This week I went to the superintendent's office at school and after a meeting with her and the Jr. High principal, took home an application packet for a substitute teaching certificate and position. What's more, when I arrived home, I immediately got online and made an appointment to have fingerprinting done for the required background check. Immediately as in before I could change my mind.
What could possibly drive me to do such a thing? I, who swore I would never teach (especially at the secondary level, not to mention Jr. High) and could not foresee a return to "walking the halls of academia" ever again? I, who cringe at mispronounced words, bad grammar and misplaced commas--my own and everyone else's--and grimly remove myself from the vicinity of mouthy children in public lest I be tempted to "help" their parents? I, who am familiar with the discipline plight of the public schoolteacher, who hear about it and see its result every night when Great Scott arrives home, head bowed, shoulders slumped, dragging his six foot three inch frame over the threshold, his soul nearly sucked from his body? What, indeed could possibly entice me to enter that world, even on an intermittent basis? Especially on an intermittent basis, without the authority a full-time teacher holds over her own classroom?
Passion. Something I don't talk or write about very often or very much. I am passionate about the written word, and I am passionate about helping others find in themselves some good, some hidden potential previously unrecognized. Substitute teaching will very likely NOT give me the opportunity to indulge either of these passions, I realize. However, a substitute teaching certificate will enable me to begin a writing club for the high school and jr. high school in our district. The one condition I was given was that I find a full-time faculty member to help sponsor it, and this afternoon a quick conference with horror writer and H.S. English teacher, Matt Cardin met that condition, may-his-name-be-praised-forever.
We shall see where this goes. I anticipate beginning substitute teaching in early December and beginning Writing Club meetings in January after the break. I am more grateful than I can say to Matt, who is already staying after school several nights a week, and I am both excited and apprehensive about the venture. Wish it luck.