After being caught in a storm of existential angst about my writing lately, it was time to do something concrete. So yesterday I was a substitute teacher for the first time this year.
After months of not working as a teacher I eased into the job. I took over for a friend in the building that I used to work in. It was fun to see many old friends and colleagues, and having a job sure gets you up early in the morning.
However, it was difficult as well. When I'm not doing it, I forget how exhausting teaching can be. There were a lot of emotions, anger, hurt feelings and even some crying. And that was just me!
Enough of the cheap humor, though. Trying to help students gain knowledge and insight while at the same time helping them grow emotionally and keeping them safe is an incredibly complex job. At best that's what I was accomplishing yesterday, but I know that I was mostly trying to keep them happy and healthy and safe for a day. Anything that they learned was incidental to that, although I did my best.
I'll see how it goes, dipping my toes back into the teaching pool. The hugs from the students are great, although their tears break my heart. It helps me remember why I need the break.