A young person at church this morning recognized me from having been his substitute teacher a while back–a high school in East Texas. He said that he was happy when I showed up. Over the years, I’ve heard this frequently, and such statements bring me as much joy as anything else. I asked which class? Spanish IV among others, one of my favorite teachers. I used to bring Spanish language music tapes, and he remembered them.
I used to like hurrying up and getting the official lesson done, so I could use my materials–usually my Developmental English textbook. Over half of my 20 years in teaching, I was a substitute teacher and/or adjunct instructor. I loved substituting in all grades and most subjects, except junior-senior level advanced math or science. As a male, I was a rare sight for an elementary school. Following ESOL and Bilingual Elementary kids around Dallas County provided a niche. On Facebook, 80 former students follow me from my longest full-time teaching gig:: five years at an HBCU. Making a positive impact on others lessens the regrets of financial under-achievement.