I am a substitute teacher at my sons’ schools. That is my latest job. I would love to write about it (face it, I write about everything else, and the high-end kitchen store certainly gave me good fodder to work with, so why not this job?), but it turns out, I signed this pesky official document called a Confidentiality Interest Agreement.
When someone who may or may not have been the principal was interviewing me, she (or he) may or may not have said, Working in a school is like being a doctor or lawyer—you are not allowed to talk about the students.
I’m confused. Which part is like being a doctor or lawyer? Because it isn’t the pay part. But I wanted the job, so I sat there nodding-nodding-nodding, like a little bobble-headed plastic doll, Please hire me because I am good with kids and also so I can work the exact same hours that my sons are in school all day.
The next thing you know, he or she may or may not have said, “I would like you to read over the Confidentiality Interest Agreement (CIA), tell me that you understand it, and sign it. I am a registered notary on the side, so I will notarize it and then we will keep a copy in your permanent file.”
I grinned a fake grin, the kind you might grin if your dentist told you that you had three cavities when you thought he was going to say you have the best teeth he’s ever seen.
Trembling and flashing back to my own school years (“permanent file”?!), I read the CIA and signed it. I vowed to “respect the privacy of all individuals I may come in contact with,” (this next part was in a different font, obviously added in recent years) “and refrain from publicizing any related incidents about such individuals via current advanced technological means. To clarify: no facebook, no blogging, no twittering, no social media-ing.” Social media was now a verb here at my older son’s school.
“Excuse me?” I squeaked, “I need to let you know: I blog. It’s what I do.” I shrugged, as if saying, My third toe is shorter than the rest—I was just born that way. I can’t help it: I blog.
She or he may or may not have ignored my comment. She or he may or may not have said under her (his) breath, “Look, we’re really short on subs.” I took my yellow copy of the signed CIA form, got three blood tests and a TB shot, passed a nationwide criminal background check, and started subbing the very next week.
I’ve never blogged about my intermittent substitute teaching—even though I was hired way back in October—until now. I found a loophole.
The CIA applies to me writing about other people, there is nothing in there that forbids me from writing about myself. As long as I do not say anything negative about the students, we’re good. So here we go.
to be continued ...