Sunday, September 16, 2012

Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week

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By Diane Forrest

I remember one summer day my family traveled to a place to watch as my aunt graduated from college and became a teacher.  Having always lived in Mississippi, she along with her roommates from college, headed out to Texas in search of a teaching job. Several years later, she met her future husband, then after a while they had four children, all girls.  She became a stay at home mom and raised her children.  While the youngest was about to finish high school, the unexpected happened.  Her husband died.  Now, being home, and her last child about to depart for college.  She was home alone.  She didn't want the daily grind of having to go to work every day, and things had changed since she first began her teaching career, so, she decided to start substituting.   As you can imagine, the Plano/Dallas area is packed full of schools, so she is never without an opportunity to teach.  Only now, she can pick the jobs she wants and what days she wants to work.
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My husband's wife is currently in college to become a teacher.  She is actually going to the same college that my aunt graduated from so many years ago.  The college is about 30 miles from where they live, and she only attends class twice a week.  On her days off, she started working part time at a small school where they live.  She keeps the after school program, and also substitutes when a teacher is out.  This has been very beneficial with her college courses, and helps her to ease into her career of teaching.

I remember when I was in school.  We would love to have a substitute, especially on the days you forgot homework, or were expecting a pop test.
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Being a substitute teacher is not as easy as you might think.  They are not class babysitters, but they have to show up at a moment's notice, and then check the lesson plans, and try to keep the continuation of the class while the regular teacher is gone.  They are also the victims of many pranks and teasing.  They do however provide an invaluable service.   Most are very knowledgeable in teaching, and when the regular teacher happens to be sick, or have an emergency arise, they are ready to step in at a moment’s notice.
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This week is Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week.  Wouldn’t it be nice if every job had a substitute you could call if you were out too?

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