There is something vaguely humiliating about being a substitute teacher.
It's somewhere in the way teachers lock their desk drawers to protect their bags of lifesavers and granola bars from you. It's in the over-friendly, high-pitched voices of the faculty when they unexpectedly pop in on you to see if you need anything, when you really know that they're making sure you're not on the classroom computer. It's in the girl's bathroom stalls, where you have to pee because only real teachers have keys to the grown-up bathroom or even know where it is. So there you are, perched on the kids' toilet, butt cheeks hovering only a fraction of an inch above the stall divider, which is the only thing between you and Taylor/Tori/McKenzi's loud proclamations of "OH MY GOD SHE JUST SUCKS AT TEACHING AND SHOULD JUST GET LAID ALREADY," and you are so glad you spent five years in college for this.
It's a slight, invisible wave of smug that comes when barely-interested teachers ask what your "Cert" is in, and then sadly inform you that their school is not hireing, their school has all the teachers they need. Or this momentary pause when you interject something into the conversation around the desks pushed together in some classroom where you were invited for lunch. This pause during which the other teachers remember that you are there, and try unsuccessfully to humor whatever insignificant thing you said.
Maybe I'm being paranoid, because now is the first time since I graduated that I even want to be a "real" teacher. I want the delicious comittment of a contract and the marvelous medical benefits and the keys to their snooty "lounge," which, far from being a magical place of candy and beer, really only contains ugly couches, a greasy microwave, and forty thousand copies of Where the Red Fern Grows. Maybe that's why I suddenly feel like a poser. I want my own horrible spawn to teach!
Oh, for the days of breezing in, doodling stick figure flip-books into their post-it note pads, and breezing out, thinking, "HA! These suckers have to do this every day."