Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Trying to Find My Way

I WAS going to post about some of the memories that surfaced in my mind while we were on our trip, but I just can't write about that today. I need to think some things through and I hope you don't mind me sharing my thoughts with you. Flannery O'Connor credited an old lady with this idea that described how she (Flannery) wrote: "I don't know what I think till I see what I say." That is me exactly. And I hope that posting this will keep me from being too self-indulgent and self-pitying and any other unpleasant attitudes that begin with the prefix "self."

It is getting close to one month before teachers are due to be present at their schools and I haven't gotten any more interviews. Even though I know I started late, this has surprised me. I thought I would at least get a chance, and so far I haven't. The job I was most interested in and had the most experience for (9th grade English) has been filled--and it went fast, in about three days, so maybe they had an internal candidate, I don't know. The other few jobs are for things like 4th grade, 6th grade, and a high school job that has been posted for a while. I am trying to find out if that one has been filled. (Some of the districts let you know when a position has been filled, and some apparently don't.) I don't really have any classroom experience with the other grade levels, so unless they are impressed with my ability to pass that test, my chances seem slim.

So at this point I don't have much hope of getting a job offer. Maybe I'm being premature, but that's how I'm looking at it. Obviously I'll feel silly if I get an interview, but today I am having a hard time.

Partly, it's an blow to my ego. I've always been an overachiever whom bosses wanted to hire. But I've been out of the job market for 6 years, and I didn't have a solid 5 years teaching before that--I taught for a year at a private school, a year in public, then 2 years at a tutoring center (I became an Assistant Director, though!) while going to grad school. All very worthy things and explainable, I think--but apparently not that marketable in a tight economy when districts are hiring less and (I'm guessing) fewer teachers are giving up their jobs.

Another part of why I'm being emotional about this: since we decided to have children, Justin and I wanted me to stay home with them. Which I have done, and I DON'T regret it. I know that it's been best for me and the kids because I would have been a terrible teacher while I was missing my babies and feeling guilty for missing them and resentful for having to be away from them. I was not in a good place with teaching back then--I'd had a hard year with 8th graders and I wasn't sure I ever wanted to go back.

Now that I've been at home with my kids, I know that (whenever I go back), I'll be a better teacher. I'm WAY more patient, take kid drama much less personally, am more tolerant of appropriate noise levels, and can deal with multiple people needing my immediate attention all at the same time. But I can't prove it unless I'm given a chance.

Which is where subbing comes into the picture, I suppose. It's just that at this point--right now, today--I'm wondering if that's going to make a huge difference, either.

Oh, of course it will. Current experience, references, contacts with people in the district, long-term subbing that turns into a full-time job--all of that will matter in the long run. But it feels like I'm having to settle. And I have to juggle all the logistics of getting called at o'dark thirty and getting the kids ready and dropped off, and finding someone to keep Miss Pink until I can get her after school and having to deal with figuring out a different class and their schedule and rules--all for about $80 a day and not even every day. I'd rather just become a full-time working mom and start that adjustment process. Because when Justin gave me the green light to start looking for a job, I made that mental leap...and now I have to un-make it. I guess I leaped too soon, but what can I say--I thought the door was opening, for now, for me to seize the opportunity. I always make the mistake of getting my mind fixed on the way I think things are supposed to happen, when in fact they very rarely do.

I know I need to think about the positives if I don't go back to work full-time yet: more time with the kids, especially Mr. Blue, who is still not yet four; time to do some more things for myself while I can, like blogging and hanging out wasting time on the Internet.

I don't know how to end this, except to say that I will just keep waiting and trying to remember something I really do believe even if it's hard to remember: that things happen for a reason.



  1. It's an emotional rollercoaster and I will continue to send my best that it all works out for you and your family.

  2. >>I always make the mistake of getting my mind fixed on the way I think things are supposed to happen, when in fact they very rarely do.<<

    Right there with ya on that one-- let me know if you ever figure out how to change the habit.

  3. I'm sorry it didn't turn out the way you were hoping. Never say never though. I wonder what might happen during term? All the best Alison.

  4. Job hunting = biggest ego-buster ever. Hope it's over soon, whichever way it goes, so you can find peace.

  5. Ah, you ended it with exactly what I was thining all along. Things to happen for a reason. There's purpose out there lurking from behind the hedges just waiting to jump on you when you walk by. Keep an open mind and a clear heart. Don't let the ego worry, it's a very competitive market right now. And enjoy the day. Truly, dig in. (I'm just trying to learn to relinquish some control in my life. It's not easy but once done, it's wonderfully liberating.)

  6. It does take time, and job hunting is the biggest ego-crushing thing out there.

    Just remember, there are always sub positions, and you cna sign up with multiple districts to keep things more incoming. While it isn't ideal, it is a Step.

    Taking the steps to get back into the work force is hard and not easy, but do it one inch at a time and it can be okay.

  7. I went through these same feelings a couple of years ago - I had finished a long-term sub position with the alternative high school I loved but they didn't call me all summer. I applied for half a dozen other jobs, no calls, and finally submitted my resume to an advertising agency.

    I ended up getting offers from the high school, a middle school, AND the ad agency within two weeks of school starting...

    You already know what you're supposed to be doing will become clear, but it is hard to wait. *prayers to you*