Survival Lessons from a Substitute Teacher
When I signed on for a substitute teacher position some years ago, I skipped to my new job bubbling with enthusiasm. I had emerged from a crowded field of applicants and was thrilled at the prospect of returning to my first calling, teaching, at the start of my professional career. Now a grandmother, the thought of again molding young minds and hearts with an appetite for learning was just the incentive I needed to get up and out again after an extended hiatus from the world of work and life in general.
Some of you may remember “Ms. Thang,” a.k.a. Barbara Miles, the publisher and editor of Chocolate Singles Magazine, a widely acclaimed, nationally distributed publication based in New York City that made its pioneering debut on the burgeoning singles stage in the early 1980s. Cited by such venerated oracles as The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal for setting the advertising world on fire with the emergence of a new niche market, CS revolutionized the path to love and marriage for this new demographic. It was the first publication to introduce classified personal ads to an audience of middle income Black American singles….“Buppies.”
Suddenly, closet introvert that I am, I was catapulted onto the stage of national television talk shows, with frequent appearances on the likes of the Phil Donahue Show, Oprah’s predecessor. Being dubbed the principal media spokesperson for the emerging Black singles market, I was seen so frequently on some local TV shows that many thought I was on the programs’ payroll..........
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