Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sick Days

Truly, substitute teaching has been such a fun experience. I love being around the students, I love surprising them with my energy, I love the confidence I have in front of a classroom, I love being in charge (it's true), I love hearing myself talk (I can admit that!), and I love feeling as though I'm making some sort of difference (albeit, likely a small one) and doing something worthwhile.

I haven't gotten to play with use an overhead projector yet, which really would be the fulfillment of a childhood fantasy. (You think I'm kidding? I'm the girl who asked the teacher for the "instructor's copy" of the Scholastic "Weekly Reader" so I could 'play school' with it at home, bought old textbooks at a used-books store on a number of occasions greater than one, and hoped Santa would bring an overhead projector on Christmas morning. Get it now?) Sure, the Smart Boards are cool...but, it's just not the same.

Spending time in the classroom has given me the chance to get the teaching bug out of my system a bit, since I came thisssss close to going into education (but didn't), and you might say it's been somewhat of a lifetime "dream" to teach. So, I'm very thankful for the chance to do this.

WITH THAT SAID (speaking of the "teaching bug"...), I have just about HAD it with being sick. I have succumbed in the past 2 months (the same amount of time I've been subbing, mind you), to a cold that knocked me flat on my back for a solid 2 days, a 24-hour flu bug, and another 24-hour bug-of-some-sort that has now morphed into a chest cold.

Coincidence? I think not. Especially given that I don't believe I've had this many "sick days" in the past several winter seasons combined. (Given, last year's flu season was spent in St. Louis, somewhat in isolation given our somewhat anti-social nature there. Still....) My immune system is usually very reliable, but it's apparently no match for the germs that large sums of children bring to the table school.

Part of the benefit of subbing is saying 'goodbye' to a group of kids in the afternoon, and not letting work come home with me. The problem is, the germs are.

(And then, there's my mother. Who, as a veteran teacher of many years, has not used a sick day in who knows how long?! My theory is that she's been around long enough to be immune to just about every bug that students throw (up?) at her. Or, she's just far more tough in the face of impending illness than less-seasoned teachers. Which, wouldn't surprise me a bit. Whatever her secret, I'm impressed.)

Now, it's probably not fair to blame my illnesses entirely on the student population. There's the grocery store, the mall...germs are pretty much everywhere this time of year. (Gross.) But, it does make sense that schools are infested. (I mean, they're needing substitutes for a reason, right?) You don't have to be "smarter than a 5th grader" (and boy, let me tell you, is it ever humbling to be asked a seemingly simple question by a middle-schooler about a vocabulary word or geography lesson and really have to think about it for a minute?!) to realize that all these precious children bringing their germs to school in the morning, sitting in an enclosed building all day, and leaving said germs behind to multiply overnight, can only spell disaster (read: a few sick days) for the rest of us....

Having a cold and a round of the flu is only slightly more than annoying with medicine and an otherwise healthy body. Things could be far worse, and I'm so thankful that they're not. But, for someone who hates being sick (and who doesn't, really?), this stinks.

Substitute teaching, although largely enjoyable and satisfying, will likely not be my career path forever. But, until an acceptable substitute (I couldn't help myself) comes along, I'll continue to help keep the hand-sanitizer industry going strong, and hope this bug quickly runs its course.

Class dismissed.

Random photo from St. Lucia.
Seemingly-irrelevant, except that honeymoon pictures always make me feel better.

1 comment:

  1. I have to go wash my hands now. Hope you feel better soon!