Friday, November 09, 2007

I Just Did WHAT?!

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.


Anonymous said...

That is awesome! You have my prayers.

Michael said...

I'll go one better. Here a wish for luck and a prayer besides.

I can understand the apprehension. I can also understand passion. I vote for passion. There needs to be more of it where education and young people are concernes.


Paul said...

I had a faculty member whom I held in the highest respect tell me that he taught for one student each year. If only one student came alive and was caught up in passion for learning then he felt successful. I hope you find more than one each year.

Lauren said...

Oh Cindy this is wonderful! I do hope things go smoothly. I actually envy the students, we never had a writing club when I was in high school (way back when in Denver). I am almost jealous! :) I wish you lots and lots of luck, let me know if I can help in any way.

Jennifer said...

I am delighted to hear this! I hope it proves to be a wonderful, mutually beneficial organization.

Cindy said...

Randy--Thank you for your encouragement AND your prayers.

Michael--Thank you, too, for the luck and the prayers. Passion is a tricky thing to put to use. Hopefully it will work out well.

Paul--One of my husband's mentors told him something similar, that any specific teacher isn't really there for every one of his or her students, but that every teacher is there for specific students. I won't be teaching, per se, but certainly I would love to make a difference in someone else's developing passion for writing.

Lauren--Oh, you and me both, when it comes to that envy! May have something to do with my attempt now. :)

Jennifer--My wish exactly. I would love to see them begin to THINK about writing as an act and a craft and to have fun and encourage each other in it. We'll see if that happens.