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Why Substitute Teach

caroline mackay asked:

Substitute teaching can be very rewarding. There are different reasons that people choose to substitute teach. Some look at it as just a job and they can make some what they view as, easy work, until they have done it for a day or two, then their opinions change. Substituting is anything but easy.

Many just graduated educational students substitute to give themselves a better understanding of how to handle a classroom without a teacher looking over their shoulder all the time. It is a way that newly graduated students can get their foot into the door and let possible future principals see what they have to offer. These same teachers can also glean ideas from experienced teachers and add new ideas and techniques to their file for future use. It is an ideal job for future teachers to have so that they get an idea of what teaching is really about.

Then there are retired teachers, like myself, that are suffering from withdrawal. Students have been part of my life for thirty seven years and I loved being a teacher. To just stop teaching cold turkey was too hard. I found that even though I taught the students they taught me many things also and I missed our interaction. Those students gave me several things that are vital to my health and well being. Included was their sense of humor, their energy, the challenge to meet their needs and the interaction with others.

I need to teach students because I love being with them. They are young, vibrant, and energetic and require me to at least try to keep up with them. The arthritis in my shoulders lessen when I take time to play learning games with them or when we take time to stretch and overcome a stifling hot room. General old age pain seems less because I am moving and active and have other things keeping my mind occupied.

I need to teach because the students have a sense of humor and can see life as an adventure instead of a drama. Drama? Some of those drama queens and kings can be a chuckle to your day and then there is always the occasional drama teacher. Students can laugh at the little things and when the big things are getting them down they are willing to take time out to laugh and have a little fun before tackling the big thing. Seeing students laugh at themselves and seeing the lighter side of life makes me forget that I might be on the down hill heading toward the final gate.

The challenge students offer me each day keeps my mind active and thinking. The basic knowledge is not the challenge it is the new ideas that students have and want feedback on or a response that keeps you on your toes. Hopefully keeping my mind figuring out and solving problems and questions will slow down the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s as the years advance. Keeping my mind active helps me to act more like a fifty year old rather than the sixty year old that I really am.

I am a child at heart and children are willing to play games with me where some adults think it is silly to play games. I love going into a classroom and setting up my reward system and telling them that at the end of the day if they have shown me and themselves respect by following the rules and completing the work the teacher has left, then we will have time to play a game. Most students will do what you want if you will reward them for a job well done. So after a successful day we play a learning game or a physical game that is positive and fun.

Retirement has its advantages, but keeping active and doing something you love makes retirement enjoyable and rewarding. Substituting is that special something that keeps me young.

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