A week before the current school year I was called by the principal of Washington High School in Charles Town, WV to cover a vacancy for a Multi-Categorical Special Education position. The role includes a Self-Contained class of 8 students with IEP classifications and 5 Inclusion classes that I “Co-Teach” with another teacher. The subject for the class is Earth and Space Science. I am a Long-term Substitute teacher, licensed but not Certified.
In 10 short days we will finish the 3rd of 4 9-week teaching periods.
As I write this I am finishing our 5th Period. it is our largest inclusion class and by far the most rambunctious group. Every kid in the class is, in their own way, a pleasure to teach, but when you bring them together it can be quite energetic.
More to come…
One of our teachers invited fellow teachers to be guest speakers in her classroom today during their planning periods. I signed on when I heard about it thinking I could tell these seniors all about my day 15 years ago. It never occurred to me that I had bottled up a lot of pent up energy and memories that I never really talked about with anyone. I have certainly talked to friends and others about what I did that day but never to a group.
What I thought would be relatively easy turned out to be hard at times. I knew people who were lost that day and have stayed very active with those that the US has lost since 9/11 in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but until I started my short speech today I did not realize how that day truly effected me.
Simply put, 9/11/2001 changed America for ever. Unfortunately it has also changed the lives of millions of people around the world who have died in wars we have inflated or created because of that day. Our leadership has relaxed many rules and regulations allowing for enormous increases in insurance costs, inflation, pathetic trade agreements, and a seamless end to inequality.
I am encouraged to write a new book on my personal flash bulb memories.
If and when I find time…
I felt like Justin Bieber today.
I took my youngest to the Sweet Frog in Charles Town today. As usual my son headed right to the back of the store to get a cup. As we passed 3 teenagers who were sitting there I quickly recognized 2 of them from classes I subbed for last year. When they recognized me they both said “We love you.”
Yes, I was a great sub and always nice to the kids. I never Had a welcome like this but it made me happy to know I did a good job.
For just that moment I felt like a music star, but I am admittedly MUCH older than Justin Bieber.
If there was one thing that irritates (not enough to tell anyone outside of this blog) me more than anything else is the question I get almost every time I substitute teach.
The question is not, what are you teaching today?
They always ask “Who are you today?”
I honestly don’t try to memorize the name of the teacher I am replacing. Sometimes I know the person and will remember.
When someone does ask me who I am, I tell them “Steven Douglas”.
More often than not, they don’t like my answer. Especially when they don’t know who I am.