Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I'm Getting My Confidence Back. Part 2

Some time ago, I wrote that I was getting my confidence back.  It is interesting, but it's still true and, this time, I've realized something interesting.  I am a substitute teacher, and I am doing well, despite having zero training to be a teacher.  OK, the kids sometimes walk over me, but that is how it works with subs. The thing is, I don't often get called in on the carpet for anything, and I am working most every day. I maintain decent classroom discipline, and generally follow the lesson plan (when there is one).

It was noted last night that a substitute teaching job is healing me.  A job that is widely considered one of the most thankless and unfortunate jobs available, a job in which I receive daily abuse at the hands of near feral children, a job that barely pays me minimum wage, a job that has me essentially on call during school hours, a job for which I have no training, is somehow healing me.

This raises the question, if being a substitute teacher is healing me, making me feel better about myself and about the world in general, and has has erased the constant stress and anxiety about going to work, how bad was my previous job? 

I really can't say, because I was in that environment for so long and, until now, that's how jobs seemed to be.  My boss was someone I once had respect for, and who I had considered an ally.  I was wrong.  I will be very careful with whom I ally myself again.

What I can say is that I am happier now than I ever have been in any job.  I wish substitute teaching paid well enough I could make a living, however I have discovered something very interesting.  I enjoy the "difficult" classes.  I taught at an alternate school today.  The kids were problematic, but I seem to be able to make them respond.  On several other occasions I've taught regular special ED, or resource room.  It is for the slightly slower kids. Again, I've enjoyed it. Strangely though, what I enjoy most is the DLP or Developmental Learning Program. Or the program for children with severe mental deficiencies.  Some are severely autistic, some have other issues.  Some are basically infants with teenage bodies. It is very difficult work, but somehow very rewarding.   I'm thinking seriously of applying for the position.of an aide in the program.  It doesn't pay much, but it does get benefits, and I would feel good about the work.

No matter what, I'm glad I'm through with that university.

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