken...

So, today is officially the first school day in over a month that i have not been called at all to sub. I had a long run from Febuary 13th to March 20th where i was called every single school day to sub. And i took them all too, with the only exception of valentines day (florist shop), and one day because i was sick. Wow. That's a lot of subbing days :). I don't know why there was the sudden rush, but french teachers really are high in demand. Especially ones who are fluent in french and know what they are doing :). Thank god for French Immersion. It is probably the reason i got hired in the first place, and it is definately the edge that has given so many days of subbing. I know others from my program who were not so lucky.

So, i have turned in my form and got my references in for a full time position in the fall... I'm not sure how i feel about that. Part of me doesn't really want things to change from the way they are now. I am a very free person as it is. I live from day to day, getting as much work as i can get. As is, life is good. People always ask me why i am subbing, and feel sorry for me that i couldn't get 'a real teaching job'. Personally, i'm not sure i want things to change from the way they are now. I love being a substitute teacher. Not only does it allow me the freedom to have a second job at the florist shop (which i love because it is a nice break, and i love working with the cut flowers). Maybe this summer, i'll talk to gloria about getting some extra training in designing? That would be a neat thing to try. I don't have the time for it now, but i will in the summer... maybe if subbing is slow in early april or if the garden center slows down in june. I would really like to try my hand at designing, as making the arrangements is my favorite part of the job.

Secondly, i love subbing because it entails far less responsability than being a full time teacher. I admit, i am not sure i want to jump right in to teaching with both feet. I love being a teacher, but i would prefer to ease myself into it. Being a full time teacher entails long hours, meetings with staff and parents, planning, preparations... and so much more. As a sub, i more simply show up for the day. I do everything i can for the children while i am there, and then at the end of the day i leave it all at the school and go home. I like being able to live it like seperate lives, and not have my job affect the rest of my life. As a teacher, i know that i will not have as much of this separation.

I am glad i am a sub because i feel i need more experience in order to be the best teacher i can be. I would say of all the skills i need to work on, my classroom management is the weakest. I need to be more firm with students. If anything can teach me to do this, subbing can. As well, i can see new ideas, get used to different grades instead of the very very narrow focus from my degree (pre-k to grade 1 essentialy). I now teach anywhere from pre-k to grade 8, but mostly in the grade 3-8 area. This is a good experience for me.

Lastly, i am glad i am a sub because i simply feel i am too young to be jumping into a career. Careers are big adult things. I don't feel like i'm ready for that just yet. Maybe in a year, but not right now... I have spent my entire life going hellbent in school. I have been in school my entire life, and i won't be leaving school until i retire. Wow. From high school straight to university to subbing to a full time job.... that's a lot of school. I even did school in the summer twice (once in quebec, once as summer classes here). I feel i need to shake things up. My life revolves around either school or Unique (where i have worked since before i was legally allowed to work haha, and still work). Familliarity is nice, but change can be good too. Subbing is the closest to change i am willing to go (and NO for the last time i DON'T want to go teach overseas so people can just stop asking).

On the other hand, i can't wait to have my own class. I can't wait to actually get to know the kids in my class. My classroom management style is not as good as it could be because i have been told I am 'too trusting'(personally, i hate the idea of going into the classroom and assuming that it will go badly). I trust children, it is true. Then again, it also has been remarked that my strongest skill is building strong, lasting, caring relationships witht he students. I think that these relationships are at least partially built on the relationships i build with them from day one. Unfortunately, when subbing i am not around long enough to build a relationship with these students. So, chaos occasionally ensues... The teacher i respect more than any other i've met is my co-op teacher Bev. She is a very sweet, 50 year old woman who acts like a sweet old grandma. I love the way she teaches because she builds her classroom around caring attitudes. She has such a relaxed, loving feeling in her classroom that the children are comfortable to take risks in areas they would otherwise be afraid to try. I want a class like that. I love the way she teaches, and after interning with her for a semester i think i can say i'm quite good at it. Even if it doesn't always work for subbing, i don't want to become a suspicious, jaded, burnt out teacher before i have a classroom of my own. There's a saying among some teachers 'Don't smile till Christmas'... I really very strongly dissagree with that.

There is also the money that comes from teaching. I'm not exactly sure how much a teacher makes, but i am sure it's more than a sub. I know that a teacher doesn't make much, but i'm sure to a girl like me who has no university debts, children or financial responsabilities it will seem like quite a bit. It will also be nice to always know what will be comming. Instead of finding out the morning of, at 7 am, i will find out in august or even sooner what i will work for the entire school year. That is nice...

Wow.... this turned out to be a lot longer than i thought it would be. I am sure there are some of you who didn't actually read the entire thing and are just sort of skimming.... well bear with me. I mostly did this to work out my own thoughts. Haha. University has trained me to write out my thoughts in order to really figure them out. lol I guess i still do it. I still am not exactly sure what i want to happen... do i want a full time job or not? Both have their benifits and drawbacks. I figure i will just sit and wait. I have done my part, now my fate is in the hands of the school board. I have been told that all subs who apply get an interview. I will go to the interview and do my best. I will see what happends. If i get a offered a position, that is great. However, i will be careful as to what position i take. I know the schools around the city, i have subbed at pretty much all of them. I know where i like, and where to avoid. I will see what i am offered. I am not applying outside the city. I would rather stay a sub than leave my home.


Ryan said...

It's better to keep them consistently entertained than consistently fearful, though fear is easier. My first Course 1 class was fantastic. No punishments, ever. Nothing but rapport. My new one is much more strict, simply because the new students really want to test their boundaries, and they're finding out there aren't many.

Bastards didn't realize I know 'stupid' in Korean. Enjoy copying your lines, sir and ma'am.

I won't say 'don't smile'. I still spend 20-30 minutes daily on games of some sort at least. But because of these students' tendency towards chaos, I have to be on my guard, all hardcore and EXTREME!

As with all things, it's a balance. I'd love to have had more experience myself. I've got general plans for each grade and where I want them to end up, but on a day-by-day basis, it's hard finding new ways to teach things every day. I know I need more variety in games, and I need to learn a few crafts for the wee ones.

You're obviously enjoying the subbing, so, rock rock on.

Dale said...

Thank you so much for your input. Ya, i can see how we could relate to each other. We are both not so hardcore about the boundaries.