On Finishing the Last Day of My Sub Assignment Teaching College English

I started teaching at a community college in August and it has been far more relaxed than teaching K12.

I knew in college this was the best level for my skills and disposition but it wasn’t until after a 18 year K12 career starting at age 27 that a college teaching position was in the cards for me. I’m now 50.

I started just after the first of the Fall semester, I’d applied late because a K12 8th grade poisition I’d almost begun didn’t pan out. In teaching, one needs to get hired on at the beginning, there isn’t much opportunity in the semester. I got hired and began the process. One course I was offered was a “sub” position taking on an English 101 course that had just started, I took it.

My first reports about Community College teaching are that the students are somewhat blank faced. As much as I tried to lighten the air, they remained guarded and steelfaced in the 2 months I taught them. I assigned 2 research papers: Antigone and The Wild West. I don’t know if I ignited the passion as I had hoped but I sure as hell tried.

I feel this class was afraid to launch. They all did well grade-wise. They still have to work with the regular teacher as he comes back Monday for the remainder of the course. Taking a long term college sub position makes you vulnerable.

I hope the students get that and don’t fault me for taking some of my own plans and thoughts to the logical end. I do respect their regular teacher, I hope they’ll remember that English class can be fun and you can really get immersed in it, I hope I gave them the permission they needed.

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