And another preface… I had really intended to express how teaching made me feel… but it’s difficult to put into words. Being a teacher was a surreal and incredible experience. I know the more I reflect, the more I could say. 2007-2011 were 4 profoundly important years for me, professionally… and the students who were a part of those 4 years are forever in my heart… I guess that’s all I can say about THAT for now.
My life has changed so much in the past couple of years that sometimes I find myself thinking, “Oh yeah, I used to be a TEACHER.”
I don’t know if I can explain the exact path that brought me to the classroom. I do know that when I found myself on the campus of my alma mater in 2005, I felt safe and at home. So I worked towards the goal of teaching high school English…
More than once during my first year of teaching, I found myself totally caught off guard and in over my head. But as with all things, it got easier and easier. And my saving grace was always, and perhaps surprisingly, my students. They challenged me and kept me on my toes… and more importantly, I knew I was actually doing something good. I was, in my very tiny way, affecting change.
However, as with most jobs, when your personal life suffers, it can be difficult to hide. And I didn’t believe in keeping anything from my students. Not that I was telling them all the details of my life, but I got increasingly irritable and apathetic in the classroom. I looked forward to my time with them, because they were keeping me entertained… but my life had stagnated and I needed to shake things up.
Moving to New York was about starting over. I was unhappy in California and working a very stressful job didn’t help. I didn’t want to become a bitter spinster-type teacher… and I really felt myself starting down that path. I had developed such a special relationship with my school and my students that I couldn’t see myself teaching in a different environment. So when I got to NY, I didn’t look for teaching jobs.
But now that I’m once again in that familiar world of the Job Hunt, I find myself gravitating back to education. Yes, the time off is a huge factor… but also, it’s a world I know well and a world where I knew what I was doing. I do have a passion for teaching… if I didn’t, would I still be in touch with countless students via Facebook? Would I still be willing to edit college admission essays? Would I still be willing to answer last minute grammar questions? Would I still accept phone calls and texts with questions on how to talk to college professors? Would I still be willing to offer words of support to those struggling with the remaining days of school?
So that’s where the Job Hunt is now centered. Am I ready for all the work? Probably not. Am I ready to handle NYC teenagers? Definitely not. But it’s an adventure I’m willing to take on…
Blog song title: “Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen