Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What A Year

Last year at this time I had recently quit a job that had been making me miserable more often than it made me happy.  I quit via an email sent from my phone in the middle of the day and never looked back.  I felt immediately better. I had no job lined up and was finishing my last two classes of grad school but I somehow felt totally calm about the situation.

I took last summer as an opportunity to figure out if teaching was really it for me.  I have worked in only high stress teaching environments: a high school for at-risk youth, a school for cognitively delayed children with emotional disturbances, and an urban charter school who was not making it's state mandated goals.  I applied to teaching jobs for high schools but more selectively than in the past.  I even applied at a non-profit as an event planner.  I looked into editing and writing jobs.  I scoured job search sites for anything that remotely interested me and came up largely short.

As I completed my MA in English I came back to the idea I'd had when I first started it; I could teach at the college level.  I started applying.  Mostly to proprietary schools but to others as well.  Finally, I got a call, and by the end of the interview I was being handed the books for the courses and sample syllabi.  I taught four courses last fall and while I still was teaching a stressful population I loved it.  I met awesome people and I really bonded with several students.  Unfortunately they had to tell me they couldn't offer me four courses again.  I felt a little panicked.  Someone was looking out for me though and the school I really wanted to teach at offered me three classes at a significantly higher pay rate.  And that is where I remain.  I have reclaimed the joy that teaching is to me.  I love it.

Sure, I still have moments of stress but everyone does at their job.  Largely though I feel reinvigorated.  I am trying to learn as much as I can about teaching at this new level.  A part of me still really really wants to teach high school in my old school district.  But now, I know that even if I never get to I can still be very very happy.  I am finally on a path that I feel incredibly confident about and that excites me.

I have so much other stuff on my plate right now as I enter this next phase of my life, my thirties, and I can't wait to share it with the people that matter to me.