In Which Subbing Is a Decent Job But Not a Career

I’ve finished my first full week of substitute teaching, and I’ve learned it’s not a bad job if you can accept that you don’t really have any power over what happens to you each day. Each of my subbing assignments have been one-day jobs, so every day I’m going into a new environment as a kind of hired gun babysitter who doesn’t get to develop any relationships with people or the material the students are learning. All I do is read the sheets the normal teacher left me, give out the assignments, and make sure the kids don’t kill each other. One nice thing about one-day assignments, though, is that I get to cover a lot of different subjects: so far I’ve subbed for P.E., resource (“problem”/disabled kids), Health, English, Social Studies, and Spanish.

I’ve had a half day with a middle school class and a half day with an elementary class, and the rest have all been high school classes. The high school jobs have been my favorites by far; I’ve found that I cannot handle a class full of first graders and confirmed my views that middle-schoolers are my least favorite type of people in the world. The high school classes have been pretty good though; I’ve gotten well-behaved classes for the most part, and have been able to control the classes in a fairly lenient way without letting things get out of hand.

But teaching isn’t what I want to keep doing long-term. Both my parents are teachers, and I’ve always seen teaching as a special kind of calling rather than just a job (the current protests over teachers in Minnesota isn’t something I’m even willing to debate), and while in the past I’ve wondered if I could be a teacher, this past week has made me realized that I couldn’t be, at least not elementary/middle/high school. I still like the idea of teaching in a college somewhere, after I get a lot of architecture experience, but there’s no way I’d give up on architecture to become a teacher. It’s not really something I was considering anyway, and now I know it would be the wrong decision. 

But since I haven’t found an architecture job even though I keep sending my stuff out, and I haven’t found any other full-time jobs that would pay better, subbing for $65 dollars a day is what I’ll keep doing. I don’t hate it at all, it frees up my weekends, and there are these things called planning periods where I get a full block each day to just sit and read because I don’t have a class to cover.

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