This fall I am temping as a substitute teacher, filling in for my neighbor, who is on maternity leave. I teach - I use that word in the loosest sense - high school sophomores and seniors the subjects of Ancient World History and Ethics. I am happy to report that my collection of Mr. Rogers sweater jackets are the perfect accoutrement to my new role. Now, if only I could smoke my Dunhill in class.
The students respectfully refer to me as "Mr. Peters", and I think, Oh God, I've gone to the other side. Daily, I am reminded that I am more grown up now than I ever wanted to be, especially when I recall that I used to be the student goofing off, counting ceiling tiles during class thinking, Lady, who made you boss, and why the hell should I care about the Pythagorean theorem?
So Monday through Friday go I, a mere mortal, cravat tied around my neck, cup of coffee in hand, and curiosity in my heart -- Will this be the day I finally break through to the kids and they fall hopelessly in love with history? Hold onto that dream, pal.
So, yeah, I grade homework assignments, projects, tests, class participation, the whole nine yards. I even fill out tardy slips and hold students accountable for missed homework assignments. I'm mostly an easy teacher, the kind you could (and probably would) have walked all over due to my semi-spineless facade. I am and always have been an easy target, in that way. The kids are mostly enjoyable, respectful, can be moody as the day is long, but are good, genuine kids, and most days I enjoy their company. I only wish I weren't inheriting someone else's curriculum, instead able to devise and construct my own. Maybe next time.