Fate is a funny thing. We all have different perceptions of this phenomenon but we can probably all agree that sometimes it takes us places we didn’t plan on going. I personally have always felt that everything happens for a reason. So, while I haven’t always enjoyed being stuck in Subville, I know now the reason I was sent there.
About six years ago, I gave up a career in Public Relations to pursue teaching. Like many others, my husband and I both wanted to do something rewarding; something that would have a positive impact on kids. So, we took turns going back to school while still working our full-time jobs. Once we got our credentials, my husband was able to land a job right away. He had the freedom to look outside our area in districts that had more of a need for teachers. I was limited to where our children went to school so I could be there for them and continue in an even more rewarding role as a mother. And so began my residence in Subville; substitute teaching while hoping for a full-time teaching position.
Substitute: To take the place of another. Each day I would enter a new school, with a new class, new kids, doing new work. It was almost as though every day on the job was my first day. Sure I had regular jobs where the schools and kids were familiar with me, but in reality no one can really replace their teacher. Any one that has been a substitute can tell you that the kids will never give you the respect they give their own teacher; no matter what you do. You just try to give them whatever you can during the little time you have with them.
As budget cuts loomed year after year, the reality of having my own classroom was drifting farther and farther away. Being a replacement for someone made me begin to wonder about my own identity. I felt lost in Subville; an outsider to the close knit teachers that bonded at lunch time exchanging advice and experiences in the classroom. I started staying in the class at lunch and spent time reading. I thought a lot about a way I could express who I was. I wanted to do something! I wanted to create something. Creation itself is what I have always longed to pursue, whether it be in writing, art, dance, etc. I believe that when you create something you are sharing a piece of yourself with others.
One day when I didn’t have a job in Subville, I began writing. I had always thought about writing and had so many stories in my head, I already felt like a writer. I just never wrote any of them down. Some days I would write so fast just trying to get it all out before I lost the thought. I was so thankful for my days off so I’d have time to write. I began working on “In Search of Lucy” and was able to get a lot done when schools were on break, weekends, and days off. I no longer felt like I was a substitute teacher. My job was being a writer. Working as a substitute was merely a way to make my writing possible. Looking to the future, I still see myself making a positive impact on children. Maybe I will become a teacher and maybe I won’t. We’ll see what fate decides. In the meantime I will tell children to pursue their dreams and to find a way to express who they are.
I am a native Californian and avid reader. Writing is something I’ve wanted to do all my life, so the completion of my first novel is truly satisfying. I hold a B.A. degree in Journalism (advertising). I also now have a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and have been a substitute teacher for the past five years. My most enjoyable moments are spent with my family, traveling, spending time outdoors or simply being together.