Yesterday I took the wee-bean to an appointment, then we went and picked up a few groceries. I tried to stay busy, but I couldn’t help but watch the clock as the minutes ticked by.
And then, as the clock struck three… my maternity leave ended and I was officially back at work.
I am returning to work as an occasional teacher, which I’m actually kind of excited about. The mini-LTO I had before I took my leave was an amazing opportunity, but supply teaching allows me to ease back into work in ways that full-time teaching never could. For the time being, I am only working a couple of days a week, and I love that I have no prep or marking to do in the evenings.
Which means I can hang out with my wee-bean and not feel the least bit guilty. :)
So, while I half expected my phone to ring right at 3pm, I was sort of glad that it didn’t. And when three hours had passed, I began to wonder if my first day of actual work would be delayed somewhat.
Of course, in that moment my phone rang and I found myself fumbling my way through the automated system that I was unfamiliar with trying to get the details for a job. Once I figured things out, I accepted a morning assignment to teach history at a local school. I was slightly puzzled as there wasn’t a teacher’s name attached to the assignment, just a subject and school.
For those of you unfamiliar with the supply teaching world, in my board when you are called for an assignment, they usually tell you the school, subject and name of who you’ll be covering. That way, when you walk into the office, you can say, “Holla! I’m in for so-and-so”. (Or something like that. ha) Then the secretary hands you your lesson plans or directions for the day and off you go.
In the two years that I have been supply teaching, I have never not had a teacher’s name. So, of course on my first day back as I am learning this new automated system, I get an assignment with no name. Ugh. It figures, considering my history with first days has not been… perfect. Interesting, but not perfect.
Anyway. I digress.
If I’m being totally honest, I was a bit bummed that a) it wasn’t at my favourite school (where I spent most of my time last year); and b) I had to work at all. (ha)
However, I accepted the assignment and spent most of last night fretting and trying to put all the pieces of my super supply bag back in order.
My before-work morning routine was hectic before I had the wee-bean, so I was a bit stressed about trying to balance everything and still make it out the door on time to get her to the sitter and me to my job.
Things work out as they always do, and despite being a few minutes late and awful traffic, I got her dropped off and made it to school with a few minutes to spare.
So, I sat in my car and stared at the doors of a school I hadn’t entered in nearly a year and tried to remember all the tricks I had had in my arsenal before my maternity leave. Finally I took a deep breath and walked in.
Walking into the school felt like embracing an old friend that you haven’t seen in a while. I was immediately energized by the hum of school activity before first period begins, and it felt so good to walk down those hallways again. The office was prepared for me despite my not knowing who I was in for, and I found myself staring at a schedule for my dream morning: first period prep and one period of grade 10 History.
I settled into the teacher’s desk with a book, excited for an hour of quiet uninterrupted reading.
…which was of course interrupted fifteen minutes later with a request that I cover another class during my prep. haha! Seeing as I had absolutely nothing to prepare, I happily accepted and spent first period wrangling a bunch of antsy grade nine boys as they sat through a long, long lesson about library resources.
Then I found myself standing at the front of a room full of loud, excited grade 10 students, waiting for me to begin their class.
(Of course by “waiting” I mean completely ignoring me as they hashed out all the latest gossip.)
In that moment I felt that same old rush of adrenaline, and as I got their attention and successfully got them working on their task for the day, my love for this profession hit me with full force. I had been awaiting my return to work with such trepidation as I love my life at home with Ruby… but today I was reminded that I became a teacher for a reason.
Because I love it.