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That title is meant to be ID as in identification, not a reference to my id, the animal instincts that occasionally drive me to forage for food in the woods.

And the ID means that I am now officially employed.  I can get work.

I find this feeling to be rather bizarre.

I mean, I have been going in to volunteer every day since mid-January, and but for the lack of cash payment for such activity it could feel a bit like a job, but I always had that lovely sense in the back of mind that should something come up and I couldn’t make it in, no one was really relying on me.  I helped out and occasionally copied resources for myself when a teacher offered me some.  I tried to learn the nuances of the school board.  I went out for lunch.  I wasn’t in charge and that was okay by me.

Of course, one of my host teachers has slowly been weaning me back to responsibility over the last few months.  Once she realized that I wasn’t a raving lunatic or a pants-wettingly stupid idiot, she got used to being able to hand me a lesson, a SMART Board, and some vague instructions so that she could knock off a pile of marking while I joyfully drew fractions in front of the class.

In fact, she started to talk about my volunteering as “team teaching,” implying that I might actually be able to cut it as a teacher in the public system.  When you’ve spent the better part of a year feeling like you were too useless to even get a job, having people put their faith and trust in you goes a long way.

Mr. Bergstrom, voiced by Dustin Hoffman, the greatest supply teacher of all time.

The downside of getting that precious employee ID is that I won’t be able to volunteer that way anymore.  I’ll likely get to see the kids, since I’ll be covering their class from time to time, but I won’t be in there every day, actively being a member of the class.  I’ll be all over the place, doing my best to be a Mr. Bergstrom level supply teacher to as many kids as will tolerate me fumbling through their day’s lessons.

I finally realized today that in volunteering this year, I have come to learn far more than I was able to teach, and most of the time I didn’t even realize that it was happening.  I should have been reading more of Einstein’s work while I was there:

Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty.

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