The note taped to the Sub Folder read: "Don't worry about anything. Do what you can. Enjoy the day."
In the three seconds that it took me to read those words, my mood shifted completely from dread and subtle anxiety to confidence and determination to have fun. Because standing in a Kindergarten class five minutes before the little kids you've never met before run in, it's impossible to know what exactly to expect.
Last night, when I received the call I was filled with dread, wishing I hadn't said yes, even though I've never said no yet. This morning, before reaching the school, I felt a little better. And then the note. I felt completely different. Don't worry... Enjoy the day...
Today didn't have to be miserable, and I wasn't about to make it so for these kids.
They were a great class, and by the end of the morning, my favorite class I decided. They were chattery, but they listened to me and followed instructions without much hassle. With all of the morning work done, the afternoon was a bit more relaxing as I let the kids play with puzzles and other games. A group of the kids soon were helping each other put together a big puzzle, and they were working together quite well. I had popped in a Yanni for the very young CD (at least I think it was Yanni?), and I noticed the kids didn't argue with each other over the pieces with the music playing (like they did before.) They sang along with the catchy, funny songs.
What if I had listened to my dread and said "No"? What if that note hadn't been there to brush away my anxious thoughts? I would have missed out on a great class to sub for. Or perhaps I wouldn't have been so at ease with myself and the kids. I've written those three sentences on a yellow index card. It will be taped on my wall by my desk from now on. But more importantly, the message and the peace it brought me will be fastened securely in my mind as well.