Detour

Today, my life is taking a turn I never thought it would.

I’m going to go to training to become a substitute teacher. Well, that’s not really precise. I’m limiting myself to librarian jobs.

I have been volunteering in our school library two days a week all year. The funding for our school library was cut so that they don’t have an assistant librarian anymore. The librarian needed help badly, and since I had the time, I figured that I might as well do something useful with it.

It didn’t take me long to figure out what needed to be done. And I learned it so well that the librarian now jokingly says that the only part of her job that I don’t know is the financial functions (purchasing, budgeting, etc.) .

Occasionally, the librarian got sick and some sub was called in to fill in for her. There are over 600 kids in the school, and the principal is adamant about the library never being closed or left unattended. According to what the principal was told, the school would never receive a sub that wasn’t trained on how to manage the library.

The subs that we got… Oy! Most of them didn’t even know how to shelve books, let alone check them in and out, place reserves on books, etc. All too frequently, I was nabbed outside the doors as I dropped Ellie off and asked to come inside and please, please, please show the sub what needed done.

So the principal, vice-principal, secretary to the principal, and librarian all wanted me to get certified as a sub so they could just pay me rather than have me train someone else for free.

It makes sense, really. If the school has me sub, then they know that things will be done the way the librarian wants them to be done. And they know that the kids know me and are comfortable with me.

But I honestly don’t know how I feel about it.

I’ve seen subs come through the school that obviously want to be somewhere else. They’re subbing because it fills the hours or because they are unemployed and desperately need the money. Their whole attitude screams of, “You dirty little cretins are screwing up my life, but I’ll do this anyway.”

I don’t ever want to be like that.

But I don’t really want to be a teacher to anyone but my own child. I don’t have the temperament for it. I hate insincerity and dishonesty. I have no patience for it. Too many kids exhibit both. I also can’t stand the kind of meanness that I’ve seen kids dish out. There’s one kid at the school that I just want to shake for the way that she treats others, and I know that it would be even worse if I had to deal with it on a daily basis.

And let’s face it… I love being a programmer. What’s more, I’m good at it. I’ve been told that I was born to be a programmer and a problem solver. And I agree. I worked hard to become that good, too. I fear that, if I go into this teaching thing, my chances of getting a programming job again will be even worse than they already are.

This teaching thing? It’s scary. It’s seems so easy to screw up.

Still, I know that I will do a good job, especially if I limit myself to libraries, where I’m comfortable. Besides, I’ve seen enough subs do a lousy job to know that I won’t be the worst that schools have ever seen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *