Sunday, March 3, 2013

Back To Work!

 Things are progressing on the employment front.  I turned in my application for the Alternative Certification program, even though I didn't have ALL my transcripts, because the lady at the Department of Education said that even an incomplete packet would hold my spot in the queue, which can get quite lengthy as teachers-to-be graduate in the spring.

In the meantime, I decided it would be wise to get a foot in the door by becoming a substitute for our local school district.  I attended an orientation on a snowy Tuesday, filled out the paperwork, and saw that they also needed transcripts (*groan*) and fingerprints.  I turned in everything but those two, and then headed to the state capitol complex to find the Department of Education to be fingerprinted.  It was a nice day, which was good, because I ended up doing a lot of walking!  The good news is, now I know where it is, so when I have to go back for all the alternative certification stuff, I know exactly where to go!  Once I was done with that, it was a waiting game.

First I got my transcripts!  With a little inside help, (Thanks DBC!) my transcript finally got somewhat corrected.  Let's just say that at the end of it, I have the right degree, and I suppose that's good enough!  I'll send those in to the right people on Monday.

Next, I made it through the background check, and became an approved substitute on Tuesday!  I promptly went online to look at all the available jobs, but the thought of accepting one just about made me nauseous - what if I ended up being no good at this?  I expressed my feelings about this to a couple of teacher friends, and got one answer of reassurance that I would do great, and one answer that subbing was way harder than teaching, and that I shouldn't let subbing change my feelings about teaching.  Which is all good, but it didn't make me feel better about subbing at that moment!

I finally grabbed the bull by the horns and chose an assignment.  I would be an elementary music teacher!  The next day came, and I got dressed in something besides yoga pants for the first time in a long time, and away I went.  I taught all levels that day, and found that I prefer the 2nd - 5th grade age.  The younger ones are just very, very wiggly!

The next day Maggie had a well-child appointment in the afternoon, so I wasn't planning on subbing, but then a morning-only position for an elementary librarian popped up, and I couldn't resist!  I accepted the job, and then went be-bopping down the hallway, bouncing up and down with excitement, into the bathroom where Gracie was brushing her hair.  "I get to be a librarian today!"  I crowed.

"Oooookay, Mom," she replied, watching me bounce up and down.  I guess it wasn't as exciting for her as it was for me.  I was over the moon.  That day an older student came in and asked a question, and I explained that she was looking for a specific type of book, and those would be found over here in this section. . .   As we walked over there, she looked at me and said, "Have you worked here before?"  and I said, "No, but I'm a librarian!"  I'm such a dork.  But a happy dork!

The next day I taught Spanish.  While I know enough to be comfortable with teaching first semester elementary Spanish, I obviously am not fluent in any way, shape, or form.  That's okay because the teacher assumes that you won't know Spanish.  Instead of teaching something myself, I presented a video with an accompanying worksheet.  The video was of Juana the Iguana, which is the Spanish answer to Barney the Dinosaur.  Here's a sample:

I got to watch the video six times that day!  How lucky am I?

One of the most memorable parts of the day was during the fourth class.  When I walked in the teacher said that she hoped that I knew how to work the VCR because she'd NEVER USED ONE.  Hmmm.  Does that make me old, or does that make her young?  I assured her that I did, and then the VCR ate the tape!  We got another VCR that worked, and I was able to re-spool the tape into the cassette, so we were okay.  I wonder if Juana the Iguana comes on DVD?  

At the end of the week, I was tired - especially my feet, which haven't stood for that length of time in a long, long time, and have definitely have not spent that much time in dress shoes in the last 13 years.  So far, I'm having fun, and it's great to be out there working, earning a paycheck again, even if it is ever so small.  I can hardly wait to see what next week brings!

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