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I just turned down five teaching and training contracts this week. When I turned the first one down because I was going to head back into the elementary classroom as a supply teacher, I felt good about it. I’m pursuing my goal of staying in touch with the elementary system and I miss the students and the atmosphere. I want to help teachers. I want to be with the kids. Plus, I’m still teaching one class at the college this semester, so I’ve still got that.

When I got the second and third calls for more hours, I gratefully declined again. I explained my situation and the fact that this small school would likely be relying on me as one of very few supplies available this year. When the fourth and fifth calls came the very next day, I started wondering…is the Universe testing me? Seeing how committed I am to my new venture? Or is this a sign that I should be taking one of these and pursuing the college avenue?

I know it seems a bit unconventional after over a decade as a full-time classroom teacher, then two years pursuing teaching at the college, to choose to be a supply teacher. (I might add, I rocked that interview ;P) But there’s something comforting in knowing I get to:

  1. choose the days I work

  2. meet a variety of students and teachers

  3. sharpen my classroom management skills

  4. remain in the loop with education initiatives, and

  5. have true empathy for what teachers are going through this year

So, I think I’m making the right decision. Now that I’ve made it, I better go all in. Michelle Obama said,

You can’t make decisions based on fear, and the possibility of what might happen.

So I will trust in my decision. I will put on a brave face walking into these classrooms. And I will make a point of bringing some joy to this unsettling time.

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