With 9 days notice, I started teaching in 2000. I taught for two years, and then Helen was born. Since then, I’ve been a private math tutor.
This summer, I got a phone call from the head of the math department at the school where I used to teach (and where I do most of my tutoring), asking if I might consider coming back to teach in a long-term sub position to cover the classes of a new math teacher who had been hurt in an automobile accident. He had significant injuries and was in rehab, and they expected him to be able to be able to start teaching sometime this fall.
After thinking about it for about fifteen seconds, I knew that I would do it. Alice is in Kindergarten, and the girls’ elementary school is across the street (DIRECTLY across the street) from the new campus of the high school. The staggered start times (the elementary school starts at 8:00, the high schools tarts at 8:25) mean that there is seriously NO commute. NONE. I’d be making that drive anyway. Now I just turn left into the parking lot of the high school instead of going home after dropping the girls off in the mornings. So I make the drive once a day instead of twice. I’m actually driving LESS.
My schedule has worked out such that I can pick the girls up from school every day except Tuesdays. I have to bring them back to the high school and wait 45 minutes until the end of the high school’s day, just in case anyone needs my help on homework or whatever, but that’s fine. I have activities for the girls to do while we wait, and I’ll be sure to have snacks for them, too.
We’ve had two half-days of school so far. All I’ve done is introduce myself, vaguely explain the situation about the teacher who will be arriving in October (hopefully), hand out books, and just try to learn their names. I taught one section of PreCalculus because it was so basic I knew it was a non-issue to just go ahead even though they likely wouldn’t be paying attention yet.
I had such an adrenaline rush yesterday that I had to go run it off.
This is what I am called to do. I am meant to work with high school kids, all day, every day. It’s where I feel most alive, most engaged, most ME. Tutoring gives me some of that, to be sure. But 15-20 kids in a classroom all at once? Yes. SO much better.
When their teacher gets here in October, I will probably grieve that I’m not in there every day anymore. But at least I’ll know, without doubt, that even post-parenthood I still know what I’m supposed to be when I grow up.
And MAN if that isn’t the coolest feeling in the world.