Back to a New Reality

imageI did my first day of supply teaching today. I was lying in bed at 8.45am, contemplating getting up and facing the day, when I received a phone call to request two days of cover for an absent teacher at my former school.

I was surprised, I didn’t expect this sort of work for at least a few months, but it was a brilliant opportunity to see all of my former colleagues and earn a bit of extra cash – never a bad thing in my opinion!

Admittedly, I was a little nervous on the way there. I was covering languages all day, which is far out of my comfort zone, and I hadn’t met any of the new students. There have been a few changes in the faculty as several staff left with me last year, and after ten weeks of being away from the classroom I was concerned that I would struggle.

It was initially a very surreal experience. My surroundings were so familiar, and yet it seemed totally different. It was a completely new reality.

However, it turned out to be an enjoyable day – I was greeted by some of my favourite students with ‘I thought you’d left – good to see you back!’ and one sixth former launched himself down the corridor to give me a massive hug. I also found it amusing that staff said hello as they normally would, and then did a double take when realising that I was at work. ItΒ was really good talking to everyone and listening to stories of their summer adventures, and after a while it almost felt like I had never left.


What was particularly brilliant was that after a few months of doubt over my decision to leave the profession, there were several occasions where I had to deal with challenging behaviour, (despite knowing these particular students well), and it was a solid reminder that I was absolutely doing the right thing.

Best of all, I left at the end of the day just after the students, several hours earlier than I used to, without a single piece of work to do in the evening – no marking, no paperwork, no worries. Instead of going home with a headache and anxiety, I met my friend and went to the pub.

I could get used to this!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page, my Pinterest page, and my Instagram page


36 thoughts on “Back to a New Reality

  1. My hats off to you wonderful people who have taken on the challenge of our next generation…it’s not easy I’m sure!

    • What an awesome way to put it! I must admit, over the last week it’s been a strange feeling to be able to just relax… I haven’t experienced that properly in a long time!

  2. You do know when enough is enough. After my 25 years of actively teaching in the classroom, I was relieved not to have to grade all those papers. I became a Mentor Teacher, dealing with adults in helping them with lesson plans and classroom discipline.Once in a while, at a teacher’s request, I would teach the class, and I enjoyed doing that because I do love teaching, and I could walk away without having to give them an assignment to grade. It was kind of like being the grandmother who can hand them back to their parents after I’ve had my fun. I’ll be interested to hear how your new career is taking shape.

  3. People who do not teach have no idea the amount of work required by the profession or the level of anxiety caused by trying to fulfill all aspects of the job. The doubters are often those who allow their children to go to school unprepared to participate knowledgeably or to behave respectfully. Subbing is a bad but necessary way to teach kids, but it’s great for substitute teachers.
    Parents – you paying attention?

  4. Subbing is good. Weird to go back, such mixed feelings. I had to go back to my old office a few weeks after I retired to pick up a check, and it was very srange, indeed. I saw the stress and felt the indifferent attitudes from the same folks, and remembered why I left.

    • Ooh I can totally relate. I saw how stressed my friends were, and within an hour of dealing with a rather rude child I knew I had made exactly the right decision. No regrets from now on!

Comments are closed.