Thus starts another year of substitute teaching. This should be my ninth if I can still count. Last year I decided to slow down and I only taught in one district. I’m doing the same this year. The weather is too nice and there’s a lot of yardwork to catch up on. And yet…
I’ve taught a lot in a particular middle school the last two years, and some of these students are now high school freshmen. How are they doing? On Friday I took an intervention specialist’s job just to find out.
It was a pretty easy job — five periods of helping other teachers in English/Language Arts. And I did see some of the kids I was most interested in. They seem to be okay so far. One girl proudly showed me how her artwork had progressed over the summer. I’m no art critic, but it looked great to me.
Another boy seemed genuinely glad to see me. I had just happened to be there when he transferred into middle school two years ago. He’s remembered me ever since. I’ve had occasion to work with him because he’s always at full throttle, which can lead to, uh, complications. He lived within walking distance of the middle school and I’d always watch him sprint toward home at the end of the day.
I remember the start of last year in high school. I was standing at the unit’s desk checking in when I suddenly felt two arms around my waist. That’s what my neighbor’s daughter used to do, but no, she’d graduated three years earlier. I turned around to see the smiling face of a young lady I knew from middle school the previous three years. It’s nice to be remembered.
I don’t know how many more years I can keep this up. I do have two more years on this teaching license. But how can I stop? I know a lot of kids who are just starting out on life’s journey, and I’d like to keep up with them for as long as possible. You never can tell how much of a difference you’re making, but I must be doing something right.