After over three years, I finally stepped back into a classroom today. I was an eighth grade U.S. History substitute at Yokosuka Middle School. 

I was finally approved as a substitute teacher for DODEA schools in August. I submitted my application in October 2016. Like with so many things related to the government, approval took a while. 

None the less, I am approved and ready to serve. All things considered, my day was good. I set very low expectations. I had flashbacks to 2012 when I substituted at some Memphis City Middle Schools. I would compare YMS to Riverdale. They were studious, silly, and very respectful. The main difference, these kids ALL have parents in the military and they live in Japan! 

The school was very nice. I’ve never taught in a classroom with carpet. My out of teacher shape knees appreciated the extra cushion! 

The view was pretty nice, too! Once you looked past the standard Navy issue blinds you can see Tokyo Harbor.

The schedule today was a “C” day. It means an abbreviated class schedule enabling me to see all the A and B day students. Whew. There were a lot of kids! New class every 40 minutes. It reminded me of teaching science at Dexter Middle School and seeing all my students on Fridays. I’m happy to report, I survived my first day back to school. My teacher cardi and I felt good. 

I did have three students during one class sit in the wrong seat. This obviously created a huge distraction. No worries, I still have my “stern teacher voice” and had things under control with one sentence. Lucky for my students I didn’t have to use my “stern teacher look” today! 

The worst part of the day was sitting down to eat my lunch and realizing I forgot a fork. Dang it! Fortunately, my chopstick skills have vastly improved over the past year. Eating my chicken, rice, and black beans with chopstick carrots was a breeze! 

Now that I’ve wiggled back into the wet swimsuit, the next time I sub will no doubt be even easier!