You know that this makes the 3rd year that I have been substituting at my old Junior High. I never knew how much I would love this kind of work. It just suits me. I think that sometimes the different seasons of your life dictate of where you should be. The problem with that is I never prepared to be a teacher. For that reason, I take the lower pay and only do this part time. Most of the students love me and that is important. What I cannot get over is how the faculty and administrators treat me. I feel Golden and that doesn't mean in years. I am treated with so much respect and appreciation. They do not understand that I feel privileged to stand in for those that give so much.
I blame my danged old condition preventing me from continuing my education so that I can stand amongst the heroes that are called "Teachers". I know that I am not stupid, and eventually I might make it through. But now that I am 53, by the time I would graduate, if I could find a job, I would not be able to enjoy the kids but for a few years. You don't understand, I would have to go to remedial college before I could start real classes. So I get the best next thing. I get to share. Share the fun of being in these kids lives, possibly making a difference without all the baggage. I get to have the fun without the junk. I get to leave the paper work and administrative duties to the teachers. I don't have to deal with the parents and administrators.
I hope to make a difference and shine a light into that student that might be struggling. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a child believe that I believe in him or her. You can just tell sometimes when you make a connection. You know that teachers need more money. But now I understand why they are still working without that raise. It comes from the heart.
I also get the opportunity to work side by side with the teachers. When I am working for a Para, that means I am in class with the real Teacher. I try to take away something from each opportunity I get. Thank you for giving me so much as you do your job.
A few more weeks of working in the severely handicapped class, and then I am back out in the general population. I love all sides of this job. So it doesn't matter which class I work in. But I do like to mix it up. To see the kids in different dynamics. Most of the teachers only see them in one situation. How they behave in their classes could be different depending on the mix of children in that hour. Is it before or after lunch? Do they love math, or is it their Achilles Heel? Maybe reading is where they shine. For me I see them differently on a daily basis.
So I will continue, for as long as they let me, to come in and enjoy these wonderful kids. Hopefully they won't realize I am not "Golden" for as long as I want to be there.