Forward March

Saturday will be my last day working part-time at the library. The plan was to wait until the summer to resign. I reasoned I would know my fate for next school year by then, whether I’d have my own classroom or remain a Stellar Substitute teacher. The meager library pay would be saved, I thought, as a nice nest egg. As time moved one, the long hours began to wear on me. I worked at the library three nights a week and almost every Saturday. The costs far outweighed the benefits especially since I no longer desired a full-time job at the library. I came to a realization: the classroom was where I wanted to use my talents, where I wanted to serve.

I’ll miss the shelving. Yes, the shelving. Shelving books became a sort of meditation for me. I’ll miss being in such close proximity to all sorts of books I wouldn’t normally see unless I…umm…worked in a library. There are certain co-workers I’ll miss as well. I won’t miss those staff members who seemed to look through me. It was nothing personal. Some people are open and amiable and some are not. That’s life.

Seemingly out of nowhere, my copy editing clients went from 0 to 3 in the span of a week. Working two jobs certainly doesn’t leave space for this type of work! I really enjoy copy editing, well unless, it’s my own work. The reason for my copy editing boon? Word of mouth. I completed a project, and that client referred me to three other people, her students. I imagine I’ll pick up more work work this way. I enjoy the academic work, though I’d love to help fiction writers.

Forward, lo, I march without a clear view of what comes next for me. Will I get my own class next school year? Will I continue as the Stellar Substitute? Considering my desire to remain at my current school–the school is exemplary–I’ll have to wait until a classroom comes open. Attrition rates are understandably low there. It’s a waiting game. I’m an expert at being the new kid on the block, and I don’t want to do that anytime soon. I’m left with waiting, but not really waiting.

I’ve adopted a new outlook on this time. I am where I want to be. I have arrived. I’m not in a holding pattern. Each day, I bring as much presence, energy, and focus to my jobs, whether in the classroom or at my laptop, copyediting. This is not a ploy or a gimmick to tide me over while I wait for something else. I embrace each moment because that’s all I have, the present moment.

Calling the roll

A homeroom teacher should never have to waste time taking attendance the old fashioned way: calling out names. There are a plethora of efficient ways for students to do this. A substitute teacher, in most cases, has to do so, although there are covert and efficient ways to do this as well. But if you ever have to call roll and mispronounce a student’s name, everyone but the student will correct you. They will correct you with attitude as if you did it on purpose. The student whose name you butchered won’t say a word.

Why is this? Why do the students think it is their, and not the affected student’s, responsibility to correct you? Why does the name holder sit back like a mouse? I mean it’s his or her name being mispronounced. Perhaps, this is the outgrowth of community at work. The students take responsibility for the student and the proper pronunciation of their name. This fascinates me, how learning communities are formed and their byproducts.