I was so nervous and scared when I started long term subbing. I had nightmares before I started that the teacher left no lesson plans. And I had to just come up with everything to keep the kids occupied for the rest of the school year. Not that I can't write lesson plans and figure out what to teach but it would be hard considering I had no idea what they already learned.
Then, the first day I go to the school, I can't find lesson plans. My nightmare is coming true. I look on the desk. I look around and hunt for lesson plans. (The classroom is not exactly organized--it reminded me of my junior high sewing room I student taught in. What is it with junior high sewing teachers and unorganized classrooms. Sidenote: am I destined to become one of those teachers now?? ;) LoL!). The first class I subbed was small but extremely difficult and trying. Fortunately there is an adult teacher aide in there. She is assigned to a couple of special need students but fortunately, she saw my desperation (and absolutely no idea what to do--I couldn't even find a bell schedule!) and started helping everyone.
Long story short. I wanted to quit. I was SO stressed out. I was stressing the kids out. I couldn't find anything. I didn't know what to do. I was on the verge of tears. I kept telling myself I didn't have to do it that I only had to make it through that one day and then I could never come back. They couldn't make me sub. That and realizing that I had 4th period prep (meaning I can go home early) that day made it possible for me to survive.
A class or so later on that first day, I finally found the lesson plans. Sigh of relief!! I discovered that I had two TAs that would be doing most of the grading. And I found a bell schedule. Life was looking up. I decided to stay. The next day was so much better. It was still rough on both me and the kids but we made it through. Now several of them will wave to me in the hall, come talk to me at lunch, etc. We all survived and it worked out pretty well!
Now... how has this experience been a huge blessing? (Remember the title for this post?) Well, first of all, I have had a steady job everyday during May. And May is THE hardest time to get subbing jobs. Teachers are not really allowed to take time off and there are tons more subs to choose from. Plus, I didn't have to stalk the SubFinder system everyday--that alone is a fabulous blessing! On top of that, this school is very generous with their substitutes. Every morning when I checked in, they would give me a regular sized candy bar (and I haven't eaten a single one--so really this is Casey's blessing... hee,hee,hee) and a ticket for a free lunch! Sweet! Luckily for me, this school honestly had fairly healthy choices and that has been a nice way to save some extra money. And Casey and I were able to drive together every morning! Love that!
But... all of those things are not my HUGE blessing even though they were nice. The HUGE blessing comes from the other FACS teachers at the school. They have been so sweet and helpful for me as I tried to find things or discipline children who didn't see me as a real teacher. They have celebrated my success when I got a full time job and stayed after school to help with students catch up. They rethreaded the serger (because I still don't know how---eeeeks! I have to learn!). They helped with lessons and understanding pattern instructions sheets. BUT... more than ALL of that (which is incredible) they gave me ALL of their worksheets, lesson plans, scope and sequence, recipes, etc for the classes they currently teach and the ones I will be teaching next year! Um... this is seriously the best gift EVER! My summer just became a whole lot less stressed. I now have a starting point and just kind of have to adjust and change what I want but use it as a springboard instead of shooting around in the dark.
And then I have 9th grade class. This one I was totally iffy about and felt like I was kind of lost in the dark. Well... this is one of the classes that I just inherited practically everything for. Yes! I now have a starting point and can figure out what to do/ change. I do know that I'm going to focus on making things healthy and cutting out the calories--not for me but so the kids can learn good habits now!
Finally I have my 8th grade class. This one I feel completely lost on. No idea. My student teaching school set this up really weird and it works for that school but not at the school I'm hired at. I was nervous for it. But today, I'm taking a big jump drive with me and will be given everything for it. I already can guess though that it will need major adapting and this class will take the most time to come up with lesson plans for but at least I have a starting point!
(Plus I have FACS things online!! That will help too!)
I am SO thankful the Lord works in mysterious ways. I never would have thought this experience would be such a blessing but it is. And I'm so grateful for it! :D