At the beginning of the 2017 school year I got the itch to do something big. Its something that I had thought about for awhile, and if you go back to college Rheanna, it was something that was on my heart. Children have always been a huge part of my life. I remember helping my parents teach Sunday School, and then teaching it myself as soon as I was old enough. I originally went to school for education and got my AA degree in Elementary Education before I transferred to a four year. At that point in time something shifted and I chose to work in juvenile justice and got a degree in Criminal Psychology. There was always a small part of me that wished I had continued down that path, but hindsight is always 20/20. As I pursued my degree in criminal psychology I continued to take education classes.
Life went on, as it does, and through the years I did a lot of “teaching”. Sunday School, preschool teaching and lots and lots of volunteer work. As a mom I chose to stay at home. It was something that I always felt was a priority for me personally. We found ourselves in the DC area in the most amazing neighborhood, with the most amazing elementary school I had ever seen. My kids love it, and even my teenager misses it. I love it, and have been blessed to meet so many amazing people and have my kids loved on by some of the best teachers ever. But the luckiest part is that the staff at the school felt comfortable enough to hire me as a substitute teacher. I got the idea in my head from one of the teachers after a discussion about substitutes. They are desperately needed, with truly qualified and wonderful substitutes being hard to find. I had never really considered the idea yet here I was, being able to give back to the school that gives so much to my own family. When I received the letter of recommendation from our Principal it made me cry. I have never felt so part of a community before and this sealed that love.
As a military family, one that moves and for the meantime believes they will be here for a long time, I never really imagined what my life would look like this far down the road yet here we are. I teach because I love children and always have. The ability to help their brains grow and stretch, to watch them light up when they make a connection and know that you maybe play some simple roll in that. But one of the biggest reasons I teach is for the teachers. So that they know that someone that loves their kids and is doing their best to temporarily take their place so that they can rest easy is a joy. They love the kids so much and want that best for them. Even teachers need a break, but they have so much on their plates. Many times they are gone for trainings and assessments and aren’t actually taking a break. They are growing themselves, and learning how to be the best teachers they can be. So, if I can do a little bit so that they can do that without worry its the very least I can do.
I love all these kiddos as if they were my own, and I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing. I get to be a part of all of their lives in a tiny way every once in awhile and it is sometimes very very hard, yes, but a lot of the times its just a little bit of magic.
So a shout out to all my fellow Substitute Teachers! Its not easy to go into a classroom that isn’t yours and do the best you can to help little minds learn, and we certainly don’t get paid very much to do it. But that’s not why you do it I know. THANK YOU!!
If you know a substitute teacher in your life give them a little love today. They are an unsung hero and often the butt of jokes and the dread of kids in storybooks. Teach your kids about substitutes and how to be the best students for them. Your kid’s substitute teacher will thank you.
have you ever substitute taught or thought about it?! ask me your questions or tell me your stories in the comments!