Saturday, April 21, 2007

hustle and flow

You know, it's hard out here for a sub.

Alright, I'm kidding. I just wanted to continue the cool musical metaphor. It's not really hard being a substitute, except for the being-awakened-at-5:15 a.m. part. (I usually find a job or block myself out the night before to avoid this; a tired & crabby teacher is no fun for anyone). The hard part, the hustle and flow if you will (ha), is moving back into a classroom of my own. Our district holds a Career Fair each year, and my first problem with it is the misleading name. It's not really a fair - there is no corn dog & kettle corn stand, no ferris wheel, not even a chicken or two milling around. Beyond that disappointment, the overall atmosphere of the event is a strange and decidedly uncomfortable mix of junior high dance & frat party (without the kegs, of course, though Lord knows we could use them). We job seekers enter in our best teacher-job-interview clothes, pulling at jacket hems and trying to look totally at ease. Our hands are sweating as we wander around, smiling with desperate uncertainty at administrators, trying to say smart stuff that will make them love us. That's the junior high dance part. After waiting in a long line with other seekers, among whom there is alternately stifled silence and forced lighthearted conversation, we get to talk with An Important Person. We thrust resumes and business cards. We think we're starting to relax, so we tell amusing classroom experience stories, gesture wildly, and laugh too loudly. That's the frat party part. I've been to these so-called "fairs" three times. Today I was supposed to go again, but I can't take it anymore. Kind of like how I outgrew the dances and the frat parties. (It's not that I'm not invited anymore, shut up).

If I can't get hired at the schools I've substituted in during the past three years based on my performances alone (and believe me, sometimes I deserve an Oscar), then parading around for two miserable hours pimping myself isn't going to do the trick either. I'm not sure whether or not I intended that pun but I hope you enjoyed it. I love teaching, and I think I do a good job of it. I hope I get to keep doing it, but I refuse to play the begging game anymore.

I have laundry moaning my name, kids with playdates & birthday parties, one neglected husband, and a poetry unit to type up. This is what I'm doing today instead. Well, and I downloaded a Ludacris video too. What?