I applied for substitute teaching and found myself looking forward to days spent with students who have special needs. Those are the classes where an aide is more likely to be called in to sub. I'm not ready to be the one in charge, so I tend to decline the teacher subbing positions except for the special need classes because the aides step up and take charge, so I'm still "aiding" more than leading the parade.
I started out at the high school and then some elementary school assignments became available. Just before Christmas break I was able to finally visit the middle school. All three schools have awesome special ed teachers and aides working with these special students. There are several students who have captured my heart as I find myself learning wonderful life lessons from them. I've really enjoyed spending time with people who appreciate my help. Several staff have added my name to their call list for future assignments, so I think they've enjoyed me, too.
I spent so much time helping Charley during his last year on earth that when he left us I felt kind of lost .... so it really soothes my soul to work where I feel needed.
Being a sub is a part time position, so I kept an eye out for something else that I could do along with working at the schools. I've always enjoyed playing with numbers, whether it be putting together a budget, balancing a checkbook or filling in a samurai-sudoku puzzle ... so when I saw an advert for a tax class I thought I would check it out. I've filed our taxes for years, but I would always have a CPA friend do them when I felt it might be too complicated, like when we had rental property or bought a house. I was able to complete the course and pass the test required to prepare taxes. I like the people I'm working with and I hope this tax season goes well for all of us.
I really appreciate all the years that Charley was the bread-winner of our family and his income was sufficient so that I did not need to work outside the home. There are nights that I can barely keep my eyes open as I sit in his recliner and remember him taking a little nap after a long day at the office so that he could stay awake for an evening program. Most of the time he ended up dosing off during the commercials, waiting for my nudge to open his eyes when the show came back on .... I'm familiar with this kind of fatigue, having been a single working mom before .... but it's a satisfying feeling ... especially when you feel like maybe you're making a difference.