The Long-Term Decay

Why do I do this to myself?

I happily am a substitute teacher and relish the fact that I don’t have homework, that I don’t have to work every single day, and that I can avoid certain schools if I wanted.

So why did I accept another long-term sub job?

Sometimes I miss NOT being a substitute teacher. Sometimes I love being a regular teacher with my own classroom.

I’m pretty sure it’s easy to track via social media, this blog, and my personal calendar to tell when I’m in a long-term teaching position. I unintentionally fall off the face of the planet. My face is in a permanent scowl from reading so many misspelled words that I just can’t. I leave early for work because if I left any later, traffic would make my commute three times longer than it normally is.

Last fall I taught fifth grade and I loved it! It was very difficult as I was {bear with me} taking over for a substitute teacher who was taking over a teacher on maternity leave. It was no contest. The kids had bonded with him and I was the wicked lady who took over. But I didn’t mind.

Previous to that, I took a kindergarten class for a week. Even though I have claimed in the past that the little ones were my favorite to teach, this claim was long before I had my own children. Five year olds are babies! Luckily they were babies who responded to my read-alouds in foreign accents and singing along to my ukulele. I still see these kids at this new long-term assignment and awe at how much they have grown and dare I say, even matured.

I’ve been at this assignment for two months, also for another teacher on maternity leave. [Whatever is in the water at the school district, don’t give me any.] Sixth grade has been treating me well.

So well, in fact, that there are talks to hire me part-time for the fall.

Perfect.

I reflected on how this might affect our family and as usual, my husband is very supportive.

The kids? Not so much.

I came home at about 4 pm yesterday because I wanted to correct papers there and prep for the following week before I left for the day. I didn’t want to bring any work home which of course, if you know any teachers, is a lie because there is always work to do.

I asked the youngest who will be turning seven years old in the next couple of months if she missed me. She said, “I like it when you come home.”

“What?” I asked. “I come home everyday!”

The middle one who just turned nine said, “Well, not everyday.” They were referring to a couple of days where I had to stay late for a staff meeting and parent meetings.

“But I still came home!”

They just gave me a look and gave each other a Look.

I suppose here is where one would normally queue the working-mother guilt but hey, I don’t have any. Especially now that we are finally a two-parent family after being a constantly-growing-despite-one-working-parent family for so long.

If there is any guilt here, it is because I have forgotten who I am and what I used to do to just be me.

I used to write all the time. About anything and everything. I started writing this blog because I thought it would help me deal with everything that was going on in life.

And it has.

But I stopped for every reason in the book. Life didn’t stop however. My ability to deal with stress has slowly declined. Perhaps remembering who I am will help.

I used to read all the time. Anything. Everything. But like everything else, I tend to get slightly obsessed. Case in point, I’ll go on a reading binge getting to the point where I can read a novel between 1-3 days. And that’ll go on for a couple of weeks until I can’t find any book that is as awesome as the previous book.

Don’t forget about my stupid TV series obsessions phase. We’ll leave that for later.

But part-time work would be a perfect balance. No, let me rephrase that.

Part-time work will be a perfect balance. There is no reason that I can’t be in charge of my own life. If I feel that something needs to change, I need to be the one that changes it.

Last fall I stopped running regularly but still completed the half-marathon that I was working toward for the past three years.

Last month I completed my second half-marathon. I came in second to last but I don’t care. I wanted the medal and I got it. This week I have even gotten up early to run one or two miles four days this week! I hurt but eh, thank God I can still run.

Thank God I can still feel.

I will know more in the next month about my job assignment.

Let’s hear it for taking charge. 

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