I Will Share With You, But You Must Promise Not to Laugh...

Dena Harris... substitute teacher???

Okay. Pick yourself up off the floor and dry the tears of laughter and I'll explain what I'm talking about.

As you know from my last entry, I was a wee bit nervous about teaching a classroom full of kids ages 8-11. It was for a Summer Writing Camp program and I was a guest speaker. The session was yesterday from 10-11 am.

When I got home, Blair asked me how it went. I was stumped for an answer. "Pretty good, I think," was the best I could do. They didn't fall asleep or pelt me with erasers and that's good for that age group, right?  Overall, I think I did an okay to slightly-higher-than-okay job. I talked about myself as an author, showed them my book, told them the most popular story in the book was about how my cat got too fat to clean herself and is called "The Great Cat Butt-Wiping Adventure," and they loved that.  I asked for any questions about being a writer and they wanted to know if I made a lot of money.   (I tried to keep a straight face).

Then I spent time helping them write the first page of their books. I talked about what should go in the first 100 words and read examples from real books and we picked out what it was about the first pages of those books that made us want to keep reading. Then I had them write their own first 100 words, get into small groups to share, and then we read some aloud.

Here's what I learned--I don't think I had enough interactive activity planned. Too much talking, not enough games to make the learning more fun.  But what I also learned--and this shocked me--was that I really like teaching kids.

They were fun. They were funny. They had big eyes and big smiles and were eager for me to read what they had written and give them praise.  I could quickly pick out who liked to be the center of attention, who was shy but serious, who was outgoing and determined, etc.  And I liked it. These kids were so great, so eager to learn, and very well-behaved. Noisy, but well-behaved.

I was telling Blair all this and he said--again, to my complete surprise--"Why don't you look at substitute teaching? You can set your own schedule and say no, but maybe you'd enjoy it." Normally I'd laugh it off, but the idea stuck. 

I have no idea what it takes to be a substitute teacher. Is a teaching license required? I e-mailed the NC Board of Education to ask for details. And I don't know that I'll go through with it.  But it's something new and fun to think about. Life is all about discovering who you are.

What a riot if it turns out I"m a teacher.