I work as a special education teachers aide. Right now I am working with a preschool autism class, and I love it, although it has its tough moments. One of the disadvantages is that, when a substitute is needed, there is a short supply of people who both like working in that environment and who we like having around, so often we are stuck with whoever happens to volunteer for the job.
Today we were in that situation, and for the most part, we got lucky. The substitute was friendly, good with young kids and pretty good at jumping in or staying out of the way as needed. She had only one issue; her previous experience had been as a nurse.
I am pretty familiar with the quirks of both fields. I work in one. My mother works in the other. They are both entirely admirable occupations, but being in one or the other tends to breed very different habits, particularly when it comes to cleanliness and germs. A nurse, for example, when going to eat in a restaurant, will go wash their hands. They will then dry their hands with a paper towel, take the towel over to the restroom door, use the handle to open the door, wedge their butt in between the door and the frame, and then toss the towel in the trash can at the last minute. A teacher will say, “fuck it, I’ve already been sneezed on six times today. What more can they do to me?”
As a result, we got a little extra entertainment today, watching her jump up and run for a baby wipe every time somebody did a little thing like eat their boogers. I don’t think she will need to go to the gym today.