Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Teaching myself to believe

When I was little, one of my favorite things to buy with my $1.00 allowance, was a brand new box of chalk.  Mom would walk all of us "uptown" to the dime store and I would be able to get my box of chalk and also a few pieces of the 10 cent candy.  That box of chalk was excitement.  I thought of all of the writing I could do on my chalkboard at home.  All of the lessons that I would "teach" to my "students" (little brother).  Little white sticks that were crisp, perfectly formed, smooth and dusty.  I loved it.  My brothers bought toys, I bought chalk.

I would guess that I knew that I wanted to be a teacher since about second grade.  Mrs. Genetti was my second grade teacher and I can still remember some of her lessons. That's a long time to have a dream--and not give it up.

I am a year from graduation.  I took the longest route to get here.  I let life happen and get in the way, and from that I learned to not let Kinley make these same mistakes. 

Teaching in IL is scary.  There are severe cut backs.  Hundreds (maybe thousands) of teachers are unemployed because there are just no jobs.  No money to pay them.  Retirement benefits are paid in full at the ripe age of 67.  Can you imagine teaching at 67?  I sure can't.  NO way. 

To say that I'm feeling discouraged is an understatement.  I did a search in the IL teachers job bank and there is nothing.  Literally. 

Had I not lolli-gagged along through life and had just got the job done when "I was supposed to" in my early 20s, I probably wouldn't be in this position.  I wouldn't be in this position.  It's disappointing.

I'm too far into the degree program to change it now, but part of me wonders if I need to get right back into another program after graduation.  Or maybe even take some classes towards something else along with these last few teaching classes.  Thinking of myself doing another profession is hard.  I mean, I've always wanted to be a teacher.  That's just in me.  Trying to find another path is going to take some soul searching.  What would make me equally as happy?

Richie thinks that I should just chill about it and that I will find something after graduation.  He says that I will sell myself to the administrators and will have no issues finding something.  But that's just his style.  He's the kind of guy that responds to everything with "it'll be fine--don't worry about it, everything will work out" and then I'm the one that scrambles to make sure that it does work out.  This time, I'm not so sure that I can scramble my way out of this. 

I like to think that I could stand out from the rest.  I like to think that I'm one above.  I want it more.  I've worked so hard to overcome so many obstacles, and it has made me so much stronger and want it so much more.  But those kinds of things aren't asked on applications or in interviews.  I found the video of my very first lesson plan.  We had to "teach" it to our classmates.  The goal was a ten minute lesson and I remember my nerves were just on fire.  I couldn't imagine "teaching" for TEN WHOLE MINUTES.  And then I watch that video and I remember how alive I felt during that lesson.  I think I ended up "teaching" for about 16 minutes that day.  I knew then that I was meant to be a teacher. 
(this is a video of a video--quality isn't the greatest--and notice that my hair has not changed, ugh!)

This was four years ago.  That is how far I let this go.... I should have graduated years ago.  I kick myself about it daily.  But you know what, that is life.  It rarely goes as planned.  Well, it does for some.  But not the majority.  You make a plan, and God laughs.

I will finish this time.  I have to.  I owe it to myself.
I just pray that those districts looking for teachers will see in me what I know is in there. I have to believe that it's in there.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Sometimes remind yourself that even though God has other plans, sometimes his plan is part of the process. Like you, I have some yrs of college under the belt but unlike you I am nowhere near having a degree in anything. Without everything in my life going according to my plan, life's little blessings or big blessings would have never come my way and I know the same goes for you! :)

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