I have been a tiny bit stressed about work.
And by tiny bit, I obviously mean I’ve had a white night or two about it. For those that are new here, I am an “occasional teacher”, better known as a supply teacher. I have been teaching for over 10 years and have been eligible to apply for permanent jobs for a while, but last year I made the decision to stay occasional for now as it allows me a little more flexibility. In the past I’ve had the freedom build my own schedule and take off days whenever I need to.
With three kids, that’s extraordinarily helpful… particularly during flu season. And strep season. And cold season. And… you know.
It’s also kind of neat because I get to work in so many different schools. Since I’ve worked contacts in multiple schools and have been supplying for so long, I have friends all over. It’s really fun to go to different schools and get to work with phenomenal colleagues at multiple locations.
With everything that’s going on with COVID, the idea of being a supply teacher makes me INCREDIBLY nervous. I was quietly freaking out about the possibility of having to go to multiple sites–in the past it wouldn’t be abnormal to work at 3 or four different schools in a week… heck, I’ve even worked at two schools in the same day.
I was also worried that my board might crack down on that flexibility that has become so important for me. It is SUCH a privilidge that I even have it, and I worried that they might require supplies to have more open availability to fill the vacancies I am sure are coming. We are still back and forth about what to do with the kids and school and I worried that if they required me to work more than I have been that homeschooling wouldn’t even be an option for me.
I told you, there have been some white nights.
My board finally reached out with instructions and options for occasional teachers today. The long and the short of it is that I don’t have to accept daily assignments. I can still explore short term contacts and apply as I wish, but I won’t be forced to work all over the board like before.
I am SO relieved.
I feel like this GIGANTIC weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and I wish I could enjoy it a little more… but at the same time, there is also a heavy weight pressing on my chest as I think about all my friends who don’t have this option and are walking back into work next month. I really hope that the plans the province has put in place will be enough to protect them.
This all just feels like such utter madness. I keep going over and over all of this in my head, and the only thing that keeps ringing is: how is this real life?! How did we get HERE? How has the world changed THIS much that I’m afraid to send my kids to school? I’m afraid to go to a job that I love for fear of my family’s health and safety… it makes NO sense.
It’s just… bananas. All of this is absolutely bonkers and I can’t wrap my head around it.
Tonight I’m going to bed with such a mixed bag of emotions. I feel lighter somehow, but also still so weighed down.
Six days left until school decision time for the kids.