I arrived at a local high school, signed in, received my substitute teacher badge, and made my way to the classroom. The day sprawled before me, filled with bells and teenagers and packets of work left by their teacher, my friend Sam.
I was semi-prepared.
The day before, we moved to a new house. The movers finished at around five o’clock, and then we ate the food a friend dropped off and started unpacking. I fell into bed exhausted and woke still tired from the non-stop activity of moving day.
Luckily, I keep my sub bag stocked with a binder and a spiral notebook. I have forms with my rules and regulations. I have phone numbers in case of an emergency. I have paper to leave the teacher notes at the end of the day. Also in that bag is a pack of crackers, pens and a bottle of pain reliever. Headaches are pretty common for substitute teachers. That day, I’d even remembered to toss in my current manuscript, so I could work on revisions when the class was working on their assignment. I can get away with that only when covering a high school class.
In the chaos of the move, I forgot to grab anything for lunch, and I forgot to refill my water bottle and stick it in my bag. I realized all of that only after the first class filed in and I was sitting at my desk, thirsty, while examining the lunch schedule.