September Eve

Tomorrow is the first day of September.  I’m still waiting for the email confirming that my substitute teaching paperwork has been processed, but I am already in “school year mode.”  Yep, you guessed it: I’ve been hoarding loose-leaf and scouting new pens, and looking up principals’ names, and trying to find my “good shoes.”

I spent much of today setting up a new notebook, to use for the coming year.  I counted pages, and put in monthly tabs, and tested my pens on a back page to see what — if anything — bled through.

Am I excited to go back to school?  Yes.  I haven’t been in a classroom since the 2018-2019 school year.  (Thanks, COVID.)  Am I afraid to go back to school?  Also yes.

Although I’m fully-Pfizered, my autoimmune disease means we have no idea just how much of an effect the vaccine has had, and being a substitute teacher means I travel from school to school where other substitute teachers are also travelling from school to school.  The teachers went back today; the students start next week.

I’m very, very nervous.

But maybe by the time the paperwork is ready, I will be ready too.

This post was created as part of Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge

You can view other writers’ contributions via the comments here.

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Karen J. McLean

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  • I’m so glad you are excited. I pray you will be and remain safe. May the protection of God follow you and be with you and protect you. Have THE MOST AMAZING YEAR!!!

  • Substitute teaching has its own set of challenges, and adding a pandemic to the mix only makes it harder. You didn’t say if you found them, but I hope your good shoes help. May your year be good, may your health be optimal, and may your pens never bleed!

  • I LOVED the year I subbed- being experienced means you bring so much to the classroom! Lucky kids! I get your concern- even teaching behind a computer screen (all staff at school, all kids online so far is scary!). Hoping it all goes well! I love your getting ready routines.

  • Best of luck this year with your substitute teaching, Karen. I hope it goes well and you stay healthy. Subbing always made me nervous – even in non-COVID times. I am sure you’ll be ready and do well! You sound a lot like I was with your prep routines! The pre-organization is so important! Sounds like you have that down!

  • Oh, SCHOOL YEAR MODE. I feel you on this. And substitute teaching teaching is its own ball of wax, isn’t it? As for the returning, even in a non-COVID year I’m not sure we’re ever fully “ready” but somehow, some way, there we are. I have perfect faith in you. <3

  • Karen, I hope all is going well thus far on the school re-entry. I have been glad to feel a semblance of normalcy here, despite mandated masks and creative seating :O. Your phrase “fully-Pfizered” had me chuckling but not knowing effects and having to face the possibility of contact while having an autoimmune disease is no laughing matter, indeed. This much I know, though: Some older friends in my area got COVID and managed well; they’d all been vaccinated. Some younger ones got it and were extremely sick, with multiple ER visits. They weren’t vaccinated. Thankfully everyone is recovered now. I admire your courage, in both the vaccination and in returning to school. I have no doubt that you’ll inspire many students!