I have been awaiting the point at high school and grad school where it felt like I was a part of either community. It was probably last week when I walked into the University of Bridgeport Library before class and saw clusters of students I had various classes with. They smiled and waved and it felt good.
Yesterday, when four of us gathered before class to work on a group project, there were even more passing by and greeting me. Dr. Flynn, my favorite, paused at the table since she recognized two of her former students. It just felt good since I was no longer the old guy, the outsider.
As the sub, I go where needed and find myself wandering the high school, getting to know every nook and cranny. This week alone I have covered English, Algebra, Chemistry, and Ceramics with Social Studies and Phys Ed yet to come. By subbing for so many teachers in so many departments it was going to take time before I became a familiar presence to the students.
We’re all back from Winter Break this week and for whatever reason, the return also seemed to signal that I was getting to know more and more of the student, and they me. Yesterday, as I covered a 10th Grade English class, three kids chirped up, “We just had you yesterday!” This morning, one student walked into the art room, took a look and exclaimed, “You’re everywhere!”
The recognition felt good and I get nods or hellos in the hallways as we all rush from class to class.
The sense of familiarity in both venues is a sure sign that I am well on my way, my second act taking shape.