Missing the Classroom

Today I have a job interview. Praise Jesus. I’m now registered to be a substitute teacher, but as my mother pointed out to me on the phone, “You’re a leader. You like to see results. You’re not the babysitting kind.” I of course took the praise and am glad I called  my mother. It’s always good to feel confident in an interview, especially when I’m sure I’m going to hear at least once, “You’re quite young.”

While I don’t mind substitute teaching, it is a paycheck afterall, that is all it is. I have never been good at jobs that just pay the bills. I was the WORST waitress ever. In the history of  waitresses. When I’m teaching, although it is hard work, I do love nearly every moment of it. I will admit when I taught high school I didn’t love all the in-service meetings, I didn’t love pushy students and parents, and I didn’t love turning in lesson plans once a week. I wasn’t a huge fan of grading papers, but there are worse things about teaching, to be frank.

Since I recently moved and am working on my thesis hours I’ve been job hunting like a maniac and you know what? I miss being in the classroom as both teacher and student. I miss not having a list of books to buy that I know I’ll get to discuss with my classmates. I miss my smart professors who find ways to shed light on concepts and themes so dark. But I also really miss being the teacher.

I was telling my boyfriend the other day how much I miss being in the classroom. I should mention this was during winter break, maybe a week and half after the semester ended. I’m an addict. I love my students, even the annoying ones. I don’t miss the annoying ones a lot, but usually they are the students that provide the best conversation starters.

The interview is to teach at a high school and last night I was prepping, by looking at some commonly asked interview questions; I noticed that one of the questions was about my teaching portfolio.

I freaked. Stephan Colbert was almost over, I was tired. I scrambled for another two hours getting together the documents that I now need to take to Staples to get put into a nice folder with tabs. While gathering these documents I thought it would be a nice touch to add some of the essays my high school students wrote my first year teaching. I asked them the question, “What will you miss most about this class?” And while there were a lot of answers that felt fake, I did make the assignment a completion grade, and told them that they could say they hated the class, didn’t learn anything, and thought I was a poo poo head, if of course they backed it up with evidence.

Some of them did say mean things, but it’s a free country and I was grateful they felt comfortable and confident enough to be honest.

A good portion of them wrote some of the most lovely things and I would like to share this one quote with you.

“I will miss the teacher and hearing her crazy jokes. I really never met a real geek until I got in this class. No offense but you was mean sometimes when we talked over you.”

How can you not love teaching when students say things like this?

I hope this afternoon I get the opportunity to get back in there with the kids. Lord knows I miss them and I haven’t even met them yet.