It has been several years since I last felt classroom anxiety. But I felt it this week as I subbed for junior high and high school music. Everything was fine – I survived.
I officially applied with the state for my certification and I was privileged to see the inside of the sheriff’s office for the mandatory fingerprints.
It feels so strange walking down the hall of a high school again. Fortunately, there are no mean staff members, and they all made me breathe a little easier.
I can only do what I know how to do, so I conducted the class time my way, since I had no lesson plans. But 10 years out of school takes a toll on a memory, and so the anxiety found its way in the door.
I put my foot in my mouth a few times with students, trying to be casual and conversational, not realizing the back stories that might have been helpful to know before I inserted the foot.
It has been so long since I had to remember correct vocal techniques, since I had to corral a group of students who really don’t want to sing, since I had to instruct without a plan for 50 minutes x 3.
My mornings were earlier and fast and furious with my full-time job, trying to work double time to make up for a 2 1/2 hour break. And as soon as the last bell rang, I locked the door and drove the 5 or so blocks back home without speeding, raced upstairs, and got back to my full-time job, putting in extra time at the end of day so I wouldn’t fall behind.
I am tired. But it is a good tired. I do miss kids. I do miss watching them learn something new and harmonize together. I do like the life they inject into a quiet afternoon.
Tonight, I am grateful to have received that phone call.
I am grateful for the teaching experience I have that enabled me to be able to step in at the last moment.
I am grateful for a lenient employer who let me help out and was understanding about a flexible work schedule.
I am grateful for friends and family who knew and prayed for me as I dusted off the rust.
I am grateful that I kind of know some names now, those students who gave me grace and are willing to go with the flow right out of the gate.
And I am grateful that it wasn’t a complete fail.
…come rejoice and sing together this hap-py day!