Oh my gosh! I finally got to sub this week! I was over the moon! Well, I was really, really lost, but I was so HAPPY! It was SO wonderful to be back in a school again. I got to give my teacher look to a kid not picking up his paper towel off the bathroom floor. A fourth grader got in trouble for telling me a Pokemon joke in line instead of being quiet. This chubby-cheeked little first-grade girl told me I really didn’t forget crazy hair day, even though I totally did. I saw wide eyes from a kid when I told him, “Dude, for real, you did not read that, go sit down.” I had about every kid I talked to ask me if I would be back tomorrow…
Still got it.
I have been excited to get back to school and particularly excited to sub. Kinda like your gramma–she loves coming over and giving you all that you want then giving you back to your parents. I consider my approach to this somewhere between gramma, Barnum, and a classroom teacher.
Since moving all of us have really been working to find our “place”. When the real estate agent asked me five months ago where I could find my tribe, I told her, “I need a school!”
Wednesday morning, I was home.
As I walked in, I saw a student struggling to get out of his car, and a special ed teacher was called, coffee in hand to patiently assist. I overheard another say she brought dinner to school because she had so much work to catch up on. Because she knew a student so well, the nurse visited the classroom for meds so as not to have a student leave and disrupt his thinking. The beginning of the year means endless baseline testing, especially if you are new to the district, and I watched classroom teachers make time for students to be pulled for testing, be flexible with their schedules, and do this while still engaging students (in self-contained classrooms!!). I also watched the SpEd team work a jigsaw puzzle like couple of days that almost made my head explode trying to take care of all students and still get testing done! The principal stood patiently in the cafeteria with a smile but with her teacher look at the ready, participating in setting the beginning of the year expectations. The level of collaboration was evident, and the dedication to the kids was obvious. I breathed it all in. Oh, how I missed the life.
Here. In another state. In another school. With teachers and a principal I didn’t know (yet). Like, school was happening with all of these people who cared just like me and had expectations like me and loved on kids just like me. I was surrounded by the ones I most identify with. This was the first time since we moved that I felt really at home. Except there I had to wear heels and couldn’t wear my sports bra.
There is something that binds educators to one another. It is our heart.
I know that sounds a coffee mug from a kid, but you know it’s true.
We can read every single teaching book in the world and nothing can give us the heart. This is a gift given by life experiences, by God…(however you want to interpret, I’ll love you just the same). This heart is what draws in every educator and what keeps us there when we want to run home for a margarita (or at least a good cry)…at 8:05 on a Monday morning…
We get through all of this testing, copying, grading, these bad conferences, hard evaluations for one reason…or twenty-three…or two that read below grade-level. Because we all have this deep running compassion, something that is self-sacrificial and bigger than ourselves. And when you meet others who share it, you know it.
There are so many reasons I thank God for this move, and this is yet another one. It was magical to walk into another school and feel this. I am so thankful to get to be in schools with my fellow hard-working educators in a new state and to see that we are bound together by more than just lack of bathroom breaks and boredom in PD. I am so thankful I realized that it isn’t just my old school…this is educators. This is US!
And I am so grateful God chose me to be an educator.