I started sub teaching when my youngest was in 3rd grade. I subbed steady for 13 years. I took 3 years and ran around the nation…that’s a story for another day. Recently, I have gone back to subbing occassionally. I work in a middle school…some people think that’s crazy, or cray-cray, as the kids say! I like them… middle schoolers, that is. They have LIFE inside them, and they try SO hard not to show that they are afraid. Their bravado and boastfulness and boundless amounts of hormones create such an interesting arena! Respect. I give it. I like to get it. I do not expect it, without extending it. I’m good with names. My first day in each class, I gave them their assignment, and while they worked on it, I learned ALL the names. It was impressive to them, and let them know that I was not just a body in the room, but a WARM body in the room. I’m not a math teacher. I’m barely a math student. I admit it to the kids. I ask for help from a student who has the correct answer. I leave a note for the teacher explaining that the class may need an extra lesson on #7. I go home with a grimace of the smile I have held all day causing my face to hurt………but the students only saw my smile. I talk about myself and I think I relate fairly well with most of them. Don’t wear shirts that will gap open when you lean over a desk. Breath mints. Wash your hands often. I’ve had kids get hurt during PE, kids get into fights in class, kids get sent to the office for saying nasty things, kids cutting themselves with paper clips in study hall…….kids purposefully seeing how low their scores would be if they answered “C” to every question. On a placement exam. Advanced students. There is no shortage of interesting events!! Middle schoolers are working hard to separate the little kid from the teenager….the people they come in contact with in their daily lives influence that. Teachers, even the “guest” teachers, as we are referred to, have the ability to give guidance to each student. To enable them to see something different. To let them see a light. If I have touched just one child that way, I am rewarded.