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Becoming a Leader

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I have always been an introvert, at least until you get to know me. I am particularly quiet in new situations. So substitute teaching is a real challenge for my very shy personality.

Last night I got a call to sub today. I have been turning down most of the sub opportunities this Fall and particularly these last few weeks, since I am down to only a few work days at my old job. But last night the automated sub system informed me I had been requested for this job. Wow! What a nice compliment! I subbed for this teacher a week ago, but just for the afternoon. That was my second time subbing for her. But today was not only my first time to sub ALL day, but it was my third time subbing for this same teacher! She is a reading interventionist and spends her day working with small groups (3-5 kids) in 30-minute increments on their reading skills. I have found I really like working with small groups. There are fewer behavior problems and I actually learn the kid's names!

I never wanted to pursue a teaching job or even sub when I was fat, fearing the ridicule of the students because of my obesity. When I lost weight, teaching was just one of many wonderful parts of the normal world I rediscovered, having completely forgotten my dream to teach all those years I was fat.

I have subbed several times this semester and hope to continue when I have more free time after retirement. I had forgotten, however, that as a teacher, I am expected to be in charge. I have to step up, speak loudly, and LEAD! Yikes!! Sure they are just kids, but it's still a daunting task for an introvert like me. I have found that I am a little more assertive and WAY more confident in myself since losing weight and that has helped a lot in my substitute teaching experiences. And each time it does get a little easier. Perhaps someday soon I will no longer have to just pretend that I am a leader and I will actually become least in the classroom if not in the other areas of my life.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My goodness am I ever proud of you for being able to sub!! I am much like you and only subbed one year. My mother was a teacher. She always said the louder her kids got, the softer she would talk. And it worked!! I took her advice when i subbed and when I worked at the PD. Speaking softly seems to calm people. I can''t wait to hear what else you'll accomplish now!!
    1898 days ago
    o what a perfect class to sub for...that was my job the last few years I taught..remedial reading..loved the small groups and had middle and junior high kids and just loved that age..and I'm introverted too but you learn with teaching that kids will sometimes accept you before adults..You go girl!!!
    1898 days ago
    1898 days ago
    Good for you emoticon
    1898 days ago
    Good for you to get out there and just do it! It's good to push yourself out of your comfort zone at times. Hope it was a good experience.
    Have a terrific day.
    1898 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    You've certainly been a leader for me!

    I'm glad that you're enjoying substitute teaching. Just keep working at it and you'll be more comfortable. And congratulations on being specifically requested!
    1898 days ago
    I consider you a leader here on Spark! You have great potential. Take the risk and step out of your comfort zone. You have learned so much more than how to lose weight. I can tell from your blogs, you are coming in to your own. Don't hold back. Life is too short for regrets! Best wishes with retirement and substituting. I am a teacher, and know first hand being called back is complimentary. Keep Sparking!
    1899 days ago
  • KERRYG155
    You definitely cannot be shy if you're subbing. The kids would eat you alive! I'm sure you're a great sub though and I can see that a very small group would have to be much easier than a regular class.
    1899 days ago
    I'm glad you are enjoying the substitute teaching. I understand being an introvert and trying to learn to look like a leader. I tried to be a Sunday School teacher many years ago, and the class was all friends by that time, but the nerves I suffered from every Sunday were too much. Yet I was comfortable speaking up as one of the class. Wish I could change that. I took speach class in college trying to improve, but it didn't help. At 65 I have improved, but still could not lead a class the way you are. I think you are doing great!
    1899 days ago
    I'm sure you are a leader already, although it might not feel like it. I think of you as a leader on SP because you are so motivating.
    1899 days ago
    emoticon You are kind of like a Butterfly who has been released from her prison! Don't be afraid of using those Beautiful Wings, and Don't be surprised at what YOU Can accomplish.
    1899 days ago
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