Covid-19, Substitute Teaching, and Single Momming

I love my job. I really love my job. I am a professional substitute teacher. It gives me the ability to work around my physical/medical limitations and still teach, which is one of my passions. However, school is not meeting. When it is back in session, they’re going to online classes. What does that mean for the hundreds of substitute teachers in my area? We won’t have jobs. My profession is essentially dead for the foreseeable future.

I’ve been scared. Scared that I no longer have a job. Scared because there aren’t jobs available right now… Not jobs I am physically capable of doing. I mean, three brain surgeries left me with a couple of somewhat intense conditions. I’ve been obsessively pushing my books, but everyone is out of work right now so book sales are not great. I’ve been a homeschool mom as has my mom so I set up a consulting business to help new homeschool parents, but with everyone out of work, I’ve gotten few nibbles since people can’t afford to hire (even at way less than the normal rate).

This morning, I got an amazing letter from the State of Colorado. They renewed my benefits, both food stamps and medicaid. No need for re-certification. That is one thing that kept me up until 2am last night. I was worried because I knew re-certification was coming and that everyone in our state was hurting. Would they renew my benefits now that everyone needs them? What if I messed up the paperwork? It was a huge relief to get that letter.

But I’m still jobless. I’ve still lost my favourite job ever, for which I find myself grieving. But at least I know I’ll still be able to buy some food next month (even if the shelves are bare) and I can still see doctors… and so can my son. When this is over, I’ll find a new job. In the meantime, I’m looking for avenues to make money. I’ll keep offering consulting and tutoring services. I will still try to get people to buy my books (I’m told they’re actually pretty good lol). I will still seek reviews and pages read on Kindle Unlimited.

I find with the virus running rampant across the world, that focusing on the miracles is the only way to survive this mentally intact. I have always hated it when my mom told us to “look for the miracle”. It was annoying when we were struggling with something to be told to look for something positive in the middle of something that felt huge and awful. But in the midst of a global pandemic, we have to “look for the miracle” or risk sinking into the depression that could so easily consume us. By that thinking, I will glory in every page read on Kindle Unlimited. I’ll smile at each new review and find the joy in each and every book sale. I will continue to search job sites and keep my eye out for online teaching opportunities.

This apocalypse will not be the end of me. I won’t let it. I… we… will survive this. Life will never be the same as it was before the pandemic and I can only think that will be a good thing. This has opened so many eyes as to the failures in the current system. Now is the time to figure out how we can be better; as people, as a community, and as a country.

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