This is atypical for me, but I wanted to share the story of how my teaching (at least outside the home) career ended. Then, I realized that I had to start at the beginning. When I finished writing, it really seemed like something that needed to be broken into three parts instead. So, for the next three weeks, I’ll share part of the story each Monday morning. This is where it began.
When I graduated from college, I happened upon my first teaching job by accident. I was teaching in a summer school program and the principal of the school came in to watch me as I taught a lesson, as she did with all of the people teaching these classes. (She was not the one in charge of filling the summer school positions, but still did some of the overseeing of the program.)
At the end of the day, she came in to talk to me. “Angie – how long have you had your teaching license?”
I thought I was going to vomit. Surely she thought I was so bad that she was shocked I was issued a license.
“I don’t have it yet,” I gulped. “But,” I quickly added, “I have applied and it should be here soon.”
“Really?” She remarked. (Insert my desperate need to get sick now.) “I thought you had been teaching for a while because you seemed very natural.”
Thus began my time at this little, low-income school. I was offered a half-time teaching contract as the media specialist (aka school librarian), and I happily accepted it.
It was perfect for me as a new mother (since I paid my Mom to watch Noah for that half week). And it was still perfect the next year, when I had another baby. I loved that library position, though I always had in mind that I could lose it, as it was a temporary contract for a teacher who had been out for years with a long term illness.
I turned things around after years of people just trying to muddle through it. I did things like writing grants to get the kids books to take home, finally organizing areas of the library that were a mess, formed a team to participate in a reading competition, and added hundreds of books to the library.
But then after two years, amidst school budget problems, they were able to offer up my position within the corporation and it was no longer mine.
It was time to send out resumes. And, send out resumes I did. Lots of them. But, in our area, it’s hard to find a teaching job, and so the next school year started and I was unemployed.
However, I suddenly received a call from a school 45 minutes away that was adding a full day kindergarten class (after the year had already started). I interviewed twice and was hired.
I didn’t know it at the time, but that was the beginning of two of the longest weeks of my life.
Next Monday, I’ll share all about the beginning of the end.