"Teach in order to learn." ~Baba Hari Dass
This week I began my new mini calling as a substitute teacher. After 15 years as church youth director, I am re-inventing myself and discerning my next calling. My sister suggested substitute teaching. It's flexible, I can work whatever days I want/can and if my kids are sick, I can stay home. So, I thought, "Why not?"
I was a bit anxious. I remember how students treated substitutes when I was a kid.
My friend wrote to me on my first day and said to do this "As if" I was already the best, most strict teacher I could think of. I loved that advice, although I felt as though I was a doggie-paddler channeling Michael Phelps! I've never been a lead teacher in a classroom setting (although I've worked with kids and taught Bible lessons for 15 plus years!), so I wasn't sure what to expect after only a half-day orientation.
I'm following the advice of this quote above from an Indian Yogi. I will teach in order to learn. On my first day, I taught 24 squirming, fidgety, sweet and eager to learn 1st graders. They probably taught me more than I taught them. They were eager to help, to show me the ropes. They also loved drawing pictures of characters in our book and really wanted to write the letter "E."
My second day I worked with potentially autistic two year olds. I loved this as well, but in a different way. My experience as a mother of a two year old came into play. My quiet personality fit well with the children who weren't yet able to communicate well through speech.
I'm scared out of my mind some days, but I also welcome the opportunity to be stretched and grow as a person, teacher and mom as I teach in order to learn.