While scanning for substitute teacher jobs recently, I spotted a two-day stint as an art teacher.
"No problem," I thought. "It'll be easy and fun."
Famous last words, my friends. Famous last words.
So I arrived at school shortly before my start time to find I had a first hour prep period. Luckily, I brought along a book for just such an occasion. The first hour was a breeze.
Even my first two classes were pretty simple: weaving. The biggest problem we had were a few broken strings.
From there, though, I had two classes of papier måché and three classes of plaster and paint.
Do you know what its like to leave a couple dozen kids alone with a stranger and buckets of paint, glue and plaster? The results are potentially disastrous. If I were prone to panic attack, I would have been suffering one at about 11 a.m. Thursday, as I realized what a mess I was potentially leaving for the janitors and the poor, unsuspecting teacher returning Monday.
But, we got through it. The kids were respectful and pretty well restrained throughout the day. They did as I asked and helped me keep the room relatively tidy throughout the day. For that, I am grateful.
Another group we should all be grateful to are our art teachers. Sure, we all remember them as the quirky teachers, prone to wearing bib overalls or Birkenstocks, but they were also probably the hardest working teachers at your school. How someone has the energy to do this every day, I will not soon figure out. So, to everyone who ever taught me art -- Judi Kaniewski, Bob Douglas, Mike Applegate and Cindy McCabe -- thank you for everything.
And as you read this, I'm probably back in the classroom on Friday. I think I'll escape with my sanity.