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BE Blog

wife, mom, coach, & entrepreneur


Traci Castaneda

Recently I completed all of the mounds of paperwork to become a substitute teacher in the school district where we live. My own kids are in the Intermediate school (4th-5th grade), middle school, and high school and those are the schools where I chose to sub. I want to sub because it allows me to connect to our new community. In the few short weeks I have subbed, I have met countless students, teachers, and staff in our district. They are awesome people and I enjoy getting to know them. I am also here because I want to have an impact in this community. I want to be a light and this is a great place to shine my light. If I was only doing this job for a paycheck, I'm not sure I would be here. I need purpose beyond the job and beyond the advantages listed below.

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Beyond my underlying purpose, subbing has many advantages:

My Kids. I get an up-close-and-personal connection to my kids, their teachers, their environment, and their friends. Basically, I get to be a fly on the wall during a big chunk of their day. I see their reputations, which helps me have the knowledge to better support them.

No Homework. As a sub, I don't have homework. I don't have papers to grade or lesson plans to write. I get to show up, be with a class, and go home. It is a wonderful part of this job.

Appreciation. I am appreciated as a substitute because I am filling a need for the staff and teachers. They are grateful because it allows them to be home sick, home with a sick kid, attend a funeral, go to conferences, or just take a much-needed personal day.

As I sit here in my substitute seat today, I'm thinking about this role of substitute, fill-in, follower of the plans, and regurgitator of the information. Principally this is not a good way to go through life; however, I think many of us go through life like substitutes.

Substitutes don't create their own lesson plans, deliver their learned and processed information, or teach from their areas of passion and expertise.

Are you going through life on the wings of someone else's dreams? Or are you living out your own love, learning, and passion? I can have some impact as a substitute, but this impact is not even close to the impact possible by a full-time teacher. And it's the same in life.

Where in your life are you living like a substitute? In your parenting? In your job? In your marriage?

If you want an extraordinary life with extraordinary impact, it is time to engage, take action, and be proactive with the people and opportunities in front of you. After all, this IS YOUR life! So if you are trying to live someone else's passion, path, or dreams, it is time to get off their trail and blaze your own!

Be Extraordinary!

My name is Traci, and I love sharing insights that challenge and encourage people to be the best version of themselves. Click HERE to receive updates from Be Extraordinary!