What strikes me, which I seem to have taken for granted for the past 15 years, is the trust students give you. Maybe I hadn't taken it for granted...but, perhaps, running my own classroom, investing time and interest and effort in the students, I felt that I was EARNING it. As a new face in this district, I can honestly say that it strikes me as such a privilege, how the students have bestowed their trust in me. On the playground, little ones I have never met before approach me and ask for help, with only the virtue of my age and my orange vest to inspire this trust. In the classroom, groups of up to 30 students stop and listen because I have taught them a simple signal to indicate that I would like them to stop and listen. They are trusting that I have something important to tell them, and that I am a reasonable temporary replacement for their teacher.
Now it my job to keep the trust students have so freely given. Here's how: I, too, follow school rules by showing everyone respect, working to support students' academic goals and enforcing rules that keep everyone safe. As a substitute teacher I can build community by learning students' names and asking them to teach me about the routines in their classroom. I can ensure safe and respectful interactions, and I can use teacher-language that guides students to make the right choices about their behaviour and their learning. One day soon, when I return to running my own classroom, I will appreciate the gift of students' trust. AND I will work to earn it. Every day.