Sometimes life's trail takes you on turns that just leave you shaking your head and smiling. Have you ever looked down at your shoes while pondering life's oddities and thought, "what would myself one year ago think about me now?" I had that moment today when for the seventh time Zachary came up to me with a handful of crumpled up papers and said, "Clay won't stop throwing these at me." For the seventh time I said, "Okay Zach, I'll make a note of it" (mentally only of course).
I was substituting at Wilson elementary school. The third grade class. As part of my year off of radiology research, hiking, spending time with Anna, traveling, and fixing up what needs fixing I decided to fill in the gaps in my week as a substitute teacher. And today I became very familiar with my shoes, shaking my head.
But in reality, I've enjoyed the experience. If I did not go into medicine I probably would not have gone into teaching. But I still wanted to know what it felt like. And it is more enjoyable than I imagined. While I know substituting is only a substitute for the real experience, I still managed to get a grasp of what teachers go through day in and day out. I appreciate them on a whole new level. I barely had enough energy at the end of the day to bring the fork loaded with Anna's beef stroganoff up to my mouth. But the thought that the stroganoff would soothe my parched, tired out throat like a balm was enough to get the fork to it's destination. I haven't used my voice like I did today for some time and it's out of shape. Anna had a quiet husband tonight.
But seriously, let's pay full time teachers more! I would gladly increase the tax on our income if it went to public teacher's salaries. I felt more tired after today than a full day in the wards. And the sense of responsibility for the kids' lives must be overwhelming. I'm glad for the new perspective. Maybe next month I'll try a construction crew. I know I don't appreciate their labor enough.