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choral director

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Mrs. Wray Enters the Classroom

JULY 3, 2011 | PAULA WRAY

When I started searching the job openings in January, I was excited to learn that you don't need a degree in education to become a guest (emergency) substitute teacher. So I got fingerprinted and immunized, and entered the world of education.

I've never been addressed formally in my life, so I was torn about what my moniker should be. Ms. Wray expresses my feminism, but sounds like I have a rod up my butt. Mrs. Wray doesn't seem right, because it's not my husband's name. Mrs. Reed would not be true because that's not my name. Oh dear! I finally settled on Mrs. Wray.

There's a reason people study for 4 years and do student teaching before calling themselves an educator. I was ill-prepared after a 1-day class.

Starting any new job is nerve-racking, but being a sub is really disconcerting. You don't know when the call will come, where you'll be going, or what you'll be teaching.

Here are some glimpses into my brief career as a substitute teacher:

All-in-all, I loved teaching and had a fantastic adventure! It gave me many great stories to tell and helped me feel like I was doing something worthwhile.

One final highlight - a senior lingered behind her peers after English class to tell me I was the best substitute she ever had! I asked her to repeat it just to be sure I heard right.