I am a Temporary Titan
My former department chair teaches now at New Town High School in Owings Mills. Oddly, there are three high schools – New Torn, Owings Mills, and Franklin – within something like five miles of each other. She reached out to me three weeks ago with the news that one of her colleagues was about to go on maternity leave and was I interested in filling in?
Between her DC also being on maternity leave and some utter foolishness on the part of the HR department, it took two weeks for this to become a reality and this past Monday, I once again got to be a teacher.
The woman I am stepping for did her student teaching at OMHS the first year I was there. We’ve stayed in touch so it was nice to be able to help out someone I knew. She, in turn, felt great relief that she could trust I knew what I was doing. I am taking on her five English 11 classes and one English 10 class.
Apparently, the kids took full advantage of the sub who was there to try and get them to read The Life of Frederick Douglass and Night, respectively while completing worksheets. It took the classes a day or two to realize I was there to teach and was holding them accountable for the material.
Obviously, being there only until April 3 limits what I can do with them and how creative I can get but at least the curriculum is material I know well and can work with them to master. In both grades, we’re just finishing those books and moving on; me following the roadmap I was given. I have some freedom to interpret how to teach the material but can’t just jettison stuff I don’t like in favor of other work.
The department staff has been great to me and very helpful as I navigate a new school culture and floorplan. Unfortunately, my classroom is at the far end of the social studies wing and nowhere hear the other English classes or the department office.
It’s also weird to be given my old employee number and email access (there were over 500 unread emails when I logged back in). Similarly, more than a few OMHS students I know are now attending New Town for one reason or another so that feels good.
Exercising these muscles reminds me I do enjoy teaching, especially working with students who are paying attention. I’m already getting recognized and greeted in the halls by students so I must be doing something right.