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Show No Fear — The Substitute Teacher

James Van Praugh once said, “If you want to do good in your life, do good in your life. The energy you cre­ate is the energy that the uni­verse returns to you.”

Energy … a class­room is always burst­ing with energy. The big ques­tion is, “What will that energy do to me, the teacher? Will it inspire, ter­rify, or con­sume me?” The key to energy is to attempt to har­ness it for good, but beware — energy often is as unpre­dictable as the teenagers in the room!

My #1 rule for step­ping into a class­room — espe­cially now that I am a sub­sti­tute: SHOW NO FEAR! Teenagers can smell fear. It cre­ates a nat­ural “high” in the ado­les­cent brain. This “high” trans­lates into POWER. Power can be a good thing — unless it is in the hands of the inmates. It is impor­tant to remem­ber that the adult must main­tain the power in the class­room. One must learn to ignore the sweaty palms, shak­ing knees and swirling stom­ach. 35 pairs of eyes can strike ter­ror into the heart of the bravest of men — but a middle-aged woman wear­ing a pony tail can cause those eyes to look sheep­ishly at the floor, if the power is cor­rectly applied.

My secret? Keep them off bal­ance. Keep them con­fused. Keep them won­der­ing what will come next. “Is she for real?” they often say. That’s a good thing — it means they are more inter­ested in what I am going to do than in try­ing to destroy me in the first five min­utes of class. When in doubt — fake it. “Good morn­ing, Happy Fri­day (or what­ever). It’s your lucky day because I am your sub. I get to tor­ture you today. Oh goody, this will be fun!” Eyes will roll, that’s guar­an­teed, but they’ll also be caught off guard, and they may be a lit­tle scared. Bwa­ha­ha­ha­ha­haha — POWER!

OK — I am not sadis­tic or cruel — I love what I do and I have a good time 99% of the time. The point is to be gen­uine — even when trick­ing them into think­ing you are big and bad and a lit­tle bit of a crazed nerd. Once they see that I am “for real” we get along. And we learn. And we have fun. If you are not gen­uine — all of the “big bad­ness” in the world won’t work. Just like the smell of fear, kids can spot a phony a mile away! One must be real in their weird­ness and in the sense of fun. If you can’t believ­ably shout, “Come on down” from the class­room door after the bell — then don’t do it! Seri­ously — you may be trau­ma­tized for­ever if the kids dis­cover that you are a fake — and it’s even worse if you are a fake who is scared to death.

I can do this” should become your mantra — and it will serve you well. Good luck, sub­sti­tute teacher-to-be; have a great day. Oh, and remem­ber — you are doing this because you love kids and you love to learn and to teach. If you don’t, then run … very fast and very far. Don’t look back.


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Let your light shine …

This week, it seems so many are pass­ing from this earthly world. Rest in peace my sweet friend Jill, I hope your pain is gone. Know that I will miss you and I wish I had had the oppor­tu­nity to see you more often, but I have such won­der­ful mem­o­ries! Floyd, who became Dad after a time and helped to shape my life — my wish for you is music, which you gave to oth­ers … may it now be given to you. So many leave us, but leave their impres­sion upon our hearts. Thank you for what you gave, and what­ever the after­life holds, I hope it is enlight­en­ing and joy­ful. Truly … rest well.

Light shine!

Life is jour­ney, for­ever spi­ral­ing, recy­cling … may your jour­ney be filled with promise.


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Life IS a dance …

Life might not be the party we hoped for -
but while we’re here, we might as well dance”


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Who’s driving???


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File this under: insanity

I am a US cit­i­zen, born to US cit­i­zens. I have lived in Ari­zona since 1958. I grad­u­ated from Saguaro HS, and Ari­zona State Uni­ver­sity. I have taken many classes in the Mari­copa Com­mu­nity Col­lege sys­tem. I am cur­rently enrolled in an online class through Rio Sal­ado CC. How did I enroll? I called the reg­is­trar, told him the course I wanted and gave him my credit card num­ber (to pay for the class). He issued me a stu­dent ID num­ber. Easy. Great class, great teacher … I am learn­ing a lot. I am also enrolled in South Moun­tain CC. How did I do this? I called, same rou­tine, HOWEVER, I needed to prove that I took PSYCH 101 and an intro coun­sel­ing class. I have a mas­ters degree in coun­sel­ing … would that suf­fice? No … so I dug out my tran­scripts and brought them to SMCC. The kid who was born in 1990 eval­u­ated my tran­script which proved that I took PSYCH 101 in 1972 and the other class in 1980. OK, embar­rass­ing, but done. I paid for my class and with the same stu­dent ID num­ber, I was enrolled. They also gave me a free park­ing sticker, woo hoo! Today, I called Mesa Com­mu­nity Col­lege to reg­is­ter for a 1 credit women’s weight train­ing class. I needed to prove res­i­dency before they would allow pay­ment. Huh????? I’m already enrolled in two other schools in the same system.“Sorry ma’am, them’s the rules. Bring us a photo ID.” OK … I drive to the cam­pus … take a num­ber and wait 50 min­utes for my chance to flash my dri­vers license in the 20 year old kid’s face. Not really, because I am very polite. I show him my license and he says, “We can’t accept this.” HUH????? Why??? “It was issued after 2008.” WTF???? I told him I am already enrolled in two other schools. He said I shouldn’t be. “What kind of proof of cit­i­zen­ship and res­i­dency do you have?“
– The valid driver’s license was no good.
–The valid AZ teach­ing cer­tifi­cate was no good.
–The valid Mari­copa Com­mu­nity Col­lege teach­ing cer­tifi­cate was no good (ironic, huh?).
–The valid AZ fin­ger­print card was no good.
–The valid voter reg­is­tra­tion card was no good.
I need a pass­port or birth cer­tifi­cate. OK … I sup­pose I will return tomor­row and wait in line for another hour. OH … then to top it all off, I get to my car and I had a park­ing ticket on my wind­shield. I parked in the vis­i­tor park­ing lot (adja­cent to reg­is­tra­tion and admis­sions) … my car has a freak­ing Mari­copa CC park­ing sticker on it … that sticker is for stu­dents only, not vis­i­tors!!!! OMG, some­body shoot me! All this … and no one asks for my ID to vote.

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Messing with other people’s minds … priceless!


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Show No Fear — The Substitute Teacher

James Van Praugh once said, “If you want to do good in your life, do good in your life....
article post

Let your light shine …

This week, it seems so many are pass­ing from this earthly world. Rest in peace my sweet...
article post

Life IS a dance …

“Life might not be the party we hoped for - but while we’re here, we might as...
article post

Who’s driving???

...
article post

File this under: insanity

I am a US cit­i­zen, born to US cit­i­zens. I have lived in Ari­zona since 1958....
article post

Messing with other people’s minds … priceless!

...
article post