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 is one thing that irritates me (not enough to tell anyone outside of this blog) 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.
Updated addition –
During the last school year, as a Long-Term Substitute, I talked with many short term subs who were not regulars at Washington High. I asked them if they had similar experiences regarding “Who they were”. They had similar experiences in schools as a short term unless they were regulars. Lucky for me, I was filling in for a vacancy so no one had to ask “What I was.”
I never knew it but in order to be allowed to conduct statewide testing with students you have to be certified. I learned that certification can be made after a 1 hour training regiment but still it is needed regardless, if you take a job like I did today. Admittedly I accepted this job at 5:09AM this morning from a robocall and did not exactly understand that it was much more than Honors English.
When I arrived I was told that because I was not certified I was not allowed in the testing centers during testing times. I was allowed to help set up the room but have been given floater assignments all day to keep me busy.
I have to be thankful to the School Administration for allowing me to stick around and do other things.
The highlights of the day have been to teach Shakespeare with 8th graders reading Much Ado About Nothing in 2nd Period. Their regular teacher was covering my 2nd period in the testing center. I also had a reunion of sorts as a lunch monitor for 6th and 7th grade lunch. I have spent many a day substituting for 6th graders at this school and saw lots of kids I knew as their past substitute teacher.
You can never go wrong when a kid comes up to you and says,
“You’re my favorite substitute teacher”.