That morning started like any other that semester. I parked in the visitor lot at the high school in San Antonio, Texas, and showed the receptionist my ID badge with the word “SUBSTITUTE” printed in bold purple letters across the bottom. She smiled and waved me to a desk in the back of the office where she handed me a sticky note with a room number on it. I made my way through the school, searching for the number, as students gathered outside their advisory classes eating their breakfasts. I found my room—an eleventh-grade chemistry class—unlocked the door and reviewed the teacher’s lesson plans for the day. Written across the board in large letters were the classroom expectations: BE RESPECTFUL, BE RESPONSIBLE, BE READY. In retrospect, these guidelines were perhaps a reminder for me, just as much as for the students.
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