I have come back into “manifest reality” of the day to day worklife after being in fairyland. That fairyland was a May Day festival in the mountains. During the festival, I truly felt like I had finally blossomed. I had been to the festival 3 times before, and each time had been wonderful, but this time I felt truly released and grounded at the same time. I felt truly myself and blissful. During the maypole dance, I skipped and frolicked, because I felt freed. The last thing I did there, before saying goodbye and leaving, was to attend a small cozy ritual that focused on bringing about positive changes in our lives. The circle wasn’t closed; it remained open to continue the change in our lives after we left the festival.
Now I’m back, and I’ve got some decisions to make. Here are my choices: go with what my current job is offering me, which is to work with a population that I don’t really have a passion for working with; keep on searching for a job as a teacher working with a population I am passionate about working with, or chuck teaching altogether and either become an interpreter or work towards becoming an interpreter. If I go with the first one or second one (both really, for financial security), I am pleasing one set of loved ones I have. To them, my choice should be to remain a teacher only, because of financial security; if nothing had been offered here, they wanted me to look elsewhere for a teaching job- that is, to move far away if I had to. I know their hearts will be broken (or they will at least feel scared and worried for me) if I go with choice number three. Another loved one would like me to pick becoming an interpreter. The reason is because I would be much less stressed, and therefore have more time to offer and focus on that particular loved one.
It’s dangerous to let others pull you in one way or another when it comes to life decisions. It must be your own choice. Since my last post, I have still not resigned, though I have made some strides in preparation for change. I completed a written and performance test to become an Educational Interpreter (have passed the written, and don’t know yet on the performance), and had two interviews, both of which did not lead to new jobs as a teacher. I have applied to a third- which would be with a population I’m passionate about working with but is in a district that has a reputation for gangs and violence within their schools. I haven’t heard back from that one and maybe it’s just as well.
A situation at work escalated to the point of a decision being made for me- thankfully, not to dissolve my position, but to have me switch schools with another teacher. In the midst of all this, I went from the precipice where I nearly jumped into the jobless scary place of becoming an interpreter (but finishing out the year as a teacher, because that’s me), to creeping backwards into the safe place of job security. And still, the disrespectful way superiors have been treating me- pointing fingers of blame rather than offering their hands in support- is urging me back towards the precipice.
I am still in the midst of decision. Do I jump, or do I stay put, looking for a way out, or do I accept the place I’ve been given? This is my 13th year of teaching. Though I partly believe myself to be a natural at teaching, excellent at motivating students and getting them excited about learning, and great at developing relationships with students, another part of me is greatly disappointed in my teaching ability.
It’s very difficult and stressful to be a teacher, and it almost never feels like you are ‘good enough’ or ‘excellent enough.’ There is always something to work on, to improve on. There are always people observing and picking you apart. These observations are only snapshots and therefore snap judgements are made. ‘There was no scaffolding,’ they say, but they were only in the class for 15 minutes, and didn’t know or think to ask about whether there had been scaffolding the entire month leading up to that lesson during which they peeked in. Those aren’t the only stressors (and by the way my latest evaluation was not so bad and I appreciate that particular supervisor (I have many) appearing to be on my side. Other stressors include legal documentation with Special Education being scrutinized, telling parents (or anyone) the truth of the way things are is looked down upon, and every little mistake is made into a huge embarrassing can of worms. It’s like being in the movie Office Space: the main character has too many bosses, and they’re all reminding him about one little mistake he made, and sometimes I feel like the guy with the stapler who has been relegated to the basement. He’s been laid off but doesn’t know it; “It’ll sort itself out,” his supervisors say.
My boyfriend has seen that I am a completely different person during my summers off. I am much more carefree, more loving, more affectionate, and more happy. I am more confident, since there is no one but myself around to tear me down.
My gut is telling me that if I work on becoming an interpreter, that is where my bliss lies. But is it wise? I have been given wings to fly, they are unfurling, and I have a bit of a safety net with saved money, on which I believe I can live on for a year including paying for schooling if need be. The scary part lies after all of that. Do I jump, and fly, or jump and fall to the safety net and bounce a while, after which, do I take off flying or do I fall into the abyss? Am I being over dramatic about that abyss, and am I being over dramatic about my current situation? It’s certainly better than many people have to face. I think for now I’ll keep adding to that safety net, and investigate things further- which may be a cop out! But if I’m going to jump, I had better know what I’m doing. I’m going to pitch my tent at the precipice and hug a tree.