A few months ago I went to the March for Our Lives in Cleveland. I took my mom and her friend with me. My mom had never been to a protest before, and I wanted her to experience what one was like. I had been in one protest in college, a long time ago, to protest the Iraq war, but had not been to one since. (My mom’s friend went to an anti-Vietnam protest in Berkeley California. I bet that’s an amazing story.)
We waited for the Rapid and we were part of a large group of people. As the train tried to come towards us, the driver leaned out the window and commanded us to stay off the yellow line near the edge of the track. He would not move unless we all got off the yellow line. I turned to the left and ordered the people, “Everybody get off the yellow line!”
My mom was surprised to hear me order people so strongly. She teased that it was my substitute teacher experience coming out. I was surprised to think that I had changed.
But I think she is right. Before, in such situations, I would have been paralyzed in situations that require giving out orders and making decisions. I would have waited for someone else to give the orders or been rather helpless. Seeing teachers in action when I subbed as a teacher’s aide and then subbing myself in elementary school classes did help me to learn how to give orders and make decisions quickly.
Perhaps she is right. Perhaps that is my experience coming through. And if that is true, it’s a good thing.