I was sitting in the classroom. It had wooden floors, shotty desks, and several old text books. it was my ‘planning period’, which as a substitute meant that I would have a period in which i did…nothing. Halfway through my time of peace, on a calm, sunny day the phone inside the classroom rang. I answered it to find the principal on the other end…”This is your planning period, right? Would you be interested in coming into my office for a brief interview for a teaching position next year?”
That was four years ago…
That story led to a contract, high hopes, a divorce, a homeless lifestyle, and even the eventual creation of this website. Unfortunately, even with contract in hand, I never had an opportunity to actually teach inside a classroom. It’s been the nightmare that has constantly haunted me, shamed me, and one element of a sad past that I’ve struggled to overcome.
God knows my pain, sorrow, and heartache. He heals my scars, holds me close, and promises me brighter days.
I had just finished a testing session around 10:00 AM this morning, upon completion I checked my school email just to see if anyone was looking for me. Incredibly I found an email from the administration of my school waiting for me…
Do you have time to stop in for an interview?
My heart skipped a beat as I reread the phase a dozen different times (twice backwards). I simply replied asking if there was a good time, and was responded with a time:
April 28, 2015 I found myself with thirty minutes between being asked for an interview for a teaching position and the actual interview itself. I poured through state documents on content area, understanding and being able to explain my thoughts towards education, teamwork, and student interaction. A few minutes were also spent in silent prayer and plenty of pacing. My mind was racing, my heart beating, and my body wouldn’t listen to anything my brain was telling it to do.
At 10:30 AM this morning I stepped into the administration office of our school. It started with the routine greeting, explaining the process of the interview, and what position within the school I would be interviewing for. We ran through scenarios and questions; I’m sure I rambled. We spoke on teamwork, is a school a team or a family?, and other networking aspects within the confinements of the education system.
I walked out, ninety minutes later, head buzzing over the collective nature of what I had just witnessed in the past two hours. Life was moving extremely fast and I wasn’t sure what was going to take place next. It was a grade level that I enjoyed, it was a content that I loved (geography), and there was a strong emphasis to be creative, think outside the box, and connect the gaps where students have missed areas of knowledge. Overall, in many ways, it appeared to be a perfect position. I would have a mentoring teacher (if I got the job), and would be one of two teachers in the grade that solely taught social studies. It’s enough of a dream that you’re afraid to close your eyes because you might wake up.
I sent texts to Darco, MC, and Jim informing them of the impromptu interview. If I had the job the central office of our district would be calling me later in the day to officially offer me the job. I tried my best to go throughout the day not thinking about the events, focusing on the task at hand, and trying so desperately to not think back to, “Remember the last time you were in this position?”
By 3:00 PM I was trying to abruptly leave the building for three reasons:
1. I had a track meet to operate
2. I was dodging instructors because I was trying so hard not to say anything until something was “official”
3. My head was spinning and I needed the fresh air (truly, I am my own worst enemy)
At 5:25 PM I picked up Darco from work and headed to our friends place for dinner. By 5:45 PM I noted that I had a voicemail pending on my phone. After calling the number back at 5:50 PM, I…only by the grace of God…officially accepted the position of becoming a 7th grade social studies teacher for the 2015-2016 school year.
Four years ago i sadly walked away from a school and a classroom that I was never able to call my own. It wasn’t the perfect job, but it at least made my heart happy. Ironically, I was going to have to cover several grades in that teaching position…starting with, you guessed it, 7th grade.
I don’t know the spiritual implications behind this turn of events. My heart is so happy, and my soul is undeniably terrified. I know God has my back at all times, even when I don’t completely understand. Perhaps in some ways my life has come full circle in this specific amount of time. Perhaps I needed four years to recollect myself, heal, and head back into a passion that I once loved? I’m not sure.
Thankfully, the one thing I know for sure is this:
I am a teacher.