As a substitute teacher in any school district, it can prove to be an extremely trying type of employment. I am quite certain that my fellow sub employees will readily agree with me.

And why do we, as substitutes, engage in such behavior, mentoring students in a variety of grades, for the most part our visage wholly unknown to these fresh-faced youngsters?

We do it because we love to teach your kids. We love to…teach!

It is that simple. Right now, in this blog I speak for myself, but I am sure my sentiments echo those of others who engage in such a caring and compassionate capacity.

We venture to public schools, at times unsure of what to expect, and yet we show up. We are there at the appointed hour, we collect the necessary paperwork, and then we wend our way through foreign corridors, and present ourselves to the designated class rooms.

Thus ensconced, we strive to decipher the days itinerary. Sometimes it remains a mystery. Sometimes, the homeroom teacher has left nothing and we are left to our own devices. But on the rare occasion, a teacher has deigned to leave a semblance of a schedule and–behold!–we can then mentor.

Mind you, when such days occur, where no paperwork is to be found, we do bring our own bag of tricks, our own lessons, papers relevant to the grade at hand. And then we teach.

How many parents know this? And how many schools know it too, that we come prepared, that we have the pertinent papers in tow, that we are engaged and ready to teach these children?

As it turns out, not many. And that is sad.

In my five plus years of doing this, of searching on the Aesop sub site, still do I encounter the ‘look’ from various permanent teachers, that look that instantly excludes you from their domain, (he’s not a real teacher!), from their clique, their realm. We remain, completely…outsiders.

But then, we do show up. We are there. We present ourselves, to teach the children.

Sometimes, all we need is a little respect from the teachers themselves. After all, are we not there to perform the same tasks, to mentor these same young minds?

I thoroughly enjoy traveling the roads to these schools, knowing that soon I will be in a classroom, sometimes a school and room completely foreign to me, and yet I am there, in front of the blackboard, ready to…teach.

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2012, All Rights Reserved.


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