June 17, 2010, I walked out of my third grade classroom and shut the door. I didn’t mean to put my classroom in my basement, and keep it there since. I didn’t mean to become a stay at home mom, it just happened. I was supposed to start subbing in Nebraska in the fall of 2010, but it didn’t happen. Instead, I stayed home with my kids. I intended to return to the classroom, as a teacher in 2011, but once again, it didn’t happen. Instead, I volunteered 3 hours a week at an elementary school while Ana attended preschool. I unintentionally stayed away from teaching elementary school for the past two years and tomorrow, I am returning. I am not going back as a lead teacher, or someone completely calling the shots, instead I am returning as a substitute teacher.
I am not going to lie, I have been questioning this role all summer, “Why this job, God? If I am returning to the classroom, why can’t I just have my own?” I have never wanted to sub. It’s scary. I don’t know the schools in our town, I don’t know the kids. I don’t know the unwritten rules, and I am afraid of making mistakes. My biggest fear, after my two-year hiatus: What if I have forgotten how to do this?
Subbing is extremely scary to me. I am not going to lie. I hated having a sub in my room as a teacher. I left a script and only the rare awesome ones followed it. I expected the sub to be me, and when they didn’t deliver, I was disappointed. Upon returning from my “day off” I felt like I had to retrain my class all over again. Now, I am walking in another’s shoes. I am the one who has figure out the routine and pray I do it right. But what if I do it wrong? (Jennifer, if you are reading this, I promise you, I WON’T do it wrong. Take care of your little girl and I know it will be fine. I promise you.)
On the other hand, I know I can. When I was a third grade teacher, I was quite good at it. I promise, I am not just tooting my horn, I have been told by multiple people like principals, teachers, and parents, that my teaching was awesome. You don’t have to take my word for it, take theirs. Classroom management is my strength. I can’t let three applications, no interviews, and two years of stay at home motherhood get the best of me. I don’t know why subbing is where I am right now. I don’t know why one day I am aching to return to the classroom and others I am certain I will never there again. (Ever heard of finding yourself? I am looking, but unfortunately I am directionally challenged so it will take a while.)
What I do know is that God is my teacher and I am the student. I will show up tomorrow and I will be able to teach those kids. I am scared tonight, but tomorrow, I will do one thing I know I was born to do.