The Sub

Bryna’s been substitute teaching again this fall. She’s put her search for a full-time guidance counselor position on hold. Partly because I have a crazy fall schedule with lots of travel, partly because the job market’s lousy, and partly because she enjoys the flexibility of working a couple of days a week while the boys are still young.

She also loves it and is good at it. Which is amazing since you hear so many horror stories about substitute teaching. I know one thing: they’d eat me alive. I’d be the sub the kids hog tie and lock in the supply closet only to be found the following Monday morning by the custodian.

The calls Bryna receives are all computerized. She has a code she punches in and then decides whether she’s interested in the job or not. Second grade? Sure. High School English? Fine. Middle School phys ed? Not so much. Sometimes the calls come the day or even the week before. This is the best scenario since Bryna can then plan her week around her jobs.

The problem with this system, known as Sub-Finder, is when it calls at 6 am and Bryna’s at the gym. I’ve dubbed it Husband-Waker-Upper. There’s some code I could use to tell H-W-U to stop calling. But when I’m unceremoniously woken out of a deep sleep I can never remember it. And then it continues to call back every 10 minutes until they find someone willing to take the job. Like this morning.

I shouldn’t complain too much since she is earning money. Maybe I’ll just write that code on my pillow.



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