Sunday, July 19, 2015

Fun At Work

It was 8:35 on a Wednesday morning when the phone rang.  I figured it was a telemarketer and picked up the phone ready to let loose a whole bunch of expletives.  Before I opened my mouth I heard the voice of the secretary from the community college.  She immediately apologized for calling so early but said she was desperate.  A teacher had called in sick at the last minute and she had to find coverage.  She knew I lived close.  Now, I don't like working in the summer and I especially don't like the 3 hour long classes and I hate teaching remedial but, I love the school and I love the way they treat and respect their staff so I agreed.  I folded my newspaper, turned off my I-pad, poured my coffee into a travel mug and told my husband I would be back in about 4 hours.

I managed to get to the school a few minutes early and stopped by the office to pick up a book and sign to get paid.  I thought the look of gratitude on the secretary's face was enough to make my day.  That, was not even a fraction of what happened next.

I got to the room and immediately went in search of someone to unlock the door.  The 25 students waited patiently and then filed in.  I introduced myself and then asked them to tell me their daily procedure.  I told them since I was only there for the day I wanted to do things exactly as their regular professor did them.  I found them all to be bright, enthused, motivated and extremely cooperative.  Although much of the work was familiar to them,  I threw in lots of decimals and fractions, things I knew they needed help with and they were extremely grateful.  I even emphasized that most were probably in remedial because of carelessness, not lack of knowledge and confessed to being the queen of careless mistakes.  Before we knew it, the three hours were up.  We said goodbye and hope to meet up again soon and left.

I will get a nice check for the work I did but more importantly, I had fun.  How many people can say work is fun?  Teaching used to be a fun career, a career where one can make a difference in another's  ' life.  I am so fortunate to be able to continue mine this way.  It is sad so many others cannot and so many good teachers will end up not doing what they are so good at doing.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your experience was enjoyable because you weren't disposable to your employer, and your students were mature enough to appreciate your talents (and respect your position.) If only it were that way for all of us pre-retirees!

Rita Cat said...

Agree completely. Luckily college is always good to its teachers. When I began my high school teaching career it was fun too. It is a shame the joy has been taken out of teaching.