When we first started talking about moving here I wondered what I would do with my spare time… I have worked full or part time most of my life so having idle time is not good for me. I thought about maybe finishing nursing school (I majored in nursing for the first couple of years at Harding and switched to child development about halfway through) or finding somewhere to volunteer. I never would’ve thought I would be teaching in the kids school.
There was a need for substitute teachers so I attended a workshop type event a the school. I think Nathan was actually pretty surprised that I took the initiative to do this. Turns out I was not qualified to earn an income here because of my restricted residency. We asked a lot of questions and found out that we could hire an attorney to form a company to where I can earn my own income. I started out just volunteering. In fact, I guess I still am just volunteering because we have not figured out yet how to use the invoice system here…… The attitude here is very relaxed… Some of you have heard of the “pura Vida” lifestyle here. No worries, it will happen when it happens. So I’m not concerned.
I’m glad to have a purpose. I’m not surprised that I had a desire to do this because I have always enjoyed working with children but I am surprised how excited I get with every new opportunity. Last month I worked in 4th grade. This month I worked eight days in second grade. Next month I’ll be substituting for the PE teacher for a week. And at the end of April I will be substituting in music. This just makes me laugh because I have no musical talent…..poor kids!!
Each opportunity has been a challenge I’ll admit. But I’m learning that through these “challenges” I am gaining more self-confidence and experience for the next assignment. The best part about being a substitute at the school is getting to see my kids interacting with their new friends. Luckily, my kids are all still at the ages where they like me being there. Although Benson will not acknowledge me most of the time, I know he’s glad I’m there. Sloane and Blake Leigh still like to eat lunch with me and give me big hugs.
I’m also enjoying getting to know the teachers. Many of them have lived all over the world and have very cool experiences to share. I think the other teachers were a little leery of me at first since I’m a parent but I’m starting to form some very good friendships. And the students are truly amazing. Many of them have lived in several different countries and know several different languages. It’s actually very intimidating. I met a little boy last week who is fluent in four languages. I told him that I am barely fluent in my first language, English, and I’m working on Spanish. Maybe I can get him to help me learn 🙂
I can definitely say that this is not what I expected to be doing with my time here but feel very blessed to have this opportunity. We are never too old to start a new career. I could see myself trying to pursue this more. Getting to be in one class for eight days really helped me get to know the kids and their learning styles. I also got to learn to be flexible with the lesson plans and make them my own. Watching the children grasp the concepts is worth all of the headache…most of the time. I have really got attached to the kids. Sometimes they even make me a sweet card or a goodbye note. One girl even told her parents that her substitute teacher talked like a cowboy so he had to come meet me.🤣