What's it like being a TOSA?

When I was hired in my district in 2005, the district office had these kind, helpful folks called Teachers on Special Assignment, AKA TOSAs.  I didn't know what they really did, but they were good people.  The TOSA positions were cut during the district's lean years, but reinstituted last year.  Fast forward ten years and I'm a TOSA now.  Here are the three of the most common questions I get and their answers:

1. Can you help me with ____ because I'm too busy?  Okay, I understand and respect that you are very busy.  And, yes, part of my job is to help you out.  However, are you under the impression that I have oodles of free time on my hands?  I don't and it's a bit insulting that you would insinuate that I'm just sitting around all day.

2. Do you think you'll go back to the classroom?  That's a tough one.  To be honest, I don't know.  Sometimes I joke that I "know too much" about what goes on at the district office to go back to the classroom.  The feedback I've received about my work out of the classroom this year leads me to believe that I'm in the right place for the time being, doing what I'm meant to do for now.  Ask me again next year and that answer may or may not be different.

3. Finally (drumroll, please)...Do you miss kids?   Of course I do!  What teacher leaves the classroom and doesn't miss working with students?  I still get to work with students on site visits.  What I really miss is building relationships with students.  This year I had the opportunity to work with an amazing group of sixth-grade scholars with my friend @acaciakojima.  Visiting them weekly for our ecology PBL unit was a breath of fresh air.

To help you better understand what a life in the week of a TOSA looks like I made this lovely video: