Seize the Moment

I love the saying, “Carpe Diem” which is Latin for “Seize the Day.” I don’t how to say it in Latin, but I think we need to do more than seize the day. We need to seize the moment.

Yesterday there was a Substitute Teacher at our school. She was hanging out in the Teacher’s Lounge just chilling during her break. I introduced myself to her and found out she had two kids. One of them was in our school. Her husband is a full time teacher in another school, and she was contemplating teaching as a career.

The more I listened to her, the more I realized that she was conflicted about the demands of being a full-time teacher. She wanted to have time for her kids and husband and she knew something would have to be sacrificed if she took on that role.

I told her about my job as an Instructional Aide. I chose it for the same reasons. I wanted to teach kids, but I did not want the responsibility of planning curriculum or meeting with parents. I just wanted to teach, go home at a normal quitting time, and leave the job there. It is a perfect job for me, particularly because I have my own company and when I get off from school, I go home and work for myself.

As she listened to me describe my day, her eyes lit up and she asked how she could get a job like mine. I told her, “Go online to the school districts you are interested in and look for Paraprofessional jobs. There are many versions of this job, so you have to find one that is of interest to you. Also, if you know people at schools, get an introduction to the Principal.”

I asked her, “Would you like to meet our Principal.” She said, “Now???” I laughed and said, “Yes. Why not? I know her well and would be happy to introduce you. You are a Substitute teacher here, have a kid in our school, you are interested in teaching here, and you are bi-lingual. That makes you golden!”

Off we went to meet the Principal. When I found her, our Principal recognized her! Apparently they had a brief meeting at a job fair. Our Principal said she remembered her and that she was a very sharp lady. When the Sub told our Principal she was interested in the Paraprofessional job should one become available, our Principal asked her to meet with her assistant and give her the details of what she wanted to do.

As we were walking back to the Teacher’s Lounge, she was laughing at what had just happened. I told her that I believe in seizing the moment, or it will pass you by. I said, “Here is the good news: if you get a job here you will owe me!”  We both laughed and I went back to my class wishing her well.

I bet she never dreamed that would happen to her when she signed up to substitute at our school, but that is how life is. When you get a chance to do something outside of your comfort zone, go for it. Time will tell if she comes to work at our school or not. One thing is for sure: I bet she will never forget to seize the moment.


Dan Skognes

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